Updates from Somalia, Nigeria + TODAY: East Africa panel discussion: Access: ways to listen and prioritise' - next Monday (May 4th), at 4:00 PM

Nils Carstensen

Dear all,
With short notice please find details below of an OCHA moderated online regional discussion based on among other the attached NRC report on community-level perceptions and understanding of Covid-19 in Somalia.
An informative read also for people working in other countries.

Find the report attached - and details for this Monday afternoon's (4 pm East Africa) online discussion at the very bottom of this e-mail.

To put the report from Somalia in perspective, the Guardian on Saturday carried the story below on a suspected raise in death due to corona in Somalia. Due to the scarcity of firm medical data, the story is informed by reports from undertakers and grave diggers in Mogadishu reporting a significant spike in burials of elderly men. Read more here https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/02/somali-medics-report-rapid-rise-in-deaths-as-covid-19-fears-grow?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

From Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, this story tells of how (mostly middle- and upper-middle-class) professionals are reaching out with food and other items to less fortunate citizens during the Covid-crisis:

Dear colleagues

OCHA ROSEA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Access Regional Discussion - 'Access: ways to listen and prioritise'.

Time: May 4, 2020 16:00 Nairobi


Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 921 7447 1780

Speakers include:

  • NRC, introducing its research paper (attached) based on a survey run in Somalia to understand what communities knew about Covid-19, where they perceived risks, how they received information, and what they most needed. Research highlights that: ‘Many respondents demonstrated an awareness of the incongruity between prevention and control measures and local realities, where congestion, a lack of water and hygiene facilities and widespread dependence on daily wage labour significantly limit the capacity of communities to heed prevailing guidance. Such considerations must be taken into account in all humanitarian and development response planning in Somalia, where social isolation and handwashing messages alone are insufficient to meaningfully addressing community needs and concerns.'
  • Nexus (a group of 9 Somali civil society organisations), talking of their latest work on messaging and information campaigns
  • Adeso, presenting their work on cash in Somalia
  • Africa’s Voices , introducing its ‘rapid diagnostic’ to listen to communities. In a recent survey conducted in Somalia, AV found that: ‘Health and behavioural change communication needs to be highly context relevant: free of jargon, empathetic, in local language and speech forms, and tailored to local socio-cultural identities and norm-change models. It has to start with listening to Somalis.’ Available at https://www.africasvoices.org/case-studies/somali-views-in-the-early-days-of-covid-19-a-rapid-diagnostic/

I also share this link to this short film picturinghealth.org/covid-on-the-breadline/ that lays out the reasons why lock-downs in some countries may not be the best solution. In addition to the economic and civic space issues, it highlights the impact of reduced attention to all the existing public health crises that so many are facing in so many countries. And, using a good appreciative inquiry approach , it also offers some nice examples of how communities are coming up with their own ideas of how to protect most vulnerable from infection.  


It is an open discussion. Please tell your colleagues.


Have a nice weekend.