Supporting the Disaster Risk Management Bureau of Ethiopia’s Somali Region Through Information Management Capacity

The humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia is escalating rapidly due to conflict, natural disasters end the COVID-19 pandemic. With the goal of supporting adequate humanitarian coordination, iMMAP continues to assist both governmental and humanitarian partners across the country through IM and capacity strengthening services. This support is crucial to ensure timely and accurate information is provided to emergency responders to improve decision making.

Somali Region, Shabelle, Gode, Awr Jir area: Drought IDPs. (OCHA/ Cedric Petit)

Since February 2021, iMMAP is supporting the Somali regional government in Ethiopia with information management (IM) capacity. iMMAP deployed two information management officers (IMOs) to OCHA to support the Regional Disaster Risk Management Bureau (DRMB), which is responsible for early warning, preparedness and response to natural disasters, as well as coordination. iMMAP IMOs have been supporting the DRMB in the collection of early warning data, preparation of monthly early warning bulletins, and the development of information products for responders in order to improve decision making.

As part of this support, the iMMAP IMOs facilitated a four-day training between the 17th and 20th of March 2021, targeting Somali regions zonal and woreda-level early warning and response officers. The training focused on the utilization of existing mobile based data collection systems and information management skills to improve the quality of information and its flow across the DRMB offices, while enabling the officers to improve their daily activities in visualizing early warning and response data. The training covered topics on ODK data collection, data analysis and visualization using Microsoft Excel and QGIS software for basic mapping.

The training, attended by 29 participants from different administration levels of the DRMB of Somali region, included an opening remark from Mr. Abdelfattah Mohammed, deputy head of DRMB. In his speech Mr. Abdelfatah stated;

This training is important for our work and I encourage all participant from different zones to use this opportunity to improve their information management skills to support our effort in automating the early warning data collection process from paper to mobile based system.

The workshop incorporated presentations, hands-on technical coaching, and interactive sessions. It also captured feedback from participants on the tools and IM processes they were exposed during the training. It was well received by participants, with the statement from A/Shukur Mohammed, Regional Early Warning Officer:

Well prepared session which gives chance for participation and accepting recommendation. The trainers were capable of answering questions from the participants and they were punctual.

Information management training Somali DRMB early warning and response officers (iMMAP)

In order to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the training, iMMAP conducted pre and post-training assessments, that indicated a 24% increase in performance, from 33% of overall understanding before the training, to 57% after the training. These findings also highlight that capacity building efforts need to be continued to bring the performance of the participants to higher level to effectively utilize information management for early warning and emergency response.

In his closing remark, by Dr. Abdelfattah Shek, Head of DRMB for the Somali region, stressed that “this information management training is crucial for improved early warning data collection and processing.”

With support of USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), iMMAP started its information management support to the humanitarian clusters in Ethiopia by deploying its first IMO to the OCHA field office in Somali region in 2017. iMMAP also supports the Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Oromia Regional DRMB and Regional Emergency Coordination Center in Tigray region apart from the ongoing informational management support to humanitarian clusters.