Markets in crises is fast becoming an area of interest within the humanitarian community. Most attention has been on undertaking assessments to find out whether markets are functioning well enough to use cash transfers, or on how humanitarian agencies can work with the private sector to deliver aid.
There is little literature on how institutions and the politics of power affect how markets function in crises and how this in turn affects people’s livelihoods. Better understanding of these questions may offer directions for humanitarian assistance to interact in different ways with markets, either indirectly or even directly; and for those who are supporting business development in countries where crises are frequent to help markets to continue to function in ways that benefit people in crisis hit areas.
To inform this research, roundtable meetings were held in Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Mali.