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A response to an infectious disease event might seem unique however the process of information management should remain the same with only a few exceptions:

  • Planning - Reach out to your WHO or Health Cluster counterparts early in the planning process. It might take everyone time to understand the types of data, sources of data, and information that decision-makers will need. Don’t hesitate to ask clarifying questions from your HoO or health colleagues!

  • Collection - Be careful not to duplicate data collection efforts, coordinate with all actors to ensure added value to the process. Note: OCHA IMOs should not be collecting or analyzing epidemiological data that should be left to health professionals. OCHA IMOs should be aggregating data from multiple sources to understand the bigger picture. 

  • Processing - Consider working with health data experts when processing health-related data and review data responsibility guidelines to ensure personal data is and otherwise sensitive data are managed appropriately@not shared.

  • Analysis - Once you go past descriptive analysis subject matter experts are necessary for in-depth explanatory, interpretive and anticipatory analysis

  • Dissemination - Work with a subject matter expert in the design of products and key messages.

Recommendations from past infectious disease event responses:

  • Stay focused on core products and IM processes as in any emergency: 3WsMeeting schedules, reference maps, contact lists, etc.

    • Note that “Contact management” has a different meaning in a health emergency, consider using “partner list” instead of “contact list” to avoid confusion.

    • Work with health cluster or WHO colleagues to modify 3W templates for the response (don’t forget to hxlate!)

  • Map out your dataflows including sources, sharing protocols, and formats as early as possible, share with colleagues and review regularly.

  • Define the terminology. Health professionals have their own terminology (contact vs partner list) and definitions. If it does not already exist create a document with terms and definitions and share widely.

  • As for any possible emergency, data preparedness is key. Review your CODs and make sure they adhere to all standards and are available on HDX. CODs specific to the event could include:

    • Health facilities (enquire with the Health cluster or WHO Office whether a HeRAMS is in place or being triggered)

    • Health boundaries

    • Insecure areas

    • Refugee and IDP (numbers and movement)

    • Transport routes

    • Airports (including the movement of people - flight paths)

    • Borders and crossing points

  • Call an IMWG to discuss the health emergency and ensure critical partners from WHO, Dept of Health, Health cluster/sector are in attendance. Possible agenda for the IMWG (detailed agenda example)

    • Identify partners

    • Discuss CODs (Core CODs (confirm p-codes and/or use of health zones and response specific - COD-CS)

    • Define terminologies, standards and data flows of current/proposed data related to coronavirus

    • Develop data collection templates with HXL codes

    • Discuss data responsibility

    • Detail data flows; determine who will be responsible for key datasets, sharing protocols (including clearance), and formats (opportunities to use current systems and tools)

  • Use existing structures and platforms, share products on your country’s page, data on your HDX page, and use ReliefWeb.  Many new actors might show up to provide assistance and support, be flexible to take advantage of new opportunities but don't drastically change the approach to IM as conducted in a "regular" emergency.

  • Consider conducting an assessment of communication infrastructure, know the cell phone and internet coverage areas by provider for your country.

  • Review the process for internal clearance and sharing of products (a product catalogue and editorial meetings are always useful).

  • Staffing: manage leave plans and ensure all staff understands their priorities and deadlines especially in a country with an on-going non-health related emergency. The IM team might have to split their work into those that focus on the health emergency and others on the “normal” work of the office, discuss with your HoO.

  • Reach out on the IMO skype group if you have any questions and to share your work.

Outputs/Resources COVID-19 in 2020 

Outputs/Resources from Ebola Response in 2018-2020

Outputs/Resources from Ebola Response in 2014

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