Understanding vulnerabilities for more targeted policies and programming

November 9, 2021

UNDP Guinea-Bissau is conducting a vulnerability mapping to identify and understand the various factors that influence the degree of vulnerability of the country’s households. The study pivots on four basic axes: the assessment of the sources of vulnerability, the correlation between household characteristics and vulnerability to consumption poverty, the multidimensional nature of the vulnerability, and the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups. 

The study is led by economist Julien Bandiaky, who is a consultant for the UNDP’s project “Blue economy as a catalyst for green recovery” and has extensive experience working in international organizations such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank on economic policy and governance issues in Africa. The focus of the mapping is on informal workers, particularly women, in agriculture and blue economy priority sectors such as fisheries, tourism, commerce, or maritime transport. It aims to complete the World Bank poverty analysisUNICEF's recent MICS, and UNDP’s recent survey and study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the private sector “Building forward better for businesses in Guinea Bissau”. 

With a much higher vulnerability rate than the poverty rate (73.1% versus 47.7%) in the country and a total of vulnerable households 53% higher than the number of poor households, gaining a thorough understanding of the vulnerable in Guinea-Bissau – their characteristics, constraints, and priorities – is crucial for formulating an effective social protection strategy. This vulnerability analysis will be giving UNDP, national counterparts, and development partners an additional tool for devising effective strategies to reduce and prevent future poverty. 

Strengthening the ability of households to reduce, mitigate or cope with the effects of these shocks is likely to reduce their vulnerability to poverty, and UNDP supporting Guinea-Bissau to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by, amongst others, the blue economy in the country to help decrease vulnerabilities and ensure the integration also of the most disadvantaged people.

The work will be completed by the end of the year, and it will show among other data the significant differences between regions, such as the 49.1% of the households in Bissau considered vulnerable compared to more than 75% of the households in other regions, or the higher vulnerability of male-headed households compared with female-headed households.