Using the Standards
This resource is not a ‘how to’ for implementing economic programs in humanitarian contexts. Its intent is to provide the reader with guidance on what good programming looks like and what to consider when you are planning your activities.
You can read each section separately or in sequence. Each section contains cross-references to other chapters or sections that may also be relevant, because many of the Standards or actions are linked. Use the figure on page 1 to guide you.
Understanding the Opportunity
This study discusses the potential role that Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) can play in disaster risk reduction activities and in mapping the disaster-related vulnerabilities of clients in order to assess opportunities for more effective disaster preparedness.
Habitat for Humanity India (HFHI) has years of experience providing shelter in tandem with disaster response and risk reduction services. The increasing frequency and severity of disasters has stimulated HFHI to strengthen disaster preparedness in the communities they serve. As part of its disaster risk reduction solutions, HFHI is piloting a disaster insurance product to complement and enhance social security measures within its beneficiary communities.
This case study examines an Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance’s (AKAM) client-centric model to microfinancing in Syria. While microfinance institutions cannot prevent crises, they can work effectively with communities to help them prepare for, mitigate, recover from and adapt to crises. As such, crisis management initiatives aimed at increasing client resiliency are an integral part of AKAM’s goal to ensure that services go beyond meeting the immediate economic needs of clients and contribute to overall improvement of quality of life.
The seamless integration of disaster risk reduction into overall business planning means that, when disaster does strike, the company is well prepared to manage the impact and respond quickly. All of this helps fulfill Global Communities’ mission to build safer, more resilient communities.
The following report explores three innovative approaches used by Vitas Group and Global Communities to successfully grow the financial inclusion sector in the Middle East over the last 20 years, despite the region’s persistent political and economic instability:
In an effort to improve the capabilities and accountability of humanitarian and economic practitioners, the SEEP (Small Enterprise Education and Promotion) Network's Minimum Economic Recovery Standards focus on minimum industry standards for facilitating economic recovery in crisis situations. The handbook sets out strategies and interventions designed to improve income, cash flow, asset management, and growth among crisis-affected households and enterprises. These include financial services, productive assets, employment, and enterprise development.
In 2007, the "Advancing Microfinance for
Post-Disaster Economic Reconstruction" (AMPER) project of ShoreBank International
(SBI) conducted a household livelihood survey in the Pakistani Azad Jammu
and Kashmir (AJK) region, following the 2005 earthquake. This case study
explores the challenges, successes, and lessons of this survey. Its primary
objective is to highlight concrete examples of best practices in survey
implementation in challenging environments for microfinance providers,
as well as other development actors.
The importance of market surveys and assessments
is well known. But how can programs execute them efficiently and cost effectively,
especially in challenging situations? This document outlines the key lessons
learned for cost-effective implementation of a household livelihoods
survey, drawn from the experience of a successful effort in earthquake-affected
The programmatic focus of the Minimum Economic
Recovery Standards (ERS) is on strategies and interventions designed to
promote enterprises, employment, and cash flow and asset management among
affected enterprises and livelihoods. These include four distinct technical
program areas: financial services, asset interventions, employment creation,
and enterprise development. It emphasizes encouraging enterprises and livelihoods
to restart or improve markets.