The important related themes to consider when doing the VRA

VRA and Gender Justice

A gender justice approach is fundamental to successful resilience building.

The VRA process can also contribute to greater gender justice by giving women a space to participate in decision-making and an opportunity to shape future decisions and actions that really work for them.   

‘Facilitators need to be acutely aware of all pre-existing power dynamics associated with gender inequalities, local crisis and deep rooted cultural practices and sensitivities before exploring ways to support marginalised voices. Do no harm principles must be at the forefront of any VRA work to be undertaken.’Mohammed Qazilbash, Country Director, Oxfam in Pakistan

To do this a VRA must be informed by questions like: how are gender inequalities and power dynamics shaping risk? Who is exposed to what hazards? What are the direct and indirect consequences for different socio-economic groups and individuals, and their ability to recover? What impact does gender dynamics have on new or emerging risks?

Using a gender-sensitive lens will improve our analysis of the context and enhance programming by building everyone’s coping capacity, rather than increasing the gap between the most vulnerable and those who flourish.

VRA and Conflict

When carrying out a VRA in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, it’s essential to comply with minimum standards on conflict sensitivity throughout the VRA process. Conflict-sensitivity principles ensure ‘no harm’ is done when conducting a VRA and designing resilience-building actions.

Top tips for VRAs in fragile and conflict-affected contexts:

  • Read any pre-existing conflict-sensitivity analysis as part of VRA preparation and ensure necessary action is taken in the design of the VRA process and its analysis – see : ‘Gather relevant pre-existing information’.
  • In a fragile or conflict-affected context, civil society space can become squeezed and there can be a lack of clarity on governance structures and duty-bearers. We need to use existing local-level networks and partners in order to understand who can be involved and how we can support their constructive and safe engagement.
  • Manage donor expectations to ensure they understand the limitations that the context can place on both the quality of our information and how we can use it to propose possible interventions.
  • The VRA therefore needs to be carried out pragmatically, and any subsequent recommendations need to be able to adapt to the changing context.

For Oxfam programmes please contact the team for more information about our programme quality CAMSA guidelines.