LIVE Markets During COVID Discussion One #TARGETGROUPS

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What does 'vulnerability' mean in the time of COVID?

Dec. 22, 2020, 5:22 p.m.

Isabelle Gore

I'm replying to this so that this interesting thread appears on the BEAM website Conversation board.

June 10, 2020, 4:40 a.m.

Mary Morgan

Love your thinking behind this Simon— i had to laugh when you called vulnerable nonsense— seems like you are a systems man!
yeah

Mary Morgan
225-7575 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC V8A 5L1
Cell: 604-314-8376
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June 10, 2020, 4:35 a.m.

Mary Morgan

HI Dan
Unfortunately the links to the article and presentation end in an error message :-(

What a great initiative to get village agents to deliver input for highly nutritious foods. Are these inputs going to kitchen gardens or for market gardens? Just curious. Also if there is a lockdown, how can the village agents be mobile and go house to house with no harassment from police or village guardians?
It sounds like you are optimizing your gateway village agents to keep the system operating during lockdown which is great.
The UNICEF guidelines to reduce or mitigate GBV is pretty basic, and really disappoints me. It essentially expects that societies will not have expressions of GBV if men participate as caregivers (perpetrators probably won’t) and maintain education systems for girls, (if governments shut down schools, then what?) which to me is fantasy thinking in many contexts.

The fact is that violence is happening, so how do we respond when we hear/learn about a woman or girl who is being sexually abused or beaten and is part of our programmes? International Budget Partnership in South Africa <https: covid-advocacy-in-south-africas-shanty-towns-what-works="" fp2p="" oxfamblogs.org=""> developed a remote monitoring system that was used in the townships to monitor the cleanliness of latrines, the availability of water and the removal of garbage with whatsapp and SMS. They have informants in the townships, who are mostly women, and they are called weekly and asked three questions -
Is there clean water available in your settlement?
Were the toilets cleaned in the last seven days?
Was waste collected in your settlement in the last seven days?
It would be very easy to add another question that would be contextually and culturally appropriate regarding GBV in the townships- and that there is a community based response with women and male leaders to address it (safe houses, male leaders talking with the perpetrators, or whatever….)
cheers
Mary

Mary Morgan
225-7575 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC V8A 5L1
Cell: 604-314-8376
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]>

June 10, 2020, 4:27 a.m.

Mary Morgan

Dependency in AID will never go away if we don’t encourage and facilitate adaptive management so that programs are agile enough to adapt readily to market actors needs as they respond to supply and demand challenges. This requires that they have the space, knowledge and encouragement to share what is working or not. Then they will start to be social change agents in their context. Karri mentioned in one of the first posts about seed producers going door to door to sell during covid. They are empowered and have the knowledge of how to be market responsive. They are not dependent on aid at all now. yabbadabbadoo! Karri, do you have a link to that program?

Mary Morgan
225-7575 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC V8A 5L1
Cell: 604-314-8376
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]>

June 10, 2020, 4:17 a.m.

[Hidden email]

i think we have to look at what we are vulnerable to or from. Binod, you say that PMs, royal family and other 1% members are vulnerable to COVID- they are not vulnerable to access to health care, food, safety, security. So I disagree when you say everyone is vulnerable. The 1% who got covid are vulnerable to a pandemic, they are not vulnerable in any other way as they have so much power.

Vulnerability is the time of COVID reveals the systemic exclusion of so many- the elderly left to die alone, those who do not have access to health care, those who do not have a safe, secure place to be in quarantine, the homeless and displaced, those who do not have money to purchase food for a meal today or tomorrow, those who cannot sell their products or labour and get their daily income for subsistence, those who do not have access to seeds or to their means of production due to draconian lockdowns, those who are affected by racism doing the worst jobs and with little pay, the list goes on and on. Essentially all of these folks do not have power in society- socio-economically they are poor with limited education and don’t belong to the main religion, ethnic group or race in their country.

All these points existed before COVID- COVID has only exacerbated the vulnerability, along with climate change.

I know that the USA, Canada and the UK all had reports done on the possibility of a pandemic 10-15 years ago and nothing was done about it. Governments CHOSE not to prepare for a pandemic because it would require investments they did not want to put into public health. Yet they had tons of money for subsidizing the oil industry. The values of governments have been blatantly exposed- capitalism in its ugliest form.

We have had targeting discussions in our field for the last 20 years. When we finally moved to a market systems approach, I thought we understood that targeting was not effective, what we needed to do is look at the market system and within that system approach, we identify where the leverage point are to address market failure. More often than not where leveraging is possible, the most vulnerable will be included with dignity in the market system.

yes women and girls are even more vulnerable during quarantine when being cooped up with perpetrators of violence, and yes the urban and rural poor are vulnerable as they don’t have huge savings accounts that they can live off of while their economic activities have been hindered or removed during covid. I really wonder though if we look at the market as a system and we start to see that women who are being battered at home who are the ones responsible for food crops that don’t have much of a shelf life like leafy vegetables, we then look at creative responses that will assist them in participating in the market, albeit in a curtailed fashion, for the meantime until quarantine passes?
In the case where cash transfers and school lunches are now being delivered at home, and women/girls are still vulnerable, i’d like to hear of examples where GBV is being addressed in a culturally appropriate manner so that the females at risk in their homes have some sort of protection or outlet.

