Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM)
United Nations
World Food Programme Pakistan
Thursday, March 21, 2019-

Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit 

The VAM unit plays a key role in WFP’s action worldwide by providing essential analyses and evidence-based information that guides WFP’s operations, with activities ranging from assessments to mapping, monitoring, and policy support. 

Its technical expertise in the multiple disciplines related to food security has established the unit as a centre of excellence for food security analysis, monitoring and policy issues in Pakistan.

Key VAM Activities

1. Information Management and Mapping

VAM's mapping team conducts large scale mapping exercises and also supports assessments and studies. Through modern technologies, VAM is able to collect data immediately and easily.

The Pakistan Education Atlas maps education statistics and has been conducted every year since 2010 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training. WFP is gradually working towards the hand-over of the project so that it is fully implemented by the Government.

The Multi Hazard Vulnerability & Risk Assessment (MHVRA) maps vulnerabilities to environmental hazards of multiple sectors at the provincial level. The exercise for Sindh was initiated in 2014 in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority, and the exercise in Punjab is ongoing in 2015.

Disaster mapping includes floods, earthquakes and droughts, produced during large-scale weather event, in addition to regular programme and food security mapping. Mapping products from VAM are widely circulated among the development and humanitarian community.

The Near real time information system provide immediate data collection transmission and analysis through mobile phones and mobile applications. VAM Pakistan has been increasingly using this system for rapid assessments, and also providing this technology to the humanitarian community for inter-agency assessments.

2. Food Security Assessments

has been very active in conducting small to large scale assessments on food security, some of which include:

The Food Security Analysis (FSA) provides a comprehensive profile of the food security and nutrition situation in Pakistan.

Market assessments provide an understanding on the functioning of markets and basis for cash-based interventions. It is a regular feature of VAM.

The Returnee study of families upon return in areas of origin.

3. Food Security Monitoring

The Food Security Bulletin provides an overview of the food security situation in the country twice of year.

Market Price Monitoring reports trends and fluctuations of major commodity prices important for food security (i.e. fuel prices, cereal price inflations etc.) on a monthly as well as annual basis.

The Displacement and Livelihood Bulletin reports the situation of displaced families periodically.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a multi-stakeholder participatory mapping process to present periodic food security situation across the country by district.
4. Zero Hunger Challenge and Policy support

Following the announcement of the National Zero Hunger Programe (NZHP) in Pakistan and the launch of the Zero Hunger Challenge in 2012, VAM has been assisting the Government of Pakistan in developing a coordinated inter-sectoral strategy to address hunger and malnutrition in the country. Activities to support the Zero Hunger initiative in Pakistan include:

Establishment of a Zero Hunger Cell within the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, including provision of dedicated staff to assist in the development of the NZHP.

Collaboration on seminars, workshops and consultations aimed at developing the National Zero Hunger strategy, and provincial Workshops and a national seminar are planned for 2015.

Support to learning exchanges and study visits such as the Ministerial Mission on Food Security and Nutrition to Brazil in 2014 and the participation in the XVII Global Child Nutrition Forum on School Feeding in 2015.

• Execution of the joint Zero Hunger mapping exercise with the Government of Pakistan and FAO.

5. Collaborations

has been taking an active part in multiple joint assessments throughout the years.

Recently, VAM is actively engaged in Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessments (MIRA), inter-agency TDP assessments, return assessments in FATA, and Livelihood Recovery Appraisals, amongst others.

As co-lead on Food Security Cluster, together with FAO, VAM is engaged in a number of assessments by the food security cluster. VAM is also contributing to SPA-6 (Stategic Priority Areas 6) on food security and nutrition as part of the joint One UN Programme.

VAM’s technical support is also at the disposition of the government, resulting in the publication of joint documents such as the Pakistan Education Atlas, the MHVRA, and the Climate Risk and Food Security Analysis.

6. Thematic Assessments and Studies

VAM’s expertise goes beyond regular assessments and can be applied to all dimensions related to food security such as disasters and climate change, education and gender and protection.

Disasters and Climate Change:
In a national context of more erratic, frequent and intense climate events, VAM has conducted a Flood Recovery Assessments (FRA) on the 2010 floods and contributes to various multi-agencies flood and drought assessments.
In line with global climate change projections, the unit is conducting a Climate Risks and Food Security Analysis (CRFSA) for Pakistan that provides a vulnerability baseline.

Gender and protection is a core element in WFP interventions. VAM has conducted a Protection Risk Analysis associated with food distribution in 2014 as part of the TDPs response in North Waziristan Agency. Similarly, gender and protection concern are incorporated in regular food security assessments.

7. The Team

capacity to work on multiple activities across disciplines is made possible by its team. Because food security is a multi-dimensional issue, the VAM team is composed of specialists from various disciplines in order to provide the most comprehensive results.: GIS, statistics, economists, food security, and environment. The core of the team sits in the country office in Islamabad, VAM officers are also present in the provincial offices of Karachi and Peshawar, and soon Quetta in 2016. In addition, VAM Pakistan also benefits from the expertise from the regional bureau in Asia and the headquarters, when needed.

VAM team members

Iftikhar Abbas: Programme Officer (Spatial Analyst) - OIC
Aman ur Rehman Khan: Programme Policy Officer (FSA)
Sarah Bashir: Programme Associate (GIS Analyst)
Khadim Shah: Programme Policy Officer (Peshawar)
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