The influence of market support interventions on household food security: An evidence synthesis protocol

Post date Friday, 10 August, 2018 - 08:53
Document Type Tools and Guidance, Report
Content Themes Resilience, Development, Cash and Vouchers, Markets, Food Security
Sources Oxfam


Within the context of the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, and the successful agreement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the humanitarian sector is increasingly recognizing the potential role of markets in achieving not only sustainable economic development but also higher impact humanitarian responses. Additionally, as the gap between needs and funding widens, the increased uptake of cash transfer programmes (CTPs)1 can help close this gap through increased cost efficiency and effectiveness and provide opportunities to improve humanitarian assistance (Center for Global Development, 2015:9). Markets are an integral part of people’s lives, and people are an integral part of markets, so humanitarian responses not only need to be designed with a good understanding of key markets but can also support markets. With this in mind, the goal of market support interventions is to improve the situation of the crisis-affected population by providing support to critical market systems the target population rely on for goods, services, labour or income. These interventions can target specific market actors, services and infrastructures trough dedicated activities (i.e. the market support activities) to enhance outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises, such as households’2 food security.

Humanitarian organizations have increasingly incorporated market assessments in their assessment protocols and response analysis frameworks, yet the implementation of activities supporting the market as a direct result of analysis is not common irrespective of market analysis recommendations (IRC, 2014). As a consequence, the influence of such activities on the lives of people affected by a crisis remains unclear, with the pieces of evidence on this issue scattered.

The purpose of this document is to describe the scope of, and methodology for, an evidence synthesis on the influence of market support interventions on household food security in humanitarian crises so that the search and analysis of the literature can potentially be replicated and tested in the future. As in a similar humanitarian evidence programme piece of systematic research (Maynard, Parker, and Twigg, 2016), an ‘evidence synthesis’ will be undertaken. The intention is to move away from a narrow review of academic research towards a synthesis of evidence including also grey literature, project evaluations and more.

Section 2 of this protocol describes the aim of the review, defines key terms and delineates the scope of the research. Section 3 sets out the analytical framework and in Section 4 a step-by-step description of the evidence synthesis methodology is provided, including an explanation of the inclusion and exclusion criteria and details on the search strategy. Finally, Section 5 of the protocol provides information on how the data will be synthesized and analysed during the search phase. 

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