Mary Morgan
Inclusive Markets Institute
Education for Professionals that Influence Change
Cell: +1-604-314-8376
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]>
Web Page: www.inclusivemarkets.institute <http: www.inclusivemarkets.institute="">

June 5, 2020, 7:34 p.m.

Leo Nalugon

Simon Levine:

expertise needs to be *inside* the health, water, education, agric,. etc
sectors, rather than all sitting off on the side.) And yes, moving our
attention to how people end up in crisis, and what the processes that make
people vulnerable are would certainly help to break down the sectoral
walls. A collaborative analysis of crises should end up with different
agencies/departments/people seeing how they have different roles in
addressing the same problems. But such obvious common sense is perhaps a
dream too far?

June 4, 2020, 6:03 p.m.

Alison Hemberger

Hi Corrie and all,

Interesting point about impactful programming costing more, with shrinking
donor funds. We're faced with the reality that it's expensive to jumpstart
economies and provide social safety nets, but we also need to think about
what sectors and actors to support in order to make the most of limited
funds. Which means we need better, more frequent analysis (which we say all
the time but don't often include in programming), and we need to do a
better job at understanding our impact beyond direct program participants
(or lack of impact, as Simon points out).

On the development and market systems side of the house, we have some tools
and evidence of this type of widespread impact (or systemic impact), but
it's an area that we can do better. Now seems like a great moment to do
that, so that we can better advocate for the right interventions, but the
realities of the pandemic also make measurement difficult. I'm curious if
anyone is looking at ways to measure and document the indirect impact of
their COVID-19 interventions on target groups, in light of the scale of the
crisis? How are programs going about this, or what plans are they making?

Alison

ALISON HEMBERGER
Team Lead | Markets
Technical Support Unit

*MERCY CORPS*
skype alison.hemberger
1111 19th Street NW, Suite 650 | Washington, DC 20036

June 4, 2020, 4:35 p.m.

[Hidden email]

I'm sorry to say I haven't had time to follow this as closely as I'd like,
but I wanted to share this piece that just came across my timeline from the
Rockefeller Fdn in case it's of use to anyone
https://panafricanvisions.com/2020/06/covid-19-smart-food-markets-for-the-future/

June 4, 2020, 12:26 p.m.

Corrie Sissons

From Paul Harvey :

When I was looking at the concept of ‘dependency’ I found the concept of interdependence really helpful. So people are simultaneously resilient and vulnerable within networks of interdependence.

‘the essential interdependence or ‘sociality’ of human beings; requiring an expanded understanding of caring and sharing’ –

More in Hartley Dean’s book here - https://citizensincome.org/book-reviews/hartley-dean-understanding-human-need-second-edition/ <https: ?url="https%3A%2F%2Fcitizensincome.org%2Fbook-reviews%2Fhartley-dean-understanding-human-need-second-edition%2F&data=01%7C01%7Ccorrie.sissons%40crs.org%7Cae2d72df130b451e95f808d808800e5a%7Cb80c308cd08d4b07915c11a92d9cc6bd%7C0&sdata=Yj8VNGFmraE1XMXUg9yGWl2Y38jlDcGiyDkqnUHH2pU%3D&reserved=0" nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com="">

And the thing on dependency that I wrote here - https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/277.pdf <https: ?url="https%3A%2F%2Fwww.odi.org%2Fsites%2Fodi.org.uk%2Ffiles%2Fodi-assets%2Fpublications-opinion-files%2F277.pdf&data=01%7C01%7Ccorrie.sissons%40crs.org%7Cae2d72df130b451e95f808d808800e5a%7Cb80c308cd08d4b07915c11a92d9cc6bd%7C0&sdata=GGLkLeQNF%2Be2ZC%2BoWLhKys%2FqFoe1uYaNtfqay4nAk8A%3D&reserved=0" nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com="">

June 4, 2020, 12:25 p.m.

Corrie Sissons

Hi all,

Sharing Simon’s reply below which somehow got lost in the approvals.

Reading these contributions with interest and agree very much with the challenge around absurd proposals. How do we work to change the cycle of short term memory loss , in particular at the moment in the time of COVID19? It does take two to tango – and yes we have all seen donors approve activities which may be repeated in similar locations, with the same communities year on year – but as Sasha says is now a time for a paradigm shift around this ? Is that way too optimistic ?

