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The first HEA baselines for Malawi was conducted in 2004/5. In 2014, the MVAC and the Southern Africa Development Community requested FEWS NET to provide technical coordination in carrying out 15 livelihood zone verification and updating the 2005 HEA baselines (with funding from USAID), which were outdated. As the technical lead, FEWS NET also contracted the Food Economy Group (FEG) to provide technical support to this valuable work. Following the zone verification exercise, new HEA baselines were conducted in 2015. The baselines were conducted in three phases (rounds 1, 2 and 3) between April and August 2015. This process covered all the 18 livelihood zones within the three regions of Malawi: Southern Malawi (round 1); Central Malawi (round 2); and Northern Malawi (round 3). The last phase of data collection was completed in August 2015, and the finalization of all baseline profile reports, the national overview report and Livelihood Impact Analysis Spreadsheet set up was completed between August 2015 and March 2016.
Livelihood Baseline provides quantifiable analysis of household livelihood options. It includes a detailed breakdown of food, cash and expenditure patterns, as well as coping capacity for various wealth groups. The baseline also highlights market patterns and constraints and opportunities for economic growth. Used for outcomes analysis, the baselines can quantify and measure the impact of shocks on households. The analysis is very useful in planning humanitarian assistance, particularly in forecasting whether and when assistance will be needed, how many people might be affected, and what types of assistance will be most helpful.