Assessing UNICEF's response to Covid-19 in Eastern and Southern Africa

Real-Time Assessment of UNICEF's Covid-19 response in Eastern and Southern Africa to support a contextualised delivery of essential services

Project team members

The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) of UNICEF has commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to carry out a Real-Time Assessment (RTA) of UNICEF’s response to Covid-19 in 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR). The aim of this RTA is to inform a forward-looking reflection focusing principally on programme adaptation, progress on implementation, quality of response, and lessons for subsequent RTAs.

The challenge

The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis causing high mortality and morbidity, social disruption, and economic damage. Some of the African countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence are particularly vulnerable for having serious health impact. There are many areas of concern that may hinder response to the pandemic in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region including weak governance, healthcare system, economy, and conflicts. There are also concerns that the economic impact of Covid-19 would be most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Approach

This assessment has four over-arching assessment questions which address:

  • Whether the response is needs based and adaptive
  • The response to Covid-19 in terms of implementation, and quality
  • Early lessons and their applicability to different settings
  • What should be done differently.

These over-arching questions have been broken down into specific assessment questions, and assessment activities will be carried out to generate evidence to address them. As this assessment aims to provide rapid feedback on the progress and quality of the Covid-19 response, the principal focus of assessment questions will remain on programme adaptation, progress on implementation, quality of response, and lessons for the next phase of the RTA.

A number of methods will be used to address the assessment questions including:

  • A desk review of secondary information and data
  • Analysis of data collected through a survey of country offices’ perceptions of the response to covid-19 using the online tool Survey Monkey
  • Primary empirical data collection using a semi-structured survey with government, bilateral agencies, NGO and other stakeholders on their experience and perceptions of the UNICEF response to Covid-19
  • Key informant interviews with purposively selected respondents to inform deeper understanding of successes and challenges in the Covid-19 response in a small number of countries

Outcomes and wider impacts

The RTA aims to support UNICEF's provision of a contextualised, adapted delivery of essential services that builds on local needs and concerns. Through timely sharing of evidence to country offices, the RTA will allow ongoing course correction through programme adaptations.

The primary users of this RTA will be country offices in the region and it is expected that they will benefit from these real time reflections on their important activities in response to Covid-19. The regional offices and headquarters will also use the findings of the RTA for planning and programmatic purposes.

Areas of expertise