Economic and market resilience before and after shocks


What is the state of evidence on the economic impacts of ‘market support’ interventions before and after a shock?


This report focuses on humanitarian and disaster risk reduction interventions that aim to reinforce economic resilience to anticipated shocks and support economic recovery after a shock, both in situations of natural disasters and conflict. There is limited evidence on the economic impacts of indirect market support interventions because:

  • Providing indirect support to markets is a relatively new area of activity for humanitarian donors
  • Current interventions tend to be small-scale components of larger programmes and not the focus of attention of programme evaluations
  • There is a gap in understanding of how to measure the success of indirect market interventions
  • It can be difficult to distinguish between market response targeted directly to populations affected by crises, and support to whole market systems – in particular when looking at longer-term interventions and livelihood approaches.

The review provides some illustrative case studies to show the type of evidence and findings available. The literature highlights several key recommendations:

  • Recognising that this is an area with huge potential, but with a need to fill significant gaps in understanding of how and where humanitarian agencies should engage
  • Improving pre- and post- crisis market analysis through: assessing markets before crises happen when crises are anticipated; understanding market systems more broadly to inform creative market interventions rather than just as a delivery mechanism for humanitarian assistance; and understanding the market as a system through engaging with a broad range of market actors
  • Building relationships between humanitarian and development fields to understand and strengthen synergies along the market-based programming continuum
  • Improving collaboration between the humanitarian and private sectors.


Suggested citation

Carter, B. (2016). Economic and market resilience before and after shocks (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1328). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.