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Testing EMMA in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar following Cyclone Nargis

July, 2008

Cyclone Nargis struck the Ayeyarwady Delta in Myanmar on 2 and 3 May, leaving over 84,000 people dead and more than 50,000 missing. Over 450,000 houses were completely destroyed and 350,000 partially. More than 600,000 hectares of agricultural land were flooded, killing up to 50% of draft animals. Many skilled fishers and processors died in the flooding and the storm.

This report covers the second pilot test of the EMMA Toolkit, conducted in Ayeyarwady Delta during July 2008, in the aftermath of the cyclone. Save the Children hosted the assessment with the dual goals of contributing to the development of EMMA and better understanding critical market systems for the population affected by the cyclone in order to program more effectively. The EMMA pilot took place 11 weeks after Nargis, when the humanitarian response was still in an early operational phase. A number of livelihoods and emergency needs assessments and other surveys were taking place around the same time, which meant that quite a lot of information became available during the pilot test about the impact of Nargis on households and producers. The assessment focused on the fishing net and roofing material market systems.

Main recommendations concerning future implementation of the EMMA Toolkit include the following: are as follows: The methodology and training need to be further simplified. Likewise, the initial EMMA steps leading to selection of critical market systems somehow need to be reduced in complexity or made more intuitive. EMMA needs to give good examples of how supporting traders to recover can help stabilize prices and flow of essential goods more quickly. EMMA users need to properly understand what they are doing in order to make what is essentially a qualitative process work effectively. A future pilot test involving logisticians may help achieve accurate price and quantity data collection. EMMA processes need to be led by individuals with some sufficient previous experience from a mix of humanitarian operations, assessments, livelihoods development or markets work. A grasp of basic economic and market concepts is proving essential for other participants, too. Finally, more help needs to be provided in terms of pro-forma documents and templates for collecting and collating data, including templates for drawing market system maps.

Report authors: 
Mike Albu, Anita Auerbach
Download Report (1.56 MB pdf)