I am assuming also thinking ‘real ‘ impactful programming will cost more, when donors may have less money once this is over as we see GDP fall in many donor countries.

Best,

C

Corrie Sissons
Technical Advisor – Cash and Markets | Humanitarian Response Department | Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]> | Skype: corriesissons
Mobile (UK): + 44 7729629852

[CRS_Email_Signature_English]

June 4, 2020, 12:09 p.m.

Paul Harvey

When I was looking at the concept of ‘dependency’ I found the concept of interdependence really helpful. So people are simultaneously resilient and vulnerable within networks of interdependence.

‘the essential interdependence or ‘sociality’ of human beings; requiring an expanded understanding of caring and sharing’ –

More in Hartley Dean’s book here - https://citizensincome.org/book-reviews/hartley-dean-understanding-human-need-second-edition/

And the thing on dependency that I wrote here - https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/277.pdf

June 4, 2020, 12:09 p.m.

Simon Levine

Hi Sasha, hi again all,

I hadn’t actually thought about this in terms of a dev’t-humanit divide, though yes, I agree, that is relevant. There are, though, different levels of ‘underlying causes’. Some of them are very long term and clearly beyond the reach of humanitarian actors. Others less so – surely things can be done in the short term about the threat of SGBV for girls going to collect firewood? And I do think that the public does like the message of helping people to help themselves (though I will probably die of a stroke if I hear one more time that ‘if you give a man a fish, ….’ !!) I have argued for a while that the whole humanitarian sector should be closed down, though vested interests will ensure that this doesn’t happen, of course. (“For the avoidance of doubt”, as lawyers say, I don’t mean that people in crises shouldn't be getting urgent or humanitarian relief. It just means that it’s crazy to run this as a distinct sector. Emergency water projects should be as much a part of the water sector as dev't water projects, etc. So all the skills of emergency experts – in fast delivery, in crisis analysis, etc. – are all badly needed, but that expertise needs to be inside the health, water, education, agric,. etc sectors, rather than all sitting off on the side.) And yes, moving our attention to how people end up in crisis, and what the processes that make people vulnerable are would certainly help to break down the sectoral walls. A collaborative analysis of crises should end up with different agencies/departments/people seeing how they have different roles in addressing the same problems. But such obvious common sense is perhaps a dream too far? Covid 19 actually gives me some hope. This is the first time that I can remember that non-humanitarians are worried about a crisis, rather than leaving it to humanitarians. Dev't economist types are talking about the need to keep markets going to avoid food insecurity. This is big news, guys! This kind of thing just doesn’t happen. So, now, how do we harness that and make it’s the first step in a much, much bigger change?

As for the other issue.. Why do agencies feel they have to make frankly absurd promises in proposals? (And it’s not a humanitarian problem only, resilience and dev't programmes are every bit as bad in this regard as humanitarians, if not worse.) And why do donors then give money to anyone who makes such promises, which constitute at least prima facie evidence that they haven't got a clue what they are talking about and probably don’t even know where the project area is on a world map? To my mind, anyone promising to make 300, 000 households resilient by spending $5m in a poor, conflict-ridden place prone to recurrent shocks should be gently relieved of their responsibilities and never be allowed near an aid project again. (If they are not completely ignorant about how the world works and what life is like for people in such places, then they are being knowingly dishonest. Either way, they should find another career. ) But such are the deep mysteries of life. (If projects were ever properly evaluated, that might start to change. But that's a whole different conversation.)

Yours in wonder,

S

June 4, 2020, 11:29 a.m.

Alfred Hamadziripi

Hi Juillard

Great questions being asked. I will not answer any of the questions for
now. Just to state that, awareness, prevention and preparedness actions are
foundational. I believe before or concurrently as we seek to answer the
questions asked we need to clarify who is vulnerable and what are the
vulnerabilities. A unique challenge posed by COVID-19 is that those
affected are beyond the scope that we are usually used to focus on and we
are challenged to open up to that. Across the supply and value chains, end
users, the regulators, service providers are affected and vulnerable. When
identified we can then analyze their specific vulnerabilities and
interrelationships with others in the system. I will use an example of a
micro business owner that I know who had a loan with an MFI when the
outbreak occurred. The micro business could not trade and service debt and
when she saw an opportunity to diversify in the crisis and wanted financing
her MFI was not only risk averse but is having liquidity challenges as they
claim this case is similar to most of their clients (a month ago they
estimated that 20% of their portfolio was in bad shape). The MFI has an
arrangement with a microfinance investment vehicle (MVI) for a significant
part of their on-lending capital. I could not get the structure of the MVI
to determine if at all they are affected. The chain could have gone on to
some requirements/obligations with the central bank in the country. The
issue then is if we reduce the risk of contamination or change transacting
platforms at the level of the micro-business how is that likely to make
significant impact on business continuity. Yes, it will immediately make
the enterprise environment or transactions safe but they are likely to be
in a position where they cannot sufficiently and viably meet the needs of
their end market. They cannot capitalize because of the circumstance of the
MFI. A number of the micro business’ customers have their working hours
adjusted and currently on 50% of usual salary and purchasing power
subsequently compromised. In such cases, which seem to be prevalent in a
number of the contexts, actions have to be at different levels and
deliberately coordinated to be effective. Certainly there will be need to
prioritize the strategic drivers of vulnerability, that if responded to
will potentially trigger substantial movement at different points in the
market system. Greater collaboration of actors (government, private sector,
NGOs..…) on complimentary actions is not an option but an imperative.

