Travelling to the pearl of Africa


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Last week I came back from Uganda, or – as the Ugandans call it – the Pearl of Africa. While there, I travelled from Kampala to Jinja together with my colleague Andrew, our driver Mozes and photographer Papa Shabani, to carry out an Akvo partner hero photo shoot. There we met Dorcas, Patricks and Mike from the Health Office Diocese of Jinja, an implementing partner of Connect4Change. From Jinja we travelled another two hours over an unpaved road to Wesunire, Buyende District, where Sister Anne Prisca runs a healthcare centre, together with a clinical officer and the health workers. People from other villages in that area come to the health centre to see a doctor or to get treatment and medicines. With the support of Connect4Change, the Diocese of Jinja is using Akvo FLOW to conduct patient satisfaction surveys at health care facilities and within the community. With the information they receive they are able to give feedback to health workers and improve the services provided.

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Above: taxi park, Kampala.
Below: Akvo partner hero photo shoot in progress at Wesunire Catholic Health Centre III.
Photos by Laura Roverts.

From Jinja, Andrew and I travelled up north to Lira where we facilitated the first of two training sessions for Akvo FLOW survey enumerators from Uganda WASH Alliance (UWA) partners, part of the Dutch WASH Alliance programme. After the weekend we ran a second training course for UWA partners in Kampala. For most participants it was the first time they had practiced mobile data collection using Akvo FLOW. However, some had already been using the tool for some surveys and they explained why they preferred to use FLOW over manual data collection: because it is easier, faster and more accurate.

On the first day of each session we explained how the tool works in general. Participants practised calibrating GPS, interviewing each other with a demo survey and uploading the collected data to the FLOW dashboard. We showed them how to export data to Excel to create reports and how to make maps and graphs. On day two we started with a recap and tips & tricks to use the tool effectively. We also allocated some time to do a short refresher training on Akvo RSR. Most participants had not updated their projects since August 2013 so it was helpful to have an opportunity to reinvigorate them in the art of making good project updates.

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Above: Akvo FLOW survey enumerator training with Uganda WASH Alliance partners. Photo by Laura Roverts

Like all implementing partners of the Dutch WASH Alliance, the UWA partners are going to use Akvo FLOW as the data collection tool for the outcome measurement exercise that needs to be done in 2015.

You can see some more pictures from the training sessions and the photo shoot in my Flickr set.

Laura Roverts is project manager at Akvo, based in Amsterdam

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