Coping with the Drought Crisis in Somalia: Formative Research Findings from the Resilience Population Measurement (RPM) Project

Elsamahi, M., Ochieng, G.A. & Bedelian, C.
Publication language
Date published
31 May 2023
Research, reports and studies
Drought, Food and nutrition, Recovery and Resillience
Mercy Corps, Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA)

While famine in Somalia has been averted during the first quarter of 2023, 6.5 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance. Throughout the drought, the Somalia Resilience Population Measurement (RPM) Activity has conducted qualitative and quantitative data collection in response to the ongoing drought to better understand if and how households are coping during the crisis. A five-year USAID-funded project implemented by Mercy Corps in coordination with Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), RPM seeks to improve upon current approaches to resilience measurement in order to inform program adaptation and decision-making among implementers, donors, and government representatives. RPM research activities consist of two intertwined components: 1) a panel survey that will trace a diverse set of livelihood groups over five years, and 2) a recurrent monitoring survey, with alternative periods of qualitative and quantitative data collection. Through the RPM activities, Mercy Corps and its partners will explore the extent to which resilience capacities and wellbeing outcomes change over time and probe how resilience stakeholders in the USAID Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) Focal Zone (comprised of Banadir and most of the Southwest State) may or may not be contributing to this change. RPM began in 2021 with a formative phase of research, and this formative round of the recurring monitoring survey (RMS) aimed to answer three overarching questions:

1. What does effective coping mean in the context of the current drought?
2. How are households relying on social networks to cope with the current drought?
3. What are some of the main psychosocial determinants of household resilience against shocks?