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  • Regional Vulnerability Assessment & Analysis Programme (RVAA)


    Despite economic progress in many parts of the Region, livelihood vulnerability and food insecurity are prominent features of the poverty that afflicts much of its population. SADC is committed to tackling these problems and recognises the need to develop strategies based on accurate data and analysis for short-term and longer-term chronic conditions.

    Vulnerability assessment and analysis (VAA) concern monitoring of states', households' and individuals' capacity to deal with external hazards such as drought, economic crises, and climate change. Critical elements include meteorological and crop projections, household economic analysis, and food and nutrition security surveys, leading to recommendations for short term and long term interventions.

    In 1999, SADC established the Regional Vulnerability Assessment Committee (RVAC) with International Cooperating Partners and other stakeholders. This committee has spearheaded critical improvements in vulnerability analysis and food security at both regional and country level.

    At Member State level, National Vulnerability Assessment Committees (NVACs) coordinate the annual vulnerability assessment and analysis. NVACs are multi-sectional committees led by relevant government ministries with wide ranging memberships, which includes different government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations involved in poverty reduction and socio-economic development. NVACs carry out annual and periodic vulnerability assessments, in addition to special studies on selected topics such as nutrition, climate change and related themes that are critical in VAA.

    In 2006, building on previous initiatives, the SADC Secretariat began implementing the Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (RVAA) Programme. Since its inception, the Programme has worked to create institutional and conceptual achievements, building strategies and interventions that integrate short-term responses to emergencies and livelihoods hazards with broader, longer-term approaches to chronic poverty, and livelihood vulnerability.

    The RVAA system is widely acknowledged as the main system to track, report and respond to food insecurity in the Region.

    Programme Goal and Activities

    The SADC RVAA Programme has the following goal: Reduced poverty and vulnerability through climate-resilient livelihoods in the SADC Region.

    The Programme has the following purpose: Enhanced regional and national response to climate change, poverty and livelihood vulnerability.

    Programme Outputs at Regional Level

    The Programme produces outputs at the regional and national level. At the regional level, the Programme provides capacity building and other technical support to Member States' NVACs, and synthesises and analyses national VAA outputs into regional reports and policy briefs.

    The annual regional synthesis dissemination reports provide an overview of the livelihood and food security situation in the SADC Region. The reports present a regional summary and include results and details at country level on food security and vulnerability, malnutrition, and crop production, among other issues.

    To strengthen VAA in the Region, the RVAA Programme develops technical guidelines and special studies that provide in-depth research on priority areas, such as guidelines on e.g. Urban Vulnerability, Integration of Nutrition, HIV and Gender in Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis, and Climate Change and Livelihoods.

    These documents can be accessed on the SADC website under Documents/Themes/Agriculture and Food Security (scroll through the pages at the bottom).

    Programme Outputs at National Level

    At national level, the Programme supports institution building of NVACs, strengthening of their technical capacity and communication of their reports and other outputs. In the Region, all Member States except Mauritius have formed NVACs.

    The National Vulnerability Assessment Reports are available under the webpages of the Member States' NVACs, or the webpage of the mother institution.

    Livelihood zones describe geographical areas where people largely share the same patterns of access to food, income and markets. With SADC support, NVACs have produced livelihood maps and reports, which can be accessed through the following contact.

    Technical Working Groups

    To guide the introduction of emerging issues and innovations into the vulnerability assessment and analysis, SADC under the RVAC has established the following technical working groups:

    • Nutrition
    • Information Management
    • Urban Assessments
    • Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) for food security
    • Centre of Excellence (of five Universities) and Capacity Building
    • Markets Assessments


    The following cooperating partners provide technical input for the SADC RVAA programme and serve on the current Regional and National Vulnerability Assessment Committees:

    Between 2006 and 2008, the RVAA Programme received funding from the Republic of South Africa Government through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Office for Southern Africa; since 2006 from United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID); and since 2013 from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

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