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Oxfam, among other NGOs, has often operated with a ‘programming’ divide between humanitarian and development departments. This has several fundamental implications.

Firstly, while development programmes focus on the ‘market ready’, those people with some assets and who are able to make use of  market opportunities, emergency relief programmes tend to assist the most vulnerable in a crisis affected population, who often have very few assets and limited livelihood options.

This gap means that, in practice, longer-term programmes do not regularly target or provide sustained support for poorer populations, nor are they often able or ready to deal with crises that arise during interventions. Moreover, few emergency programmes regularly develop into longer term work. This effectively reduces the chance of longer term thinking and programme design for the more vulnerable members of society. If we are serious about building resilience and addressing vulnerability and poverty – this needs to be dealt with.

This case study charts the process, successes and learning from Oxfam’s pilot joint market analysis in Guatemala.


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