Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) organized a training program and eMIS performance review sessions on 2 and 3 November 2019 at Sylhet. Senior management from headquarters assessed the progress of implementation of eMIS in all the districts of Sylhet namely, Sylhet, Habiganj, Maulvi Bazar and Sunamganj.
After the inaugural session, Training of Trainers on eRegister and Format Tools was held which was followed by review of performance of different upazilas and districts regarding eMIS. The officials from Sylhet and Maulvi Bazar were invited on the 1st day those of Habiganj and Sunamganj on 2nd day.
The event started with an inaugural session, where Quazi AKM Mohiul Islam, DG, DGFP was present as Chief Guest and Monoj Kumar Roy, Director (MIS), DGFP; Md. Humayun Kabir, Senior Strategic and Technical Advisor, MEASURE Evaluation as special guests. Md. Kutub Uddin, Divisional Director, Sylhet was in the chair. The DG, DGFP highlighted the role of district and upazila managers in monitoring eMIS activities and instructed them to engage and for achieving success in the scale up of eMIS.
Divisional Director mentioned that there had been a need for such a meeting so as to motivate the field staff and also for clarifying their role regarding implementation of eMIS. After discussion and training, it would be clear to the officials. He argued that as a new initiative the field staff and managers need proper guidance and support.
Afterwards, Md. Sanaullah Nuri discussed about the objectives of the meeting and showed the progress of population registration and ELCOs using monitoring tools — an online tool with visualization. He informed that the headquarter officials monitor the activities regularly using web-based tools and the managers should also do the same at district or upazila level.
Later, in-depth training was conducted on the eManagement System (app) for the UFPOs and web-based monitoring tools. Dr. Twaha Mansurun Haque and Md. Sohrab Hossain Bhuiya, both from icddr,b supported the headquarter officials in conducting the training.
During discussion, it became apparent that some managers considered the eMIS as a core activity and pushed the field staff for making progress, while some adopted a business as usual approach resulting in weak performance. Some admitted that they had not been using the dedicated app or web-based tools. They also emphasized the need for regular training.
The officials present in the program promised to improve registration progress by up to 60% by December. It was decided that a meeting would be held in January next to review whether they have been able to achieve such progress.
The event made it clear that
- The central management of DGFP is keen to realize the full potential of the digital tools.
- There was an emphasis on the role of upazila or district managers, who committed to supervise and monitor their workforce.
- The field officials raised the issue of vacancies. Vacancies at the community and also at managerial level are a drag on speed and performance.
- With performance review and setting of targets, an accountability framework has been put in place regarding implementation of eMIS.
The field officials were recognized and awards were given to best performers on both days. Md. Abdul Matin, Upazila Family Planning Officer, Juri, Maulvibazar received prize on 2 November 2019. The performances of Abdur Rahman, UFPO, Bishwambarpur, Biswajit Krishna Chakroborty, UFPO, Tahipur and Ripon Chandra Das, UFPO, Doarabazar all from Sunamganj were recognized on the 2nd day.
National Helpline 333
Mr. Mustafizur Rahman, Divisional Commissioner, Sylhet attended the last session and presented a concept for developing an app using the national helpline 333. The app would server the pregnant women in the division. The DG, DGFP agreed to support the initiative with data from eMIS.
Scale up of eMIS depends upon strong commitment from the decision-makers at central level as well as district and local managers. On the whole, the event addressed issues that relates to the sustainability of the eMIS and created an environment for monitoring future performance of the field officers and their staff.