TCI Coachee with Interest in M&E Becomes Anambra State’s Ministry of Health Data Manager
Contributors: Egbe Aneotah Awo and Foluso Oyewale
In July 2018 when Anambra state began its partnership with The Challenge Initiative (TCI), Judith Asike was newly employed with the State Ministry of Health. She was keen to learn more about monitoring and evaluation (M&E), so she frequently joined TCI’s coaching sessions on M&E, which were being conducted for the M&E focal people at the time in the reproductive health (RH) unit.
In 2019, when Judith was designated as the new RH M&E officer, she was immediately identified by TCI’s Research, Monitoring and Evaluation technical support lead (RM&E TSL) as a key state M&E counterpart. As a result, the RM&E TSL immediately began intensive, structured and on-demand coaching sessions with her.
This coaching not only included strengthening her data management and M&E skills but also her management skills to help her to make data presentations to stakeholders and advocate for M&E activities by developing memos for said activities drawn from the state family planning (FP) budget line.
In Nigeria, state workers must write persuasive justification memos to request FP funds. After just six months, Judith was confidently facilitating the monthly data validation meetings with support from TCI’s RM&E TSL and submitted her first memo for funding an M&E activity.
In January 2021, Judith started co-facilitating the state data consultative forum meeting, which is the highest health data decision-making platform in the state. She also served as a master trainer during a statewide training and deployment of the new DHIS 2 and Nigeria health management information system (NHMIS) tool to public and private health facilities across the state.
In October 2021, Judith was designated as data manager for the Anambra State Ministry of Health and oversees all electronic health data for the entire state. She credited TCI for helping to build her skills to enable her to grow as she has.
TCI has been very instrumental to my becoming the data manager for the Ministry of Health because the RM&E TSL was a very good coach/mentor when I was assigned as the M&E officer for the RH unit. With his guidance, I was able to develop my skills on Excel and build my capacity on the DHIS2.0. I also became a good facilitator by watching the entire TCI team during trainings and other activities supported by TCI.”
Even in her new role, Judith still receives on-demand coaching from TCI to further strengthen her capacity and ensure optimal data management and use.
TCI’s coaching not only strengthened Judith’s capacity but the health system as well through the maintenance of a higher quality data management system. The Anambra State Ministry of Health now regularly reviews this data to inform its programmatic decisions.