Using the Conflict Sensitive Market Analysis Tool (CoSMAT):  Pilots in Afghanistan and Colombia

Using the Conflict Sensitive Market Analysis Tool (CoSMAT): Pilots in Afghanistan and Colombia

The humanitarian community using market-based and Cash Voucher Assistance (CVA), has designed many field-focused tools, including a variety of (rapid) market analysis tools. However, aspects of “do no harm” and conflict-sensitivity, especially in fragile contexts, have not yet been standardised in a specific set of tools.  World Vision has sound expertise in conflict sensitivity and works with partners that have significant expertise in rapid market analysis. As such, this initiative is very relevant for World Vision’s operations in fragile contexts, and  also helps other agencies approach context and market analysis, design, response option analysis and implementation as well as monitoring (of context and market dynamics) for effective, needs-tailored delivery mechanisms.​

​The interaction between conflict and market dynamics can significantly undermine programme outcomes, but this could be mitigated by providing early warning indications. Acknowledging that there is currently no tool that enables a robust rapid trend analysis for both local conflict dynamics and market dynamics and how they influence each other, World Vision has developed CoSMAT to help align market performance indicators within a broader context and conflict analysis approach.​

​This tool enables humanitarian agencies and partners to:  ​

  • Rapidly analyse and reflect on the existing risks related to ongoing conflict and markets, and how risks are likely to impact programming;​

  • Use the identified risks to determine conflict sensitive cash and voucher interventions. This tool contributes to the Response Option Analysis (decision on modality and delivery of assistance either via cash, voucher, in-kind or service-provision) process, which should happen prior to finalising the intervention design for a market-based and/or CVAssistance or during the early stages of implementation; and​

  • Regularly monitor and determine local context indicators to trigger changes to the response

The pilot countries of Afghanistan and Colombia were identified based on the complexity of the two contexts, which are heavily impacted by mixed factors of chronic instability, displacement, conflict, and violence. Importantly, both countries have significant experience using CVA as modalities to meet basic needs and empower communities to address their own priorities in a dignified way, and a strong history of working closely with local communities to ensure buy-in from the people World Vision serves. Given the aspects of fragility that impact these two contexts, the CoSMAT - which has been designed to help field teams better understand and monitor key contextual risks that could impact or be impacted by relationships between and amongst communities, market stakeholders and response teams - was deemed highly relevant to ensure an accountable and safe market-based response. ​

This case study briefing explores the experiences of both World Vision Afghanistan and World Vision Colombia in using the CoSMAT and outlines the approaches used, lessons learned and takeaway action points that have contributed to safer, more accountable and conflict-sensitive Cash Voucher Assistance (CVA). ​