Supporting the National Emergency Coordination Center in Ethiopia through Information Management

iMMAP has been providing support to National Emergency Coordination Center (NECC) in the coordination of non-health related COVID-19 intervention activities for the reception centers across the country receiving returning migrants

The NECC was activated in March 2020 to coordinate the non-health multi-sectoral response to COVID-19 in the country. Located within the National Risk Disaster Management Commission (NDRMC), NECC is composed of disaster and early waring leads and experts from NDRMC, relevant line ministries and clusters as well as technical experts from different agencies. Since its activation, iMMAP provides information management support to NECC as part of the Planning Section Unit through its qualified information management officer (IMO) seconded to OCHA.

Members of the Operation and Planning sections at NECC

The IMO is involved in several coordination activities in the NDRMC providing daily support to NECC management team and members to enhance coordination and decision making. This includes;

  • Supporting the organization and development of NECC weekly briefing with partners
  • Supporting the daily NECC briefings and circulating information to NECC members and relevant partners
  • Supporting the NECC documentation system
  • Supporting the development and design of the NECC lessons learned document

While the IMO has been supporting NDRMC in various coordination efforts prior to the emergence of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and the establishment of NECC, his skills and experience has been instrumental in NECC operations as well.

There is an amazing and dedicated team at NECC, being able to be part of the team and contribute brings me great personal and professional satisfaction.Yewondwossen Assefa iMMAP- IMO at NECC

One of the mandates of NECC is to coordinate the response to return migrants to Ethiopia. Since April 2020, more than 28,000 returnees arrived from the Middle East and neighbouring countries (Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea). Approximately 1,500 return migrants are arriving every week. NECC plays an essential role in coordinating the support at quarantine centres (QCs) and points of entry (POEs) in Ethiopia for the reception of migrants.

In the month of June 2020, NECC organised a multi-cluster assessment to identify the needs and gaps at QCs and POEs in the country. This assessment covered 18 QCs and 12 POEs in seven regions aiming to observe the current situation, identify gaps in services provided and recommend solutions to facilitate multi-sectoral preparedness and response.

NECC Points of Entry and Quarantine Centers - Joint Assessment June 2020

The support of iMMAP was critical in the full cycle of the assessment, which includes the development of the assessment checklist and compiling electronic submissions of assessment data. This information collected from the assessment was later analyzed for the preparation of the final report.

Here at NECC, we coordinate not only the support to the COVID-19 response but also the different hazards in the country. iMMAP/OCHA, through Yewondwossen, provides great support in data management, data analysis, mapping, and discussion points at the strategic meeting. This support is very important for the implementation of NDRMC roles and responsibility to coordinate and lead the multi-sectoral response with government partners, UN agencies and NGOs.Mr. Negye Hailu, NECC Planning Chief/NDRMC

This support to NECC has also been important for the overall humanitarian coordination especially for humanitarian clusters and organizations coordinating the non-health COVID-19 response. The assessment report has allowed partners to identify cluster-wide critical needs and gaps at QCs and POEs which in turn has been instrumental in targeting response activities for return migrants.

These sentiments are echoed by the NECC Operation Section Chief, Mr Nesibu Yasin:

Really, it is a first-time experience for me to be a part of a high-level emergency management team working at a national level which requires coordinating all government organizations, UN agencies and NGOs. In the process of multi-sectoral response coordination, having a well-integrated information management system is crucial, which is what we have through the iMMAP specialist. It is very important to us to have the internal capacity to properly analyse the data to support a coordinated response and improve decision making.