Phori PM, Fawcett S, Nidjergou NN, Silouakadila C, Hassaballa R, Siku DK. Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of the COVID-19 Response in the Africa Region. Health Promotion Practice. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399221095524
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept throughout the world, it created a demand for information to help understand the public health response and its effects. Limited capacity to see and interpret data - "sensemaking" with measures of progress - affects the use of data for quality improvement. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) supported partners from the Member States in using a participatory monitoring and evaluation system to document and systematically reflect on the COVID-19 response at the country level. The WHO AFRO's COVID-19 Response Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team captured and communicated response activities based on available reports from 35 of the 47 member countries. By reviewing reports and communications, the M&E team documented nearly 8,000 COVID-19 response activities during the study period (January 2020 through July 2021). A "sensemaking" protocol was used to support country partners in identifying factors associated with increases or decreases in both new cases and response activities. This report describes this participatory M&E approach and process of shared sensemaking. We illustrate with a country-level case study of the COVID-19 response in the Africa Region.