Best regards

Alfred Hamadziripi

June 4, 2020, 11:29 a.m.

Sasha Muench

Thank you Simon, as always, for calling a spade a spade and highlighting
the controversial issue. And I plead guilty for using the word “vulnerable”
to cover up all sorts of vague targeting, including trying to achieve
longer term poverty alleviation with funding that is supposed to only be
used to meet immediate basic needs. And I do find it ridiculous that we
automatically assume women and youth are vulnerable, whatever that means.

So how do we as a community get past this? Because the intervention logic
you propose below is absolutely correct but we are all part of a machine
that oversimplifies need and overpromises impact. And the excuses are
numerous: “donors want to see immediate results,” “domestic audiences only
want to fund life-saving needs,” etc. etc. And this problem is
particularly acute in the market-responses-in crises world because we are
trying to understand and address systemic constraints in a humanitarian
environment.

I feel like this is the existential question we have been discussing for
years, and which is a major reason why we created MiC over 5 years ago.
And yet for all of the humanitarian-development-nexus and other jargon, I
don’t feel we have made much progress in educating the rest of the world
that it really is better to address the underlying issues that make people
vulnerable rather than having to run to respond to every crisis.

Sorry, rant over from another frustrated market systems person stuck in a
context where systems change may be impossible. And sorry for driving this
discussion into the theoretical realm, we are supposed to be discussing
practical analysis and responses to COVID-19!

Cheers,

Sasha

June 4, 2020, 10:54 a.m.

Stuart Kent

Thank you Sasha and Binod for raising and sharing thoughts about this,

My attention was particularly caught by your insight Binod that *nobody in
this world is resilient rather everybody is vulnerable *- and also
reflecting on how conversations around vulnerability and resilience so
often circle around the individual. I find myself thinking - to what extent
can an individual person, household or community ever be resilient within
fragile and 'non'-resilient systems and societies. Does the combination of
humanitarian style targeting, rightly emphasizing rights based in human
individuality, and the pressure for humanitarian actors to move further
into addressing systemic vulnerabilities located at the level of governance
and deep-seating structural issues ever cause us to suffer from a partial
blindness. Whereby we expend effort and resources to address systemic
issues, somewhat ineffectively, at the individual level?

As the COVID crisis seems to be highlighting everyday, individual
resilience can't exist in isolation from functioning and responsive health
systems, social protection systems and so many other fundamental social
goods - including of course *markets* (despite the efforts of some
neoliberalizing flavours of thought and programming to push the
responsibilities of the state onto the individual, often through the
market). This is all to say that this is a great conversation and one that
I think challenges us to consider whether, when we are targeting and
designing interventions, are we addressing the symptoms of vulnerability at
the individual level, or the causes of vulnerability at the systemic level.
Both are worthwhile of course, but I'd argue it's really important for the
sake of effective interventions to have a transparent/coherent approach to
answering that question in each setting, and to keep reflecting on the
extent to which humanitarian tools - geared as they are - are likely to be
effective for working on systemic causes (engaging with power and politics)
rather than symptoms.

To the extent that it's tempting to apply the tools across to other
purposes, there's a risk in further reinforcing the perception that
individuals (and/or/together with markets), rather than states, are capable
of providing fundamental social goods. Individuals and local communities
can, and certainly do, act and adapt and show strength in hard situations,
and interventions should support this as much as possible, but is
(over)-selling resilience/vulnerability as a solely individual attribute
also selling the concept short and letting (#targetgroups) certain duty
bearers and actors off the hook?

Stu

June 4, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

Simon Levine

Ah, finally we are challenging the word ‘vulnerable’! (I’ve been ranting on about it for years.)

Targeting urgent relief on people because they are ‘vulnerable’ is the first nonsense. It is actually very, very rare that when a humanitarian document says ‘vulnerable’ it actually means vulnerable. It usually means poor or in need of assistance. People who are vulnerable are not in urgent need of assistance, they are potentially in need of urgent assistance – and they may also already need some very important assistance to prevent that situation from arising, but it hasn’t arisen yet, otherwise they wouldn’t be vulnerable to it.

