Collecting data on needs in Yemen amidst frustrating fuel and electricity cuts

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During crises, humanitarian actors must rapidly collect data to help them understand what people’s needs are, and design actions accordingly. Difficult under any circumstances, the situation in Yemen is complicated by the lack of fuel entering the country.

“With enduring fuel shortages, strictly prioritising how we use cars has been necessary for maintaining key humanitarian aid delivery and also identifying the most pressing needs to have emerged.” maintains ACTED Yemen’s Country Director.

Mohammed is ACTED’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer covering Al Dhale’e governorate, a region particularly hard hit by conflict. Since the onset of the crisis, Mohammed has supervised the collection of data in the field in Al Dhale’e, and analysed the data before sharing it with humanitarian stakeholders – all within the space of 5 days. In Yemen’s context where fuel and electricity is in short supply, a resourceful attitude is important for getting this work done on time.

So what can agencies do when options are limited? Mohammed has been training ACTED’s network of local partners and cooperative associations in Ad Dhale’e.

Nonetheless, Mohammed has found himself working long hours to send data on time – “You always have to be prepared for these eventualities,” he says, “you never know what is about to happen, or what difficulties you will face”.

However, Mohammed was prepared, and the assessment of needs called MIRA, is now complete. Now, the whole humanitarian community can use information collected by Mohammed’s teams to ensure their projects meet those most in need.

Key number: Yemen imports 90% of its staple food and is a majority fuel importer. During the ongoing conflict, neither is getting in.

What does MIRA mean? Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment. Used during and immediately after major crises, the MIRA helps organisations to pool their resources and collect as much information as possible, in a short timeframe. This allows the humanitarian community to plan its response effectively.