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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Toward Resilience: Improving Market-based Responses to Disasters

by on Jul 27, 2017  |  posted in Disaster Risk Reduction, Market Development  |  0 Comments

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When disasters repeatedly hit poor populations, the market actors they rely on to cope and recover also face set-backs, leaving vulnerable groups without the support needed to finance and maintain their economic activities. When aid actors take on support roles to spark recovery, they often undermine, rather than strengthen, the existing networks and businesses which are critical for building resilience. Programs aimed to meet basic needs and jumpstart livelihoods increasingly include market assessments and support market vendors, but examples of facilitation-based approaches to support market recovery are still limited.

This webinar shared findings from a recent issues brief completed by Mercy Corps with funding from JP Morgan Chase which explores existing research and examples of natural disaster response and recovery efforts that have used market systems approaches to achieve more sustainable economic impact. We discussed lessons from programs in Nepal and Ethiopia, which partnered with a range of market actors to ensure households had access to the finance, goods, and services needed to support their livelihood activities in the wake of natural disasters. The webinar also covered implications for donors, implementers, and the private sector to improve disaster response and recovery.

An Issues Brief is forthcoming.


Sarah Ward, Livelihoods and Economic Recovery in Crisis

Sarah WardSarah is a post-conflict/post-disaster market systems specialist with more than 17 years technical experience adapting market development approaches to some of the world’s most challenging contexts. She is currently an independent consultant supporting economic resilience and recovery and recently the Technical Advisor for Enterprise Development at the International Rescue Committee as well as the Director of Market Development for Mercy Corps.

Alison Hemberger, Senior Advisor for Markets and Learning, Mercy Corps

 Alison HembergerAs Mercy Corps’ Senior Advisor for Markets and Learning, Alison supports the agency’s global programs in market systems approaches and adaptive management, with a focus on fragile contexts. Prior to her current role, Alison served as Mercy Corps Liberia’s Director of Results Management where she guided learning on agriculture market development and the economic response to Ebola. Before joining Mercy Corps, Alison worked across sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America on systems-based approaches to development, including work with Skoll Foundation, USAID, IADB, Technoserve, CARE, and Innovations for Poverty Action. Alison holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School with a focus on Political and Economic Development.

Prasanna Pradhan, Market System Development Component Manager, Mercy Corps Nepal

Prasanna PradhanPrasanna Pradhan is Market System Development Component Manager for Mercy Corps Nepal, providing support on economic and market development in Earthquake Recovery Program. He has 8 years of experience, primarily in the areas of economic and market development, financial services provision, enterprise development, private sector engagement and disaster risk reduction. Prasanna has B.Sc. in Agriculture Economics and M.Sc. in Geographical Information Science.

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