The current conflict in northeast Nigeria has spanned for more than a decade and has led to an estimated 8.7 million vulnerable individuals needing some form of humanitarian assistance in 2022, as captured in the Nigeria Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). One of the major implications for these crisis-affected communities is the lack of access to food and non-food items.
The Nigeria Cash Working Group (CWG) partners implement cash-based interventions (CBI) across targeted communities in the areas that are bearing the brunt of the conflict. However, the absence of structured processes to monitor the minimum expenditure basket (MEB) impeded on the coordination and standardization of CBI.
The different approaches to market monitoring by partners produced unharmonized outcomes. This caused difficulty in obtaining verified information on commodities across targeted communities. Joel Anafa, Cash Program Coordinator, Mercy Corps.
In 2019, the CWG launched the JMMI to monitor market performance. In a joint effort with the CWG, JMMI partners collected data on the prices and availability of items across targeted marketplaces where CBI are implemented. Using data sourced from partners who conducted market assessments, iMMAP developed the JMMI factsheet reports. These reports are updated monthly and highlight the price of each item, the changes in prices as well as other indicators.
Mary Sunday, iMMAP IMO Supporting Nigeria CWG and JMMI
Between September 2021 and April 2022, iMMAP co-led and provided technical expertise to the JMMI across BAY states. While providing ongoing information management services, iMMAP also supported this initiative by training data collectors and developing an online, interactive data collection dashboard for monitoring the information submitted by field partners. iMMAP's humanitarian information analysis unit (HIAU) further coordinated data collection activities and consolidated the data captured in the JMMI factsheets.
The initiative has improved market accessibility across BAY states through the frequent release and update of evidence-based information on the prices of items. It has also helped the CWG partners understand the factors influencing market forces and supported them to adjust the value of cash transferred to the beneficiaries accordingly. JMMI plays a critical role in helping the vulnerable groups to have increased access to the markets and their functionalities. iMMAP's support to JMMI improved the frequency of the reports released and enhanced the quality of data presented to partners to determine cash transfers as well as the repository of this data. Ayo Ajayi Ayobamidele, Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Cash, System-wide Approaches and Practices Section, Coordination Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva.