Natural disasters can have profound impacts on the social and economic fabric of affected communities. These evolve over time, responding to the strength of community coping mechanisms, the effectiveness of the aid effort and changes in the wider social and economic environment. As time goes on, the needs and priorities of affected communities change accordingly. Understanding these evolving impacts and needs is vital for effectively delivering post-disaster assistance. To this end, the third phase of Post-Nargis Social Impacts Monitoring (SIM 3) assesses three areas:
1. Aid effectiveness: this analyses the recovery effort at the village level as experienced by affected villagers. It examines how much and what types of aid people are getting, needs and shortfalls, how assistance is being targeted and delivered, how decisions are made, and how complaints are resolved.
2. Socioeconomic impacts: this analyses the ongoing impacts of Nargis on key occupational groups such as farmers, fishermen and casual labourers. It examines livelihoods, debt and credit and coping mechanisms.
3. Social relations and institutions: this explores how Nargis and the subsequent aid effort have affected social capital, the capacity in villages for collective action, group relations within villages (among gender, age, religious and ethnic groups), inter-village relations and relations among villagers and their leaders. It also reviews how local level institutions have changed in the past two years, and their role in shaping recovery.
SIM 3 builds on and uses the same methodology as the previous two rounds of social impacts monitoring, undertaken in November 2008 and June 2009, respectively. It is based on in-depth qualitative interviews, focus groups discussions and key informant interviews involving over 960 villagers in 40 villages in the eight townships across the Delta that were most affected by the cyclone.