Our software solutions support partners COVID-19 initiatives

Ona Staff
February 04, 2021

Last year, we partnered with organizations at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 as well as working directly with governments in various countries. Some of the ways we were able to contribute to the fight against COVID include…

Duty of Care Project (UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Tanzania)


In July 2020, Ona started working with the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in Tanzania to support their efforts to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on over 1,500 UN-affiliated staff members and their close family network (over 5,000) in Tanzania. We configured a system to dynamically create and send weekly email surveys to UN staff respondents. The system allows UN staff members to anonymously report key data on themselves, their households, and their close family networks. This data was then pulled into and visualized on Canopy’s infrastructure in real-time. By leveraging these tools, we were able to get the system rolled out and insights generated within a few weeks.

Review of Risk Communication and Community Engagement Initiative for COVID-19 Prevention Behaviours (UNICEF Cambodia)

Between April and June 2020, Ona worked with UNICEF Cambodia’s communication for development (C4D) team to support the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) activities at the national and sub-national level. These interventions aim to provide the general population, particularly the most marginalized women and children with timely and reliable information on COVID-19 risks and preventive actions so that people can better protect themselves and others. Ona helped to set up and administer an online and phone survey (using social media channels and partner networks) that measured the current progress of country-level RCCE initiatives in promoting risk-reducing behaviours preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ona then developed and published the resulting data sets on the publicly available COVID-19 Awareness dashboard.

Monitoring and Evaluation for the FCDO supported Somalia Humanitarian (MESH), Health and Resilience Programmes


The MESH programme is a multi-year, multi-million-pound monitoring and evaluation programme that aims to strengthen and extend the robust evidence base of the impact of UK humanitarian action as well as support the health sector in Somalia. The programme also seeks to facilitate FCDO Somalia’s decision-making process for its humanitarian and health investments. Ona has been a strategic technology partner in MESH since 2014 and we provide technology decision support tools to FCDO and its partners. At the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ona working with its MESH partners worked to quickly establish and deploy nationwide representative surveys (over 5,000 people) on Somalis preparedness for COVID-19 (April – May 2020) and the impact that the virus was having on the daily lives of vulnerable communities (June-Present 2020). Our platform was used to collect and visualize survey results in realtime from data collection enabling humanitarian agencies and FCDO (The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) to monitor emerging trends at the highest levels.

COVID Testing and Screening System and App (Ona)


As we all weigh the impact of vaccine approvals. It is increasingly clear that many countries will face the unprecedented challenge of ensuring all people are reached. Our digital health team has been working hard to implement a “COVID-19 Smart Response System’’ and the “Covax App”. The smart response system combined mobile health technology with algorithms that improve the coordinated efforts of health workers actively addressing the pandemic. Specifically, we enabled direct community-based and clinic surveillance to complement current clinic-based tests. The app is designed to address the specific challenge of coverage supporting both roster-based vaccination workflows at service points and national scale door-to-door household vaccination workflows supported by next-generation map-based targeting.

Supporting Emergency Response Capacity Analysis of the Government of Nigeria (UNICEF Nigeria)

With the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF’s health team requested extensive data analytics and visualization support for the emergency response in Nigeria. The analysis included extensive review and mapping of testing laboratories in Nigeria, assessing their capacity constraints and stock gap analysis of essential equipment in treatment facilities. Ona also pulled live COVID-19 infection and death data from NCDC into UNICEF’s SitRep and dashboard tools. Using Akuko, an analytics platform built by Ona, that allows users to tell stories with data collected in Ona and other platforms through views of data composed of map, table, chart, and text components, we were able to help UNICEF Nigeria map and visualize data around their COVID-19 testing sites.

Infrastructure Set Up And Support For Covid-19 Response Activities (Various)

Ona set up and tested key technology infrastructure (Ona Data, RapidPro and Canopy) that would equip various government ministries, humanitarian agencies and key UN institutions across the world to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and support their associated response plans. Working with organizations such as WFP, UNICEF, the AHA Centre and Governments ministries in Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Philippines to name just a few, Ona has been at the forefront of developing and implementing digital solutions that have proven crucial to these institutions in their quests to understand and better respond to the pandemic.