The Building Resilient Communities in Somalia consortium (BRCiS) is comprised of eight partner NGOs and is led by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). BRCiS is monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the beneficiaries of its Safety Net pilot cash transfer programme. This is the third report from the BRCiS COVID-19 Monitoring System in Somalia, and covers the period up to April 2021.
The BRCiS Safety Net pilot project serves 43 communities across ten regions: Banadir, Bari, Bay, Galgadud, Gedo, Hiran, Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, Mudug, and Sool. It reaches 3,048 households in total. Participant households have diverse livelihoods and include pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, IDPs, and urban residents.
The monitoring system uses a convenience sample of the households covered by the BRCiS Safety Net pilot project. A team of enumerators, closely supported and supervised by consortium technical staff, is collecting longitudinal data on households that are receiving Safety Net cash transfers. Household heads are interviewed by telephone and data is captured on mobile devices using ODK software. Data is collected on the prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms, impacts on food security, the way the cash transfers are used, and the death of household members, as well as key indicators of preventative behaviour and attitudes towards vaccination. Deaths are being monitored to determine the impact of the pandemic on the number of productive household members and the need for any additional support. To find out if a death is likely to have been caused by COVID-19, we are using the COVID-19 Rapid Mortality Surveillance questionnaire and analysis software developed in association with WHO.
To identify suspected cases of COVID-19, we are using a similar symptom scoring approach to the one used in the mortality surveillance screening tool. We ask about the presence of a range of symptoms and use these to calculate a symptom score and classify a person as suspected case. The symptom scoring and case definition is described in more detail in the annex. The initiative is being supported by external consultants. This report describes findings from the first five rounds of data collection, between June 2020 and April 2021.