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ITL Ethiopia Project - Investing in Early Response Systems for Health Emergencies

As you may recall the new In Their Lifetime project in Ethiopia supports communities and health institutions to anticipate and detect health hazards and take early action to save lives. The project was due to start a few months ago but following the tragic deaths of two core members of the team, project initiation was pushed back to allow time for the team to process, re-plan and re-recruit.

Project Update: One new member of the team has already been successfully recruited but the second post has proved more difficult to recruit to and is still currently unfilled. Despite this the team are determined to start the project as planned this month and have reorganised internal resources accordingly. Prep work began in July with an initial planning workshop with local partners, the Christian Aid Ethiopia team and subject matter expert advisors from Christian Aid central team. Discussions focused on how we can ensure the project helps achieve the greatest possible change for the focus communities, but also in the longer term, for many other communities across Ethiopia. This means ensuring the project results in an enhanced understanding the seasonal nature of specific climate sensitive diseases, the most affected populations and the most effective sources on the prevalence of climate-sensitive diseases. It also needs to ensure that we are able to create effective flow of public health emergency information from communities to decision-makers and back to communities to enable them to adapt. All this will play a huge role in reducing illness and death from disease for underserved, remote communities in Ethiopia. Activities have since moved from planning to implementation, as the partners have started delivering initial activities with the project communities in a safe COVID-friendly manner.

ITL Myanmar Project - Building resilience with communities in conflict zones

The new In Their Lifetime project in Myanmar focuses on building long-term community resilience (the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to and recover from adversity). This simple idea has transformative potential where communities face constant threats to their lives and livelihoods caused by complex, protracted crisis – moving communities from being passive recipients of humanitarian aid, to active agents of change.

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Infographic summarising the ITL Myanmar Project Credit: Christian Aid
Infographic summarising the ITL Myanmar Project

Project Update: Despite reverberations from the devasting political developments in February, our partners are deeply committed to delivering this project due to the acute needs they are seeing which this project will directly address. As a result, we have decided we must continue to stand with them and have accordingly firmly reinstated our commitment to continuing with this project.

The Myanmar Country Team and partners have been in discussion about any necessary adaptions to be able to continue to deliver this work effectively, in light of the wider political situation. At this stage, despite the challenges and risks they are confident that can continue to deliver activities at community level and so all the ambitions in this regard remain the same. However, advocacy activities previously focused on involving government will of course need be adapted to instead have a greater focus on work within community systems and structures, with other stakeholders, including local leaders, traditional leaders, faith leaders and the private sector. In essence while specific project activities and indicators will be revised based on the changed context, the overall project focus and strategy remains consistent, and the political volatility has only served to highlight the need for this work.

Introducing our new ITL Programme Manager

We are thrilled to introduce the latest member of the ITL team, Philippa Juma, our new ITL Programme Manager. Her role will be central to supporting individual ITL projects to meet their goals and ensuring that the ITL Programme as a whole achieves its vision.

Hi, I’m Philippa Juma! I joined Christian Aid in May 2021 as ITL Programme Manager and I’m based in Nairobi, Kenya. My background is in programme funding and development, and although I’m from the UK, I’ve been based in East and Central Africa for 10+ years now. It’s wonderful to be able to join this new phase of the ITL journey from the very beginning. I’m really excited about ITL’s flexible, adaptive approach that allows its projects to focus on the change they want to achieve, while cultivating a learning environment which helps us to scale up the impact achieved even further.  It’s a unique opportunity, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know and engage with you, our ITL supporters, as we join together with our country teams and partners to explore a more effective and impactful approach to international development.

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ITL Programme Manager Credit: Christian Aid
ITL Programme Manager
ITL Programme Manager, Philippa Juma