COVID-19 changed the operating environment in Iraq. Movement restrictions complicated access to communities, public offices closed and physical distancing disrupted face-to-face interaction with affected people. Finding new ways of interacting with affected populations and understanding their needs became imperative to ensure an evidence-based humanitarian response.
Partners made early strides to collect and analyse data. By mid-March, most monitoring and assessments switched to remote modalities, e.g. phone calls, or moved from household surveys to key informant interviews. As a result, data continued to be generated in areas such as remote protection monitoring to understand the impact of COVID-19 on protection risks among conflict-affected communities. Products that were generated through continued data collection included a monthly dashboard of COVID-19 concerns raised in calls to the the Iraq Information Center, a rapid survey on the impact of COVID-19, daily health statistics on COVID-19, the Iraq Weekly Food Security Monitor, and a mapping of camps’ capacities to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks. The data enabled humanitarian partners to adapt the response to COVID-19. Building on these practices, humanitarian partners successfully carried out multi-sectoral assessments to understand the severity of needs and availability of services and inform the 2021 HPC.
UNDP/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-deen