The second nonsense id classifying people by vulnerability and then give the most vulnerable assistance, which, let’s admit it, is mostly what we do. It might sound appropriate – but isn’t for lots of reasons. First, reading the list of people that humanitarian agencies have described as “particularly vulnerable” can actually be funny. It usually includes: women, children, the elderly, the disabled, youth just for starters – which already account for about 85% of the population. Then it usually adds other groups like small-holder farmers, the urban poor and a couple more categories that bring the total up to at least 94% of the population. In other words, it conveniently allows us to do whatever we like in the guise of a targeting strategy.

More worryingly, helping people we call vulnerable means that the assistance is not necessarily related to the reason they are vulnerable (or to their pressing needs). Because we conflate vulnerability analysis and needs analysis. And because we just LOVE composite scores of vulnerability and resilience that add up lots of unconnected numbers to come up with a targeting decision, thereby ensuring that it is almost impossible for there to be any logical connection between how we help people with high scores and what the problems were that gave them that score. (And the factors we pre-identify don’t always make people more vulnerable or mean they have more needs. Female headed households?) In fact, I have seen it argued, I wish I could remember where, that one of the key vulnerability factors in a humanitarian crisis was ‘failing to be a member of any group pre-identified as vulnerable and thus excluded from assistance’!

For me, we need to get away from targeting things on people called ‘vulnerable’ altogether. Totally. 100%. In fact we should try and avoid using the word ‘vulnerable’ (as an adjective) altogether in all our documents.

What we are, or should be, interested in are 2 things.

1. Who has which urgent needs? What can we do about that? i.e. who is no longer vulnerable to a shock, because it’s already happened! (You don’t give people medicine because they are vulnerable to a disease, but because they have caught it.)
2. Worry about the processes that make people vulnerable and target action on these processes, NOT on the people we call vulnerable. So, if women and girls are “vulnerable” to SGBV because they have to go out into forests to collect firewood when there are armed men running around, don’t then target assistance on women and girls because they are vulnerable. (Not all women or girls are ‘vulnerable’ to this problem, eg the rich might not have to go to collect firewood.) Instead, work to remove the danger. Make it safe to go into the forest or remove the need to go into the forest. That is, in a sense, assistance which is not targeted at individually vulnerable people, but assistance targeted at a problem, at a process of vulnerability.

The same logic applies to Covid. We need to ensure that people get the urgent support that they need – eg SocProt, ECT, whatever. (yes, hard to target, but that’s a different kind of difficulty!). And we need to address the processes that cause the risk for people of falling into such need. Those risks include both (i) the risk of disease transmission (which we could help mitigate, eg providing washing stations at markets, distributing masks, promoting mobile cash payments, whatever the public health people tell us is best), and (ii) the risk of the collapse of livelihoods – which we could mitigate eg by helping ensure that market activity continues as well as possible.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t worry about targeting or helping the poorest, those most at risk of falling into acute need, etc. By identifying the processes that cause their vulnerabilities, affect them most of all (eg people dependant on informal markets, refugees who can’t go to work for fear of the police at checkpoints, etc etc), and by targeting our efforts and resource on mitigating these processes, we are targeting our work on them. And because the help we offer is directly linked to removing the vulnerability problem, we don’t get into the same problems as if we’d targeted people who we place in vulnerable categories. For example, disabled people don’t necessarily need a bigger food ration. Some can and do work. If they can’t, then they may need a bigger hand-out because they can’t work, and presumably this would mean that able-bodied people who can’t find work should also get the same hand-out? What disabled people do need is help to remove the constraint on finding work that their disability presents (the process of vulnerability). That might not be relevant in a Covid timeframe, but this vulnerability nonsense has been going on long before Covid and sadly is likely to continue long after.

OK, rant over. Time to finish writing up my paper on gender and displacement, which I promise won’t have the word vulnerable in it.

Have a good day, all.

S

Simon Levine
Senior Research Fellow

Humanitarian Policy Group
Overseas Development Institute
203 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7922 8224
E-mail: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]> Web: www.odi.org.uk <http: www.odi.org.uk="">

June 4, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

Helene Juillard

This is a great development of the conversation! And for me show that nobody is vulnerable per se (the infamous “targeting the most vulnerable” where you open the bracket and then include children, women, people living with disabilities, etc.). Individuals are vulnerable to certain types of events not intrinsically vulnerable. It seems for example that children are not that vulnerable to COVID-19 whereas older people are.
This question is not only conceptual but should really make us think: what is it that we are trying to solve? Which vulnerabilities do we want to tackle: are we trying to reduce vulnerabilities to COVID-19 or socio economic vulnerabilities that may have been exacerbated by the consequences of the COVID-19? These should be answered before launching a market analysis, as it will shape the questions you are trying to answer through the exercise.

- To what extent are market actors vulnerable to COVID-19? Or how can we reduce risks of contamination at market places? (Looking at market infrastructures, relation ships in between market actors, payment modalities available, etc.)

