Generating evidence on the effect of cash relief on local markets

Although there is substantial research on the impact of cash assistance on beneficiary-level outcomes in humanitarian contexts, including on the comparative impacts of cash and vouchers, there is relatively little evidence on the effect of cash and vouchers on markets. Most of the existing research on this topic focuses on indirect economic impact rather than the direct impact at the local market or vendor level. In addition, there are major gaps in knowledge and practice related to humanitarian market support programming, including how businesses cope in crisis contexts and which aspects of market systems should be supported and how. 

The goal of this study is to generate evidence that will help promote the uptake and design of emergency response and early recovery programming that supports the improved functioning of market systems that are crucial to crisis-affected populations. This research will do so by undertaking the following activities: 

  1. Establish indicators to measure vendor health in market places 
  2. Qualitatively assess the effect of cash and voucher assistance on vendors 
  3. Develop guidance on designing market support interventions 

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.