This blogpost is part of an ongoing series that features PMA2020 staff in the field. This feature spotlights an RE from Uganda and her unique experiences with the project.
Assumpta Nangonzi is a resident enumerator (RE) with PMA2020/Uganda. Assumpta’s background is in environment health science (she holds a degree in this field), although her passion spans multiple areas within global health. Assumpta heard about PMA2020 from Dr. Frederick Makumbi (Principal Investigator for PMA2020/Uganda) and started working as an RE in 2014 during the first round of data collection in Uganda and has been with the project since.
Assumpta is passionate about the work she does and feels that this is an “exciting project in the sense that its research and data collection have a focus on women, as both the interviewees and the interviewers are females.” She adds that the PMA2020 platform “empowers women by teaching them the skills of technology.”
In addition to being a PMA2020 RE, Assumpta is also a Program Officer for Policy and Advocacy at a global advocacy organization called Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA-Uganda) in Kampala. As both an advocate and a researcher, Assumpta is exposed to unique perspectives that allow her to speak credibly and passionately in both realms. She recognizes that family planning evidence and data are necessary to build a platform for advocacy and win over stakeholders. She cites PMA2020 as the main data source for her family planning advocacy.
Last year, Assumpta made this connection (between research and advocacy) tangible by creating an advocacy-driven policy poster using PMA2020 data, which she presented to key decision-makers and stakeholders including members of the Ugandan Parliament, the Ministry of Health, and various civil society organizations. Her efforts had positive results; among them being a commitment from stakeholders to push sexual and reproductive health and rights for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, specifically aiming to ramp up family planning efforts. They also committed to establish “youth corners” that would offer youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services in each district of Uganda.
A lack of funds has slowed down progress and establishment of these resources, but that has not discouraged Assumpta. She and her colleagues continue to lobby Parliament and the Ministry of Health to ensure that these resources are provided and that family planning does not fall off the agenda.
The entire PMA2020 team is inspired by Assumpta’s efforts and encourages her to continue advocating for the use of data in improving the rights of women and girls!