- In a context of COVID-19 can we use local market to deliver our sectoral or multi sectoral response? (Looking at supply capacity, market integration, etc.)

- How can we support market actors in the context of COVID-19 so they can continue to provide quality key commodities at a reasonable prices to a given catchment group?
I’m sure they are more potential objectives for market analysis in a context of COVID-19, do you have any examples in mind?

Helene

June 4, 2020, 8:37 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Binod,
You've laid it all out really well... and I completely agree with you on
re-thinking 'vulnerability'. We've needed to have this conversation for
years, and I really want to hear: *knowing what you know now* how people
would define "vulnerable" or what criteria would you use?

I definitely want to think more about the opportunity for growth of small
rural enterprises that might be in front of us... but first... tell us more
about vulnerability folks!

Karri

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 8:37 AM Binod Koirala <

June 4, 2020, 7:36 a.m.

Binod Koirala

Hi Sasha,

Interesting question!

· I think this pandemic has given a clear cut message to us-nobody in this world is resilient rather everybody is vulnerable. We have seen how this pandemic has affected even the royal families, prime ministers, ministers or top businesspersons. Thus, we now need to start thinking and redefining the scope of ‘vulnerability’ from a new perspective, which might ask for a universal approach for the assistance such as UBI rather than the ‘targeted’ traditional approach.

· For the targeting process, we have started integrating one more inclusion criteria to our usual list-daily wage laborers who had been primarily working in the informal sector and who have lost their job because of this pandemic situation.

· In terms of the targeting challenges, as we (have to) work closely with the governments, and in many contexts, as the governments follow ‘one door policy’ for the relief distributions, we need to ‘harmonize’ our targeting process with that of theirs. In some cases, such targeting process might be ‘influenced’ or ‘diverted’ leading to the inclusion and exclusion errors of the most vulnerable.

· For this response, there is a growing call to integrate the humanitarian cash with the social protection system of the government. As we know, the value of humanitarian cash is generally bigger than that of social protection. However, the humanitarian cash has relatively a short life-span (and vice versa). As such, how to make a balance between these twos, and to identify a suitable intervention to address this gap including the advocacy is also an important question for us.

· Based on the large-scale migration trend (from urban to the rural areas) as seen in many countries (e.g. India), I also agree with Karri that rural people should be less vulnerable than the urban ones. This situation could lead to the growth in rural economy including their enterprises in future as a ‘sustainable means’.

Binod Koirala
CVA Specialist, Plan International HQ

June 3, 2020, 4:20 p.m.

[Hidden email]

The chart laying out the timelines and interventions is great Ben!
I found it a useful reference point for thinking about timing of activities that have had to "pivot" due to COVID.

I'm curious if people think that donors are allowing the necessary changes to happen in a timely manner (and make these suggested timelines realistic)?

Karri

June 3, 2020, 2:23 p.m.

[Hidden email]

At the very beginning of COVID, my expectation was that rural people would be less vulnerable, and urban people would be more vulnerable, because they are so much closer together and rely on food producers who may be far away.
Field staff... was that guess right or has it turned out differently?
Karri

June 3, 2020, 1:42 p.m.

Emily Sloane

Hi all – passing on this message from Dan Norell, which somehow didn’t get sent out to you all:

Dear MiC,

On May 27, the co-authors of the journal article “Better together: improving food security and nutrition by linking market and food systems” shared an Inclusive Food and Market Systems Model to improve food security and nutrition. Here is the link to the article: https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/full/10.3362/1755-1986.19-00008 <https: url?u="https-3A__www.developmentbookshelf.com_doi_full_10.3362_1755-2D1986.19-2D00008&d=DwMGaQ&c=0u3nQZwm2He4OdaqbWh55g&r=J941oUuew_FrhjPtibPvF1n0vkOpiUZaizWag_Xn0_k&m=8iJ7MfoBvtpHCRIEueYFBP7hKyGw5SLbRn_f7fChHOI&s=YM_rwCkniHPwpdKEFXqjXwgYCoHUTgI7XR7cRzVc_Aw&e=" urldefense.proofpoint.com="" v2="">

