Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Markets in crises: a humanitarian or development problem?

Time (GMT +00) 16:00 17:30

Simon Levine - Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI


Helene Juillard - Independent Humanitarian Consultant  

Lili Mohiddin - Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods consultant

Mike Albu - Programme Director, BEAM Exchange


Although both humanitarians and development practitioners work on markets, they are often separated by different perspectives and use very different tools and approaches in their work.

Humanitarians sometimes complain that development economists aren’t interested in crises because, just when they are needed, the data gets too unreliable. Development markets experts may find it hard to work with agencies who rush into crisis-hit areas and start up large interventions without understanding how markets have been working – or even realising what they need to know.

Many would argue that the divide between these two fields (just one part of the relief-development divide) is artificial and counterproductive. But are markets in crises just another illustration of why it’s unrealistic to expect humanitarians and development practitioners to work together? Or is support for markets the battleground where the final victory over this artificial divide will be won?

HPG, the Markets in Crises group and BEAM Exchange have decided that the most neutral battleground for a debate on the issue is the pub, and they are inviting professionals from both humanitarian and development communities of practice to meet each other, share ideas and argue (politely). Join us for an informal gathering in The Mad Hatter pub for heated debates, candid discussions - and drinks!

Want more on markets? Join us beforehand at ODI for a discussion about how humanitarians can better understand markets and engage with the private sector in crises.