Even in the same gender, network group or community you will find different levels of capability, different levels of assets ownership, different levels of access to resources such as land and ultimately different levels of vulnerability and ability to cope with shocks. If GEM programmes are to bring about systemic change that transforms the livelihoods of people living in poverty, interventions need to be built on an understanding of the characteristics and needs of the individuals and communities they are targeting.

In a humanitarian setting, poor households are likely to have immediate needs as well as longer term recovery and development goals that can be captured in this process. This information can then be used to influence Market Selection and Market Mapping, helping the user to identify appropriate markets and interventions for the particular groups of interest.

This guidance assists the user to understand the different socio-economic groups that may exist. From this, it supports the user to identify impact groups to target in the programme, and appropriate goals. It does this by conducting research on a sample population.

Use this tool when:

  • You are developing a new programme and need to understand potential impact groups better and determine goals
  • There is a need to re-orientate a programme based on significant changes to the population or context, or recommendations made in evaluations or programme reviews

Impact group classification and goal identification is a prerequisite to Market Selection. Full details are in the downloadable document, available at the bottom of this page.

Average time investment for using this tool

At least 1-3 days in a humanitarian setting, and 5-10 days in a development setting.

Who leads

Local partner with legitimacy in the local area when possible

Who needs to be involved

Oxfam project staff and partners; Oxfam programme managers; community level facilitators; community members; local and international NGOs, government actors and civil society groups working in the intervention area should be consulted during this step, to obtain their views on capacities and vulnerabilities of the population of interest.