Thursday, 10.45-12.15 (Balcony E)

Participatory design of national level Information Management Systems: Zambia’s Gender-based Violence Informational Management System. Yeva Avakyan, World Vision US; Stacey Berlow, Project Balance; John S. Manda, World Vision Zambia; Holta Trandafili, World Vision US
Technological solutions are not commonly used at large scale to address sensitive issues such as gender-based violence (GBV) for fear of harming those in the system as well as because of the development and maintenance intricacies. However, when responsibly designed and used, technology is invaluable to survivors and stakeholders. This session presents the successful case of Zambia’s National Gender Based Violence Informational Management System (GBVIMS). We’ll discuss issues of ethics and technology, coordination of actors, current use, and sustainability.

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Session Details:

The goal of this session is to showcase an information management system (IMS) that allows gender-based violence (GBV) service providers in Zambia to effectively and safely collect, analyze and share data, conduct trends analysis, improve coordination and influence policy.

The development of the national GBV IMS in Zambia started in 2015 as part of a 5-year Gender-based Violence Survivor Support (GBVSS) program funded by USAID and UKAid. Zambia’s GBVIMS was adapted to a development context from GBVIMS developed to be used in a humanitarian context by an inter-agency partnership between UNFPA, IRC and UNHCR. Additionally, its design and development process was highly participatory, incorporating service providers from across the country, such as government agencies and NGOs. Designed and tested by the national-level inter-agency gender working group, the ownership of the system will eventually be transferred to the National Statistics Center of Zambia, the central statistics office of Zambia.

The panel will address issues of ethics, privacy and security, as well as the effectiveness of the system in referring survivors to appropriate services. The session will also outline how a collaborative approach to data management affects local ownership and partnerships at the local and national level and what impact it may have on effectively closing the loop of action for GBV survivors, from identification to referral. Panelists will discuss how data from the system can be used for decision-making by different levels of stakeholders. The session will conclude with a discussion on system security and data synchronization in an environment of unstable and intermittent internet connectivity.

Participants will learn about World Vision’s experience with the adaptation and roll out of GBVIMS in Zambia, including successes and challenges related to the technical architecture as well as the relational aspect of rolling out a national level information management system.

Session Leads:

Yeva Avakyan, Lead of Gender and Social Inclusion, World Vision U.S. In her role, Yeva leads the organization’s strategy and efforts to promote gender equality and address gender-based violence. As a social worker, she has worked with survivors of domestic violence, and brings years of experience in development research, program design and evaluation in the areas of gender-based violence, human trafficking, child marriage, male engagement, and prenatal sex selection. She holds Masters degrees in Sociology and Public Administration. More about Yeva here and at World Vision U.S..

Stacey Berlow, Founder and Managing Partner, Project Balance. Project Balance is a small women-owned business specializing in data driven software solutions. Stacey was the project manager and lead business analyst for the software development of the GBVIMS application. She brings over 30 years of experience in gathering requirements, business analysis and project management and is certified in agile project management and is a Scrum Master. Over the past 15 years, Stacey has led the design and development of health management information systems, surveillance and social welfare data capture applications and data dashboards for low and middle income countries. Stacey holds Masters degrees in Industrial Engineering and Science. Learn more about Stacey here or at Project Balance.

John S. Manda, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Advisor, World Vision Zambia. John has been leading the development of GBVIMS in World Vision Zambia in the scope of the Gender-based Violence Survivor Support project. He has been leading monitoring and evaluation teams for over 10 years, including conceptualizing and implementing research, program design, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building and systems strengthening of public health initiatives. John holds a Masters degree in Population Studies. He currently serves as the vice treasurer of the Zambia Monitoring and Evaluation Association board, a network of Monitoring and Evaluation practitioners in Zambia. More about John here or at World Vision Zambia.

Holta Trandafili, Manager for Research, Learning and Analytics, World Vision US. Holta has been leading field research and monitoring and evaluation since 2007. Her expertise includes measurement of sustainability through ex-post evaluations, empowerment of local actors through community-driven evaluations and Gender-based M&E. In the last three years, she has led field research on these topics in Uganda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar and Bolivia. She holds a master degree in Organizational Leadership. Currently, Holta serves as an Advisory Committee member for InterAction’s groups on Effectiveness and Program Evaluation Working Group, where she leads the working stream on Local Accountability and Beneficiary Participation. Learn more about Holta here or at World Vision U.S..