22 June 2012

Market traders in more-efficient-than-UN-logistics shocker

Because of poor infrastructure in DRC, transporting large quantities of NFIs can be costly and slow. Vendors already familiar with the fair methodology are able to mobilise for fairs in less than a week. Initially UNICEF believed that it would be difficult to persuade vendors to travel beyond a certain radius from their centre of activity. However, the attraction of potential customers at a fair draws vendors from far and wide, and vendors have shown creativity and agility in transporting large quantities of supplies to fairs in areas that are hard to access by even the best NGO and UN logistics teams. Partners have set up fairs in areas where it would have been logistically nearly impossible to mobilise for large distributions. In 2010, UNICEF partners paid upwards of $3.5 million to hundreds of local vendors, allowing them to expand their capital, open new shops, hire additional employees and contribute to the recovery of the local commercial sector. [emphasis mine]
Paul Harvey and Sarah Bailey: Cash transfer programming in emergencies

Sometimes I wonder if there isn't some truth to Bill Easterly's slightly paranoid "the aid industry is Marxist!!" ranting.

1 comment:

Laura Seay said...

This creative entrepreneurial spirit is why I don't think efforts to stop the flow of conflict minerals from DRC will work. They'll find a way. 

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