At the height of the pandemic, the UN Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP) team with the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) in Namibia required an international UN Volunteer to assist with coordinating the COVID-19 response. Read more about how Sho Matsumura, COVID-19 Coordination Response Officer with UNRCO Namibia, began providing coordination support for the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the COVID-19 CPRP and the Socio-Economic Recovery Plan (SERP).
Chaired by the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Namibia, the UN CPRP contributed to strengthening national health capacity and systems as well as providing operational assistance on logistics, especially for the procurement of medical equipment, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Via telecommuting, Sho was mobilised from his home base in Japan but rapidly integrated into the RCO team. As COVID-19 Coordination Response Officer, Sho was assigned to provide coordination support to the UN CPRP, including consolidating and sharing information among the UN CPRP Pillars, coordinating weekly meetings, preparing reports and meeting minutes. Sho focused on maintaining and strengthening the active engagement of the UN CPRP team by sharing information and connecting people in a timely, inclusive, consultative and effective manner.
After arriving on the ground in Namibia, Sho also provided coordination support for the UN CPRP pillar to formulate the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 Vaccines (NDVP). In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and WHO, Sho’s work extended to include providing technical assistance to the subgroups of the COVID-19 Vaccine National Taskforce.
In connecting people, Sho facilitated resource mobilisation, encouraged collaboration and pooled technical expertise among UN agencies.
Sho said, "At weekly meetings, the CPRP Pillars shared experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, to address the shortage of human resources through promoting joint work, sharing limited resources, and minimising duplication and unnecessary competition."
"This led to the enhanced collective engagement of the UN in Namibia, encouraging the coherence, effectiveness, synergies and complementarities of UN support in alignment with national priorities and response to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
Mr. Matsumura provided timely support in coordination for COVID-19 response and recovery, fulfilling his responsibilities in a proactive and constructive way, engaging with UN agencies and RCO colleagues. He took over the coordination support from the CPRP and monitored the COVID Socio-Economic Recovery Plan (SERP). -- Mr. Carlos Fernández García, Sho Matsumura's supervisor
"Mr. Matsumura has shown flexibility and adaptation to complex working conditions in the context of COVID. In all tasks, he showed excellent skills for planning and monitoring, ensuring the delivery of results," says Mr Fernández García.