The second half of the workshop was dedicated to SMS Data Capture, which is an application to collect data on few indicators using SMS technology that will be imported into the database to generate reports.
Afghanistan's national polio team is the first among the polio endemic countries to use SMS Data Capture for remote monitoring of the Polio Eradication initiative. Timely data collection on certain indicators using mobile technology is truly needed in certain remote areas of Afghanistan.
The 5-day workshop, the second this year, was attended by 27 participants from the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF and WHO from different polio priority regions and provinces. The PolioInfo database has already been populated with 2.2 million data records of 170 IUSs for polio PCA (Post Campaign Assessment) data of 2012. The tool will help to use data and support management for evidence-based planning at different levels of the programme.
The SMS data capture system has already been successfully piloted in the district of Kandahar, located in the southern part of the country. Focal points who attended the training have planned to expand piloting the system to their respective regions/provinces in the August campaign – this will eventually help managers know the status of the polio campaign preparation in a timely fashion.
The DevInfo Support Group is supporting UNICEF Afghanistan in designing an interactive dashboard for better visualization of data and to provide decision-makers with easy access to key indicators of the programme.
Afghanistan is one of the three countries where polio remains endemic. The other two are Nigeria and Pakistan.
For more information, please contact Zahid Shah, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist (Polio) UNICEF Afghanistan, email@example.com.