The EMMA toolkit is a guidance manual for humanitarian staff in sudden-onset emergencies. It aims to improve emergency responses by encouraging and assisting relief agencies to better understand, support and make use of local market-systems in disaster zones.
EMMA offers a quick, rough-and-ready analysis with practical recommendations that are suitable for the early stages of emergencies. It does not rely on users having specialist economic or market analysis skills; and it is broad in scope: addressing survival needs, livelihood protection and the transition to economic recovery.
The rationale for EMMA is that better understanding of the critical market systems in a disaster situation enables agencies to consider a broader range of humanitarian responses. The EMMA process assists agencies to address humanitarian needs more effectively, while also not hindering economic recovery by side-lining the local private sector.
Use of the EMMA toolkit can give humanitarian agencies more confidence in non-conventional relief activities: for example, cash-based interventions, local procurement and other innovative forms of support to market actors (e.g. traders). Better use of local market-system capabilities can, in turn, mean more efficient use of humanitarian resources, faster economic recovery and less risk of long-term dependency on outside assistance.
The EMMA toolkt was published in January 2010. During its first 12 months, it was used in several major emergency situations, including after the Haitian earthquake, civil unrest in Kyrgyzstan, an earthquake in Indonesia, catastrophic flooding in Pakistan and later Vietnam.
The EMMA toolkit was originally conceived and realised by Oxfam and . It was commissioned through Practical Action Consulting; developed and tested in consultation and collaboration with many other agencies in the humanitarian sector. Financial support also came from InterAction and USAID’s Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
The main author, Mike Albu works with Practical Action’s markets and livelihoods programme.
The core processes and tools described in EMMA are heavily influenced by Practical Action's earlier work on market mapping.