Mapping the vulnerability of the beneficiaries of your program

by Feb 6, 20150 comments

Hi! Long time no see… (2015’s resolution to start regularly posting duly done ;-P)

Vulnerability is a very complex multilevel concept, always challenging to address. So I’m going to share with you how data visualization helped me assess the way we were dealing with it in a program. More precisely, our question was: To which extent our beneficiaries were vulnerable? (Or equally vulnerable, for that matter…)

So we created a simple rubric describing what High/Medium/Low vulnerability would mean in our particular context. To make the analysis more complete, we included Capacity in the analysis. In a similar way, we described how High/Medium/Low capacity could be assessed too.

The following step was to rate our beneficiaries in both their Capacity and Vulnerability, according to the indicators or behaviors detailed in the rubric. And then we mapped them. This was the result:

Vulnerability & capacity mapping

This turned out to be very useful to understand the profile of the beneficiaries. Each circle represents a beneficiary household, identified by a number. The three different colors represent the different groups of beneficiaries (according to the date when they received our support). But in fact you could use colors to represent any other variable that might be interesting in your case, such as gender, or age groups, or geographical criteria, etc.

However, we could see that most of our beneficiaries had a high level of vulnerability according to our rubric (which was good), but their level of capacity had not been taken into account. The whole exercise made us ponder on our selection criteria and gave us some useful inputs for forthcoming selection processes…

Let us know if you found this interesting or if you have ever carried out a similar mapping exercise. 🙂

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