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Community Contribution

Jordan's Call Center CLA approach to an effective COVID-19 response

Ekpenyong Ekanem, Mona Abdeljawad, Bilal Arab

The Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS) under the USAID Integrated Health Systems IDIQ helps low- and middle-income countries transition to sustainable, self-financed health systems to support universal health coverage. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jordan Ministry of Health wanted to establish a call center for contact tracing and requested support from LHSS in Jordan for capacity strengthening for call center staff. The Project used collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) approaches-including adaptive management, data for decision-making, scenario planning, and continuous learning and improvement-to optimize the management of the center and respond to the changing COVID-19 situation. 

By developing a set of assumptions and indicators for scenario planning, the Ministry and LHSS determined the number of nurses needed for the call center and contracted with the Jordan Nursing and Midwifery Council. The Project helped the Ministry and the Council adapt the call center to changing circumstances using multiple approaches over time, to continually improve and refine the rates of the nurses' calls to confirmed cases. 

The center made full use of its staff even when cases ebbed by expanding the scope of the work beyond contact tracing. From December 2020 to April 2022, the center completed more than 3 million calls, starting with just contact tracing but later expanding to include promotion of vaccination and monitoring of adverse vaccine side effects. The collaboration that LHSS fostered between the Ministry and the Council, through coordination and management, created deeper trust between the institutions. The Ministry partnered with the Council for additional response activities. LHSS analyzed the data collected in 2022 to understand the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Jordan and the administrative effectiveness of the call center. Now, in 2023, LHSS is disseminating this evidence for government and non-governmental stakeholders working to prepare for future health emergencies.

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