Here is a link to the presentation: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=EDM+Better+Together%3a+Market+and+Food+Systems+to+Imrprove+Nutrition+video&view=detail&mid=54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF&FORM=VIRE&cc=US&setlang=en-US&cvid=3b0fc9b0a7a34f9bbd8343946b6ccd00&qs=SW&nclid=4AF7EE76A1D3AB5B00A1FA8C23F9AF25&ts=1591188203082 <https: url?u="https-3A__www.bing.com_videos_search-3Fq-3DEDM-2BBetter-2BTogether-253a-2BMarket-2Band-2BFood-2BSystems-2Bto-2BImrprove-2BNutrition-2Bvideo-26view-3Ddetail-26mid-3D54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF-26FORM-3DVIRE-26cc-3DUS-26setlang-3Den-2DUS-26cvid-3D3b0fc9b0a7a34f9bbd8343946b6ccd00-26qs-3DSW-26nclid-3D4AF7EE76A1D3AB5B00A1FA8C23F9AF25-26ts-3D1591188203082&d=DwMGaQ&c=0u3nQZwm2He4OdaqbWh55g&r=J941oUuew_FrhjPtibPvF1n0vkOpiUZaizWag_Xn0_k&m=8iJ7MfoBvtpHCRIEueYFBP7hKyGw5SLbRn_f7fChHOI&s=SX0JlO89qpulEKSoDwWtl9Gc5r1e49BQyxY8t4aLMW0&e=" urldefense.proofpoint.com="" v2="">

Below is an excerpt of the presentation regarding adaptations to COVID-19.

We are all trying to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with its impact on the food security situation. Here are some beginning observations. Below we are taking the Inclusive Market and Food Systems Model and providing programming recommendations.
The first area is available and affordable nutritious foods. In this area village agents that the project has trained are delivering to the farm gate seeds, other agriculture inputs, and alternative livelihood inputs. This allows for producers to stay in their homes. We have developed a village agent guidance in the “Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide that is found on the Agrilinks website.
https://www.agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/field_guide_iv_0.pdf <https: url?u="https-3A__www.agrilinks.org_sites_default_files_field-5Fguide-5Fiv-5F0.pdf&d=DwMGaQ&c=0u3nQZwm2He4OdaqbWh55g&r=J941oUuew_FrhjPtibPvF1n0vkOpiUZaizWag_Xn0_k&m=8iJ7MfoBvtpHCRIEueYFBP7hKyGw5SLbRn_f7fChHOI&s=hKD179BLuhfLjv7z6Cccl6ipj33zNDIftmW96wj53Zg&e=" urldefense.proofpoint.com="" v2="">

Village agents supervise savings groups that collect savings via mobile money. In some countries these agents oversee savings groups and promote groups to conduct their meetings and savings and credit via mobile platforms. For example in some parts of Ethiopia you cannot have more than 4 people in a meeting. The agents work with the savings group officers and the World Vision field officers to ensure that the groups are saving and that their savings is safe. If a mobile platform is not possible among Savings Group members, the Chairperson and Treasurer may go together door to door and collect savings and give loans to each members until COVID 19 restriction end.

Secondly, with the gender and cultural aspects of food, projects will need to focus more on local markets and nutrient dense foods. With greater stress on families domestic violence directed toward women and children is found to be at a higher rate that before the pandemic. More attention needs to be given to intra-household dialog on financial management. UNICEF has put out “5 actions for gender equality” technical note that may be of help for programmers. Here is the link: https://blogs.unicef.org/blog/covid-19-gender-equality-5-actions/ <https: url?u="https-3A__blogs.unicef.org_blog_covid-2D19-2Dgender-2Dequality-2D5-2Dactions_&d=DwMGaQ&c=0u3nQZwm2He4OdaqbWh55g&r=J941oUuew_FrhjPtibPvF1n0vkOpiUZaizWag_Xn0_k&m=8iJ7MfoBvtpHCRIEueYFBP7hKyGw5SLbRn_f7fChHOI&s=EjvQZl70OH3JbbzRftay_GkxkvjFdVwc4BB-GRAZQlo&e=" urldefense.proofpoint.com="" v2="">

We need to pivot to focus more on mobile transfers to bring people across the digital divide, home gardens and community gardens to improve nutrition, and Ultra-Poor Graduation programming. World Vision Bangladesh’s Ultra-Poor Graduation component in the Nobo Jatra food security project has 91.5% of households consuming the vegetables and half of these households were selling excess produce at local markets thus generating additional income.

Thirdly, development professionals need to engage with government to promote nutrition-sensitive policy and regulation. For example, allowing local markets to reopen. Reopening may include special restrictions like having facemasks, handling of sanitizers, and where possible, social distancing at these markets. Also local government needs to focus on food safety and availability close by to the homes of food insecure families.

Thanks!

Warm regards,

Dan Norell

Senior Technical Advisor
World Vision
Washington, D.C.

June 3, 2020, 1:07 p.m.

Ben Taylor

Hi Sasha,

Interesting question.

In the programmes where we're trying to adapt our work to the current
context, we have tried to revisit the four cornerstones of programme design:

- Development objectives
- Geographies
- Sectors
- Target groups

Generally, programmes that are up and running will have a good knowledge of
these areas and so they're likely to remain the areas where the programme
can best contribute. Of course, you will then have new entrants to that
target group (newly unemployed people) which may have different
characteristics than those you were working with previously.

We've then segmented the types of impact that will be felt by these groups
in relation to the virus, each of which has a different timeframe of
relevance which, in turn dictates the best intervention response.

