The humanitarian response system in Somalia has mechanisms in place for rapid scale-up and sustained programming, including cash and voucher assistance (CVA). Despite the challenging context of COVID-19, 224.8 million United States Dollar (USD) was dispursed through CVA in Somalia by the end of November 2020. The use of CVA, through multi-purpose cash assistance and sectoral cash, is expected to rise throughout 2021, as it remains an effective means of delivering aid.
The Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) is a joint initiative from the Somalia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Shelter, and Education clusters and REACH. It aims to address an information gap in Somalia in terms of regular and updated monitoring of market functionality and a broad range of non-food items (NFIs), while contributing to existing supply chain and price monitoring of the main minimum expenditure basket (MEB) items.
The aim of the JMMI is to harmonize market monitoring, avoid duplications and overlaps in data collection, maximize geographic coverage and ensure a regular and predictable output to inform cluster programming and cash responses. It is a model that REACH has supported to set up and coordinate in several countries.
The assessed items are selected based on needs of the three clusters and their members, currently implementing or planning to implement Market-Based Programming (MBP) and CVA. On the supply side, MBP supports traders to expand their products, for example through providing non-refundable cash grants for business development. On the demand side, CVA is provided to increase access to WASH, shelter, and education commodities.
Data collection takes place on a quarterly basis. The pilot round of the JMMI in Somalia took place in June 2020, in 6 locations with a reduced list of assessed items. The August 2020 round was the first full round of the JMMI, which covered more than 50 items from the WASH and Shelter clusters, in 12 different locations. Atypical circumstances due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, have increased both the demand for an updated monitoring of a broad range of NFIs, and the limitations faced when collecting primary data.
Twenty additional items were added to the JMMI in November 2020, in collaboration with the Somalia Education Cluster, to respond to persisting information gaps on education-related expenses. As of the most recent round in May 2021, the JMMI continues to grow and improve, with partners working together, learning from experience, while delivering the best possible data with transparency and accuracy.