Over the past decades, Ethiopia has experienced cycles of natural disasters, typically stemming from the El-Nino and La-Nina phenomena, which often leave the country in either severe droughts or devastating flooding situations. Regardless of the nature of the event, these always equate to the destruction of crops and livestock, famine, displacement of populations and disease outbreaks. The situation has been especially difficult over the past two years, mainly in lowland pastoral areas where hundreds of thousands are displaced. The meteorological forecast for 2018 does not predict any easing of the situation, as the insufficient amount of rainfall of the autumn season means that the level of food insecurity and malnutrition will remain high in these affected areas.
Disease outbreaks are expected to continue in 2018 and new humanitarian needs have arisen due to the conflict in Oromia and Somali regions. Many of those displaced over the course of 2017 are likely to require continuing relief assistance and recovery support in 2018. The humanitarian community operating in Ethiopia is assisting the government in its delivery of the needed assistance to the affected populations. In order to accurately plan for the response, there is a prevailing need in the country for accurate and up-to-date information that allows humanitarian actors to tailor their planning to the beneficiaries' needs. Few of the active sectors have dedicated Information Management (IM) specialists, most of whom, if any, are acting as IM Officer for their organizations.
To make good use of available, scarce financial resources iMMAP bring its IM expertise to the service of the sectors by reinforcing their capacity, but also to help build a strong pool of national IMOs who will remain as the backbone of the sectors' response and for the future.
The main goal of this project is to support the response to the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia by strengthening the IM capacity of sectors' members in their response; advance the mechanism for regularly identifying needs of populations, and to provide better data to the inter-sectoral coordination mechanism led by UNOCHA.
With the support from CDC, iMMAP assists the National Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) technical unit for public health emergencies (PHEM) since 2019. The project aims to strengthen the public health surveillance system by automating the data collection, mapping and analysis of epidemiological information and its presentation. iMMAP has developed a mobile monitoring platform to collect, manage, and analyze the surveillance data. In order to enhance the sustainability of the project, iMMAP has been providing capacity strengthening to targeted individuals on various aspects of the hardware and software components used to collect, process, and analyze data.