More than a year after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senegal is experiencing upheavals that spare no sector, from the economy to health and social.
The current crisis of the COVID-19 is pushing many actors to think about innovative solutions to face this exceptional context, the use of digital tools being one of them.
In order to combat this situation, Oxfam in Senegal and its partners have developed a 24-month project which, since August 2021, has been involved in reducing the vulnerability of the targeted communities during this Covid-19 period.
The project contributes to the collection of raw data on inequalities in access to basic social services (health, social protection) and in the digital environment to enable the implementation of sustainable digital solutions that can be developed over the medium and long term.
The health sector is particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis for a number of reasons related to a significant lack of human, material and financial resources. Similarly, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are particularly affected and income-generating activities are affected by the situation. Due to under-utilization of digital services, MSMEs have difficulties to adapt, which is why the adoption of digital tools could be a means of survival for these enterprises in times of crisis.
The weakness of the state’s capacity, especially at the local level, is exacerbated by the pandemic with few resources allocated to health centres and the non-existence of a local support mechanism for the MSME. In effect, the state is focusing on the emergency food and health response to the crisis rather than the provision of services in these sectors.
It is therefore urgent to act to ensure a better post-covid transition!
Oxfam in Senegal has developed a 24-month project to help reduce the vulnerability of target communities during the Covid-19 period. The project contributes to the collection of raw data on inequalities in access to basic social services (health, social protection) and in the digital environment to enable the implementation of sustainable digital solutions that can be developed over the medium and long term.
In order to help respond to the problems of violence against women and girls, education, health and income-generating activities, the project is based on these objectives:
a- Improved access and connectivity services for targeted beneficiaries in the health and MSME sectors to improve their ability to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and anticipate recovery (workers, administrations)
b- Digital services are strengthened to support the continuity, quality and resilience of education and health services (worker capacity, adoption of applications and uses).
This project is a continuation of the INEDIT project, financed by the AFD. It targets the same regions as the INEDIT project, namely Kolda and Tambacounda. However, the importance given to the digital aspect within this project will allow the intervention to be done on a larger scale and will affect the department of Tambacounda and the departments of Kolda and Medina Yoro Foulah which is one of the most isolated in Senegal.
By way of comparison, the INEDIT project works with 16 MSEs and the idea with this additional funding would be to expand to 5 additional MSEs in the department of Médina Yoro Foula.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 20 organizations working together, with local partners and communities, in more than 90 countries.
Oxfam is a global movement of people who will not live with the injustice of poverty. We believe in the power of citizens working together for a more just world. A world where people can stay safe in a crisis and recover from a disaster. Where everyone can exercise their rights as full and equal citizens, with real influence over the decisions that affect their lives. A world where future generations know no poverty.
We are building this positive future now and in West Africa. Not just for the privileged few, but as a right for everyone.
The planned intervention builds on the community actor and digital start-up set-up of ongoing projects between Oxfam and its partners:
a- The Light in Tambacounda
b- 7a Mareewe in Kolda
Secondly, based on an ongoing partnership relationship, the project is collaborating with the digital start-up VIAMO on innovative digital aspects such as the use of IVR/SMS (for awareness and social communication campaigns).
RESULTS / IMPACTS
General Objective: To contribute to the national response and post COVID-19 recovery by strengthening access to connectivity and information services in the health and MSME sectors (MSEs/CPCs), thereby contributing to the reduction of vulnerability and inequalities of targeted communities, in particular women and girls, through field actions and advocacy.
Specific objective 1: Strengthen access to connectivity for the health and MSME sectors in relation to the challenges posed by COVID-19 through the use of digital tools while drawing the attention of decision makers and private operators to the problem of unconnected areas in Senegal.
- Rural enclave communities are equipped with computer equipment (tablets and smartphones) allowing access to safe and useful information in the health sectors.
- The digital divide is reduced between the rural areas of Kolda and Tambacounda and the urban areas.
- Data is available and allows for advocacy on behalf of the people.
- The various stakeholders from the state, the private sector and the international community are engaged in a constructive dialogue.
Specific objective 2: Support health services in their digital transition.
- The information and awareness-raising platforms that have been put in place significantly improve access to quality services.
- The target actors are able to use these platforms effectively
Specific objective 3: Support MSMEs (with a focus on women-led enterprises) in their digital transition to ensure continuity in their services during the COVID-19 pandemic
- MSMEs are equipped with digital tools to ensure the continuity of their income-generating activities.
- Sharing of experiences within the sub-region allows for scaling up/down of actions
Direct beneficiaries :
- 3 reference health centres at district level
- Direct beneficiaries: 9 people (Information system manager / Health care manager / Midwife per health centre)
- 21 health posts (1 per commune)
- Direct beneficiaries: 84 people. The head nurse, the agent in charge of the maternity ward and 2 community agents (community health agent / matron) of each health post.
- 21 EIG
- Direct beneficiaries: 105 people including 84 women (the 5 members of the executive board of each MSE)
Indirect beneficiaries :
- 243,005 women between the ages of 15 and 49 in the three departments targeted by the project.
- 98,235 children aged 0-5 years in the 4 districts targeted by the project.
- Total EIG members: 630, including 504 women (30 members per EIG)
- Ministry of the Digital Economy, Posts and Telecommunications,
- Senegalese private sector (mobile/internet operators)
- Civil society