Report: Rapid Impact and Vulnerability Analysis Fund (2012)

LAB: New York


Under the umbrella of the Rapid Impact and Vulnerability Analysis Fund (RIVAF), Global Pulse supported a series of studies and research projects, which were undertaken by eleven UN agencies, between 2010 and 2011. The topics represented in these eight research projects, present a unique view of how the global economic crisis has affected a variety of different sectors across the globe.

The work detailed in the short executive summaries in this final report (downloadable here, and below) truly showcases the work of the United Nations—not only in its geographic spread, but in its cross-sectoral scope. Taken as a whole, the results provide a sobering lesson in the variety of ways that vulnerability manifests in the wake of economic shocks—from increasing crime to the introduction of informal school fees to an increased willingness to undertake unsafe migration. The findings also highlight the variety of populations who are affected—from those dependent on remittances in Colombia, to migrant workers in the tourism sector in the Maldives, to cattle farmers in Ethiopia. The impacts on any one of these disparate populations can provide only a snapshot in time; but taken together, they start to form a fuller picture, one that illustrates the effects of the crisis on “main streets” globally.



The Rapid Impact and Vulnerability Analysis Fund (RIVAF) was launched by the Global Pulse Initiative in December 2009 with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the Government of Sweden. The fund supports innovative, real-time data collection and analysis to help develop a better understanding of how vulnerable populations cope with impacts of global crises.

The RIVAF report includes summaries from eight research projects (individual papers can be accessed via the links below):

 Findings from the individual research projects revealed fascinating insights, painting a diverse picture of the impacts of global crises. Some highlights include:

  • Borrowing money is one of the two most prevalent coping strategies, with 37.34% of households reporting borrowing to meet various expenses. (UNDP/UNICEF research)
  • Primary schools appear to be prone to charging user fees during times of economic difficulty despite global advocacy and national legislation on free primary education. (UNESCO research)
  • While the global economic crisis seemed to have had no significant impact on the overall number of illegal migrants. What did change was the level of vulnerability of illegal migrants—not only did the cost of migration increase, but the passage itself became more risky. (UNODC research)
  • While the tourism sector proved in some ways to be more resilient than other sectors of the economy, case studies revealed distinct vulnerable groups within the tourism sector—for example, in the Maldives, this included foreign workers; in Costa Rica it was primarily women and low-skilled workers; and in Tanzania it was workers with dependents who were hardest hit. (UNWTO & ILO)