The role of evidence in humanitarian assessment: The seed system security assessment and the emergency market mapping and analysis

Karri Goeldner Byrne, Julie March, Shawn McGuire, Laura Meissner, Louise Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews advances in the development and use of two evidence-based assessment toolkits: the Seed System Security Assessment (SSSA) and the Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA). Both were created in the past five years and have been employed in a range of acute and chronic stress contexts across Africa, Asia, and parts of the Americas, in periods of civil strife, displacement, and drought, as well as following earthquakes, flooding, and political instability. The aims of this paper are threefold: to review advances with regard to each tool; to compare how each toolkit gathers and uses evidence, while considering possibilities for greater complementarity; and to reflect on the nature of 'evidence' used to guide humanitarian response in sudden-onset and chronic crisis situations. A comparison highlights the importance of triangulation and informed analysis for drawing conclusions from imperfect evidence, understanding the limitations of each assessment methodology, and confronting tacit assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S83–S104
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

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