Phase I of the RTA of UNICEF’S Response to COVID-19 in Eastern and Southern Africa
Lessons from a regional real-time assessment
In October 2020, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) initiated phase 1 of its Real-Time Assessment (RTA) of UNICEF’s response to COVID-19 across the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Phase 1 of the assessment applied a broad and cross-cutting lens to all 21 UNICEF county offices across the region, in addition to six case study countries: Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa and Uganda.
The first phase of the RTA aimed to answer four high-level questions about the response:
- How have UNICEF Country Offices in the region adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving needs?
- How can the implementation and quality of the COVID-19 response be characterised?
- What are the emerging themes?
- What are the early lessons?
10 high-level lessons that have emerged from the regional analysis
- Strengthen and expand partnerships with UN agencies, government, technical agencies, civil society, donors, and suppliers, including developing long-standing partnerships, simplifying the procedures to make new partnerships in an emergency, and ensuring that country offices are supported to use and adapt simplified procedures.
- Continue testing and use of innovative approaches, including use of digital platforms, local procurement of supplies, and new modes of service delivery; invest in electronic systems and advocate for improved connectivity and ICT infrastructure.
- Improve availability of data, including disaggregated data and data on vulnerable populations, and ensure data is used to adapt programming to country needs.
- Improve access to supplies, including making it easier for country offices to leverage local suppliers and greater use of contingency planning.
- Increase prioritization of child protection, social protection, and risk communication and community engagement by continuing to advocate for additional resources and ensuring country offices have adequate numbers of staff with the relevant expertise.
- Improve gender programming, including accountability for results on gender, reporting of sex-disaggregated data, availability of gender experts, and funding.
- Improve accountability to affected populations, by building on existing feedback platforms and ensuring the availability of necessary skills and systems to collect and analyze data; ensure all country offices are implementing activities to address the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Improve coverage of vulnerable groups, ensuring that activities are targeted at all groups that have been identified as vulnerable and that country offices and partners have a shared understanding of who the vulnerable groups are.
- Use the COVID-19 response to strengthen preparedness and emergency response, especially in country offices limited experience of responding to emergencies.
- Continue to advocate for additional funding that can be used flexibly and improve the speed of disbursements to prevent programming delays.
The RTA covered UNICEF’s response to COVID-19 from March 2020 – when WHO declared the disease a pandemic – until January 2021. Further, the RTA applied a broad and cross-cutting lens to all 21 UNICEF county offices across the region, focusing on six case study countries: Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa and Uganda.
In addition to a Regional Analysis Report, the RTA produced six deep-dive reports with findings and lessons specific to the six case study countries mentioned above – all of which can be accessed through the drop-down listing on this page.