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Pre-crisis Market Mapping and Analysis (PCMMA): Training Report

2015 — By Oxfam

In recent years, humanitarian organisations have been re-examining their
responses to emergencies. Many have begun experimenting with cash-based initiatives alongside or in place of conventional relief distributions of food and non-food items, and local procurement is being encouraged wherever possible. Emergencies also often cause damage to market functions and trade networks, which can be exacerbated by inappropriate humanitarian responses. Recognising this, it is understood that responses must be designed with a good understanding of critical markets, lest they inadvertently damage livelihoods, jobs, and businesses, thus undermining recovery and prolonging dependence on humanitarian assistance.

When disasters hit vulnerable communities, affected people adopt their
coping strategies to meet their essential needs. The success or failure of these strategies depends in large part on the functioning of markets related to the supply of essential goods and income. The Cash Working Group in Bangladesh has been encouraging the country’s humanitarian communities to recognize that market forces play an important role in helping people withstand and recover from shock. Adequate market functionality is necessary for disaster-affected people to return their lives and livelihoods to normal. Understanding markets is also necessary for decision-making in designing and implementing cash-based interventions and inkind programs. As such, market analysis should be an integral part of decisionmaking at humanitarian agencies, to ensure that no harm is inadvertently done, and to improve the efficiency, efficacy, and impact of humanitarian programming in the preparedness, mitigation, relief, and recovery phases.