As a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Iniobong Emmanson often grappled with the daily challenges of data reporting in Essien Udim, a Local Government Area (LGA) in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Her job involves measuring results achieved through program implementation, so access to the proper tools is essential for data quality and a program’s success. Emmanson is responsible for reporting data into the District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2), an open-source platform used for collecting, managing, analyzing, and disseminating health data.
Initially, Emmanson relied on her smartphone for entering data into DHIS2. However, this slow and laborious approach was prone to data entry errors that could have a detrimental impact on long-term decision-making and program management. She had been navigating these challenges along with her colleagues in other LGAs, believing that providing laptops for data entry was the government’s responsibility. Emmanson never considered purchasing her own personal computer to do her data entry job.
However, her perception changed during last April’s Reproductive Health (RH) Monitoring & Evaluation Technical Working Group meeting. The Challenge Initiative (TCI) was on-site for the meeting, providing technical assistance to state participants on data management and stressing importance of timely and quality data for programmatic decision-making.
Inspired by TCI and other participants’ stories of personal sacrifice, Emmanson invested in her first personal computer. She recognized the technology’s significance in assisting with data reporting but also saw the purchase as an investment in personal and professional growth. She shared:
The importance of owning a personal computer as an M&E Officer cannot be overstated, especially as a tool for data reporting on DHIS. Hearing stories of individuals who saved to buy their first used computers motivated me to do the same. This is my first computer and I am so delighted to use it for DHIS data entry. It has allowed me to work more efficiently on a larger device, reducing errors on DHIS. I’m eager to learn how to fully utilize this computer for various purposes beyond data entry on DHIS. I hope that TCI will perform computer training for us.”
With her newly acquired laptop, Iniobong experienced increased efficiency and accuracy in data reporting, significantly improving the reporting rate for her LGA. As a result, the on-time reporting rate for Essien Udim increased from 68% in July 2023 to 100% in August 2023. In Akwa Ibom State, TCI continues to play a role in strengthening Emmanson’s capacity through coaching so she can make the best use of her new data-reporting tool.
The Family Planning Supervisor for Essien Udim, Grace Ebong, agreed that Emmanson’s investment has improved data quality and management in their LGA, saying:
I am very happy that my M&E Officer now owns a computer to work with. It is easier for her to login to DHIS and share data from different facilities with me. Before, it was not always so.”