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IRC WASH Ethiopia supports COVID-19 coordination and monitoring

Published on: 16/02/2021

IRC WASH Ethiopia is supporting the Amhara Region's COVID-19 response through the Millennium Water Alliance. The support is focused on backing the regional government's COVID-19 monitoring system.

On 15 January 2021, a workshop was conducted in Bahir Dar to discuss existing COVID-19 monitoring.

Participants at the COVID-19 workshop in Bahir Dar

Participants stated that currently COVID-19 taskforces are not functioning well and monitoring on COVID-19 is weak. They also reiterated that during the start of the pandemic, the response and monitoring was stronger. High-level task forces and committees had been established with members from bureaus led by the regional deputy president. But over time there was less engagement due to other pressing challenges in the country. Now, necessary precautionary measures are not being implemented by the public, and there is no coordinated effort for response and monitoring.

To improve coordination, participants in the workshop recommended supporting and stimulating the established high-level coordination and monitoring platforms. All sector bureau representatives agreed to establish a cross-sectoral technical working group and to introduce a cloud-based monitoring tool using the free version of mWater for COVID-19 monitoring purposes. After this is completed, the working group will communicate to the existing high level task forces. The technical working group will meet frequently and expects to start as soon as possible.

IRC WASH Ethiopia will also provide technical support in deploying a free, cloud-based COVID-19 response monitoring system. It was recommended to move quickly particularly considering the time allocated for the task. Identifying specific indicators for the monitoring tool were also suggested. Ways to integrate the existing data into the new monitoring system should be considered, according to participants of the workshop.

IRC WASH will provide training on the monitoring tool to three focus woredas, two zones, and the regional technical working group, as well as develop the data collection tool, display dashboard, and introduce the system to the region. WASH stakeholders of all parties involved will meet and discuss the coordination and monitoring process on a monthly basis. IRC WASH Ethiopia will facilitate and support the follow-up actions.

Representatives from the Amhara Region Water, Irrigation, and Energy Development Bureau, Health Bureau, Women, Children, and Youth Affairs Bureau, Amhara Public Health Institute, Education Bureau, Bahir Dar University, Regional Administration Office, IRC WASH, and PSI Ethiopia participated in the workshop.