Satellite Office Now Open in Livingstone
By Christina Smith, Project Administrator, BID initiative
Oct 24, 2014
Posted in General
The beginning of October marked the opening of our Livingstone office in the Southern Province of Zambia. This is a huge step forward for Zambia as a demonstration country because we will now focus on selecting initial test sites in the Livingstone area, where the team will jointly design solutions with members of the health facilities and the district, and then develop a strategy for rollout of BID Initiative solutions across the Southern Province.
The BID Initiative leadership team worked closely with district and provincial officials to determine the appropriate area in the country to begin BID Initiative activities, visiting health facilities in four different districts in Southern Province, including urban, peri-urban and rural settings. During the visit in May earlier this year, the team observed several strengths and opportunities as well as the presence of key challenges in the Southern Province which Zambia has identified as priority for the BID Initiative to address, making it a good fit.
An overview of the strengths and opportunities in the province included:
- Health workers are viewed as an important asset and a strong base of health workers is in place.
- A strong desire by the health workers to improve and fix the challenges.
- Evidence of strong champions who are creative and organized.
- The majority of staff saw the importance of data, seeking new solutions for data collection and use.
An overview of the key challenges present that BID Initiative solutions will address in the province included:
- Stockouts related to reporting and communication challenges within the supply chain.
- An overwhelming demand with overflowing immunization clinics.
- Transportation issues limiting outreach services.
- Miscalculation of immunization coverage rates due to the denominator often being smaller than the actual population needing immunization services.
- Not using registers to know and track the full history of a child’s immunization.
New Office, New Staff
I recently spent two weeks in Zambia, onboarding our new in-country Finance and Operations Manager, Chansa Katongo, and working with him in Livingstone to set up the satellite office. Establishing an in-country office presents its own set of challenges from searching for an office space, working with our global IT team and connecting with the community to source furniture and office supplies. With those tasks nearing completion, we are happy to welcome the newly hired BID Initiative staff in Livingstone to the new office and move forward in Zambia.
After all the hard work by our team members and country partners to select an appropriate area and open the Livingstone office, we are excited to embark on the next phase of the BID Initiative in Zambia. Stay tuned as we share more updates on our efforts in Zambia.