*Impact type*

*Timeframe*

*EG Intervention type*

1. Direct impact of contracting COVID-19 on target group

2 Weeks

Short-term social protection to prevent economic dropouts, remigration etc.

2. Impact of dependents and/or financial/social support providers
contracting COVID-19/isolating to prevent contraction of virus

6 months

Direct support to relevant markets to prevent systems collapsing –
supporting service providers/providing short-term services. Key markets
include remittances, childcare etc

3. Impact of government restrictions to control spread of the virus

12 Months

Focus on analysis, research and advocacy to adjust policy of government and
aid actors – ensure support works through markets and considers excluded
groups.

4. New opportunities created through COVID-19 response

12+ months

Catalytic interventions to help local markets respond quickly to
opportunities – i.e. import substitution

5. Impact of likely recovery policies implemented post COVID-19

10 years

Market systems development with analysis focused on new constraints based
on new context

Very interested to hear feedback on this as we're (like most) only
beginning to conduct analysis and intervention design on this basis very
recently.

Thanks,

Dr. Ben Taylor
*CEO*

W: www.agoraglobal.org
Skype: ben.taylor.cambridge

Agora Global is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Co. No.
11297828

June 3, 2020, 12:54 p.m.

Dan Norell

Dear MiC,

On May 27, the co-authors of the journal article “Better together: improving food security and nutrition by linking market and food systems” shared an Inclusive Food and Market Systems Model to improve food security and nutrition. Here is the link to the article: https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/full/10.3362/1755-1986.19-00008

Here is a link to the presentation: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=EDM+Better+Together%3a+Market+and+Food+Systems+to+Imrprove+Nutrition+video&view=detail&mid=54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF54C34FFCCF8725CE2DBF&FORM=VIRE&cc=US&setlang=en-US&cvid=3b0fc9b0a7a34f9bbd8343946b6ccd00&qs=SW&nclid=4AF7EE76A1D3AB5B00A1FA8C23F9AF25&ts=1591188203082

Below is an excerpt of the presentation regarding adaptations to COVID-19.

We are all trying to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with its impact on the food security situation. Here are some beginning observations. Below we are taking the Inclusive Market and Food Systems Model and providing programming recommendations.
The first area is available and affordable nutritious foods. In this area village agents that the project has trained are delivering to the farm gate seeds, other agriculture inputs, and alternative livelihood inputs. This allows for producers to stay in their homes. We have developed a village agent guidance in the “Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide that is found on the Agrilinks website.
https://www.agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/field_guide_iv_0.pdf

Village agents supervise savings groups that collect savings via mobile money. In some countries these agents oversee savings groups and promote groups to conduct their meetings and savings and credit via mobile platforms. For example in some parts of Ethiopia you cannot have more than 4 people in a meeting. The agents work with the savings group officers and the World Vision field officers to ensure that the groups are saving and that their savings is safe. If a mobile platform is not possible among Savings Group members, the Chairperson and Treasurer may go together door to door and collect savings and give loans to each members until COVID 19 restriction end.

Secondly, with the gender and cultural aspects of food, projects will need to focus more on local markets and nutrient dense foods. With greater stress on families domestic violence directed toward women and children is found to be at a higher rate that before the pandemic. More attention needs to be given to intra-household dialog on financial management. UNICEF has put out “5 actions for gender equality” technical note that may be of help for programmers. Here is the link: https://blogs.unicef.org/blog/covid-19-gender-equality-5-actions/

We need to pivot to focus more on mobile transfers to bring people across the digital divide, home gardens and community gardens to improve nutrition, and Ultra-Poor Graduation programming. World Vision Bangladesh’s Ultra-Poor Graduation component in the Nobo Jatra food security project has 91.5% of households consuming the vegetables and half of these households were selling excess produce at local markets thus generating additional income.

Thirdly, development professionals need to engage with government to promote nutrition-sensitive policy and regulation. For example, allowing local markets to reopen. Reopening may include special restrictions like having facemasks, handling of sanitizers, and where possible, social distancing at these markets. Also local government needs to focus on food safety and availability close by to the homes of food insecure families.

Thanks!

Warm regards,

Dan Norell

Senior Technical Advisor
World Vision
Washington, D.C.

June 3, 2020, 12:37 p.m.

Sasha Muench

Thanks for all of the great examples of market adaptation around the
world. As the Nepal and Senegal cases show, some actors have been able to
seize opportunities in this pandemic. But other households and producers
are suffering from logistical challenges and lower prices. *What does
“vulnerability” mean in the context of COVID*? Do you separate short-term
vulnerability from pre-COVID vulnerability? *What challenges have you had
determining target groups for your analysis and interventions *when the
scale is so large?

Please let us know how you are prioritizing participants and any unique
challenges you are facing with targeting.

Cheers,

Sasha