Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis Tool

Date of Design: 
Practical Action
Pathway Component: 
Agricultural Income, Value Chains & Market Systems, Food Expenditure, Food Prices, Food Production, Processing & Storage


Brief Description: The Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis Toolkit (EMMA) helps front-line staff conduct rapid assessments of market systems in the first few weeks of a crisis. EMMA is designed for generalists, as well as specialist staff working in the food security, shelter, water, and sanitation sectors. Its ten practical steps will help users to understand the important market aspects of an emergency situation and communicate this knowledge promptly and effectively to decisionmakers.

Uses: The purpose of the EMMA toolkit is to improve early response planning so that resources are used effectively and opportunities to bolster future recovery in the local economy are not missed. The toolkit helps to: 

  • Make early decisions about the wisdom of different direct-response options.
  • Assess opportunities for complementary ‘indirect’ actions.
  • Reduce the risk of doing harm.
  • Assist in monitoring the performance and accessibility of market systems.
  • Improve the quality of disaster preparedness
  • Define the requirements for more detailed market analysis.

Tool Components: The toolkit is comprised of ten essential steps:

Step 1: Essential preparation

Step 2: Market selection

Step 3: Preliminary analysis

Step 4: Preparation for fieldwork

Step 5: Fieldwork activities and interviews

Step 6: Mapping the market system

Step 7: Gap analysis

Step 8: Market-system analysis

Step 9: Response analysis

Step 10: Communication results


Number of Staff Required: This can range from one individual to a small team. One end of the spectrum is the small single-handed process; the other end is the large team-based process, which requires an experienced EMMA leader who will train a small team of local interviewers and assessors.

Time: EMMA can take between two and four weeks to implement. Variables include the context and the scale of the emergency. It also depends on resources, the number of market systems to be studied, and the number of staff used.

Cost of Assessment: This will vary depending on the number of market systems included in the analysis and the context in which the assessment is taking place. A case study of a 12-day EMMA in Liberia indicates the total budget was $18,237, most of which was spent on staff.

Training: A five-day International Rescue Committee-organized EMMA training is offered on a semi-regular basis. This full training course is not necessary for all interviewers participating in an EMMA; the team leader can organize a short in-country training or induction course for EMMA field teams. An outline is included in the EMMA reference manual on CD-ROM.

Geographic Targeting: The geographic area of interest will be determined by the emergency impact area, the mandate of the lead agency, and political or security considerations.

Type of Data Collection: The EMMA toolkit includes methods such including semi-formal questionnaires, structured interviews and focus group discussions. 

Degree of Technical Difficulty: EMMA assumes limited previous experience of economic or market analysis. For this reason, EMMA tries to avoid tools that require refined quantitative skills. However, those who conduct and lead EMMA processes will need strong analytical skills and would benefit from prior assessment experience.

Complements other Resources: The EMMA relies on a variety of secondary data, including assessments conducted by other agencies. Conversely, EMMA analysis and results can often feed into other assessments.

This summary is part of a larger resource called the Context Assessment Tool Locator.