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Virtual monitoring, evaluation and learning on HIV service accessibility during COVID 19: learnings & best practices

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BACKGROUND: The Ready, Resourceful, Risk-Aware (Triple-R) project is supporting the government of Eswatini to prevent new HIV infections and reducing the HIV vulnerability for orphans and vulnerable children, adolescent girls and young women. Robust practices of MEL are the best tools to monitor and measure the success and performance of projects. COVID 19 restrictions however presented challenges in traditional ways of conducting data collection and program monitoring through site visits and physical interactions. This called for new strategies to ensure that people continue receiving quality services and documentation is done properly.
The purpose of the study is to measure service delivery with the new incorporated MEL systems during the COVID 19 pandemic.
DESCRIPTION: Challenges in implementing MEL during the pandemic
Due to COVID 19 pandemic restrictions, there were some data loss and gathering referral completion data became difficult.
Adapted MEL practices during the pandemic


LESSONS LEARNED: On average 97% of verified clients indicated to have received services in year 2021. About 20,765 referrals issued in 2020 where completion rate was 86% and 113% referrals completion rate in 2021.

MEL changes improved partner collaborations, strengthen staff skills in mobile application use and remote working tools. Automated processes improved results production and data quality.
CONCLUSIONS: Strengthened technological capacities and innovative skills for M&E staff bolster effective response mechanisms and real time monitoring of HIV programs resulting in improved data outcomes.
Keyterms: MEL: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.