Monitoring crucial in Covid-19 fight

Saturday May 16 2020

 

By Arnold Wangwe

Prompted by Covid-19 monster and an article published in this newspaper by John Mary Odoy on Thursday April 16 titled: “We need transparency in fighting corona”, allow me present a perspective on the role of monitoring and evaluation in an emergency context.

He states: “My call is to encourage those entrusted with the resources to manage them very well and transparently,” and adds: “Billions of shillings have been released and more is to be released.”

These words signify accountability, which entails providing evidence-based opinion on the programme results and the extent to which funds and other programme inputs contribute for the fight against the pandemic.

The core thread throughout this process is to quickly evaluate progress towards achieving outputs and outcomes of the “kick out coronavirus programme,” whose crux is to reflect and learn from what has worked well and what has not and to establish lessons and recommendations for replication.

Corollary to this, the national taskforce, the district taskforce and the Ministry of Health, among other stakeholders, should be vigilant in order to achieve the objective of combating Covid-19.

The hallmark of success of these teams rests on monitoring and evaluation in emergencies because they are two important management processes that bolster tracking progress and facilitating effective decision making.

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Adjustments can be made to ensure that activities are relevant, effective, efficient, and yield meaningful results.
Monitoring is the continuous and systematic process of data collection on specified indicators to provide the stakeholders with indications of the extent of progress of objectives and the use of allocated funds. In the case of Covid-19, it is important to know the numbers of the samples tested, suspected, treated and discharged.

A follow-up on those discharged is the bulwark of establishing impact of whether or not the treatment or intervention has worked. Hearing testimonies from the sufferers can give hope and show whether or not the situation is under control. Armed with this data, the team will have timely feedback on operational planning, cost management and budget use, and facilitate quick decision-making for remedial actions when necessary.

Monitoring and evaluation, therefore, is critical in ensuring that critical gaps are identified and addressed.

Arnold Wangwe
M&E Officer at 4africa

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