Friday, September 25, 2020

MEAL DPro On-line Course: Be ready for the MEAL DPro certification just only 1 Month!

Pyramid Learning delivers the MEAL DPro On-line Course to individuals – via a 4-week on-line course – and via organization-wide cohorts.

Just one month to learn MEAL DPro and be ready for the MEAL DPro certification!

Course Instructor:

Leslie Sherriff is an Adjunct Professor at the American University, MEAL and International Development Professional with 20 years of experience. Her career includes work with the National Endowment for Democracy, Catholic Relief Services, Humentum, American University, and others.  

Over the past decade, Leslie has focused on MEAL field capacity-building via on-line learning. She designed courses and taught for American University’s on-line MSc in Measurement and Evaluation and is part of the team that developed the Guide to the MEAL DPro and its supporting learning materials.

Leslie has double Masters degrees in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh (USA), and Evaluation and Social Research from London Metropolitan University (UK) and BA in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USA).

Institutional Background

Pyramid Learning provides engaging and scalable learning for humanitarian relief and development practitioners. They work with individuals and organizations – delivering online and face-to-face courses, designing custom courses, such as PMD Pro, MEAL DPro, FMD Pro, Program DPro developing credentials and facilitating learning events. 

Their mission is to make quality learning appropriate, accessible and actionable. To help those doing good, do even better.

All their products and services are designed to be accessible, appropriate and actionable. They prioritize practical skills and tools, while providing easy-to-deploy learning systems that can be used to upskill a single team or scaled to support a whole organization.

Course Schedule & Time-line

Starting date: Oct. 5 – Oct. 30, 2020

The course is approximately 5-8 hours per week over 4 weeks – there are many learning styles and some people prefer to take longer. 

This course gives you the skills you need to conduct monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) activities through the entire project cycle, helping you successfully deliver your project on scope, on time, and on budget.


This MEAL DPro On-line Course is designed for the active professionals who want to learn MEAL via a process that is virtual, social and mobile-ready, participants will get their access data, the usernames and the password for the learning system prior to the class starting after the payment received through the local agent.

As you go through the course, you will interact with facilitators and other learners from across the globe, exploring ideas and participating in conversations about the different skills and tools of project management.  

Learning activities include completing course readings, watching instructional videos, competing complete e-learning modules and submitting examples of work.

Everything about the course design is flexible!  The learning platform is accessible when you want – day or night.  

As you go through the course, modules will unlock – as long as you are doing the work! The platform allows you to go back and review what others are saying. If you need to take a break, you can catch up. The course is also mobile-ready, so you continue to learn when you are on-the-go.

For best results, we recommend that you develop a learning plan that allocates approximately 5-8 hours each week for study.  In order to progress through the course, you will need to complete the learning activities. You will also be expected to join in course discussions, contributing to discussions and responding to your classmates comments!

 The more you do, the more you learn  and the faster you progress through the course. We hope that this creates an interesting learning and sharing experience.


The course approaches MEAL as a puzzle made up of four pieces. Each piece—monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning—has its unique place and purpose, but the MEAL system is only effective when the pieces are aligned, connected and working together.

MEAL DPro Course Schedule and Learning Objectives

Week 1:    Introducing MEAL

  • Define the components and purpose of MEAL
  • Explain the benefits of a strong MEAL system
  • Describe the relationship between MEAL and project management
  • Identify the five phases of MEAL
  • Describe the ethical standards and principles relevant to MEAL

Week 2:   Logic Models

  • Describe how project logic models contribute to establishing a strong foundation for MEAL
  • Compare and contrast the components, structure and purpose of the Theory of Change, Results Framework and the Logical Framework
  • Explain the purpose of identifying assumptions in project logic models
  • Interpret the vertical and horizontal logic of the Logical Framework
  • Understand the characteristics of a SMART indicator
  • Identify the most common measurement methods and when they are used

Week 3    MEAL Planning Tools

  • Identify and describe the purpose, process, and content of key MEAL planning tools, including
    • Performance Monitoring Plans
    • Indicator Performance Tracking Table
    • Evaluation Summary Table
    • Evaluation Terms of Reference
    • Feedback Response Mechanisms
  • Discuss the various types of evaluation and the data required for each

Week 4    Collecting and analyzing MEAL data

  • Explain the 5 elements of data quality
  • Describe the components of a basic data collection tool, including questionnaires, surveys, interviews and focus groups
  • Explain the basic principles of sampling
  • Describe key steps in preparing to implement data collection tools
  • Identify generally accepted protocols and standards for responsible data management
  • Describe the purpose and processes of quantitative data analysis
  • Describe the purpose and processes of qualitative data analysis.

Course Fee (updated)
Individual participants would pay $125 for the course including local coaching (virtual or face-to-face based on the situation), honorarium of the facilitator/s and the marketing development.
NB: There is still a chance to book the course on $100 only, but there will be no extra help or coaching. You will simply be purchasing the generic, open course.

Certificate of Completion/Attendance

Everyone who completes the course will receive a certificate of attendance. Everyone who passes the MEAL DPro exam will also receive the MEAL DPro certification.

We have designed the MEAL DPro Online Course so that participants who wish to pursue certification will be able to successfully pass the certification exam in the first attempt assuming that:

  • they participate actively in the course
  • they extensively study the Guide to the MEAL DPro
  • they complete the preparatory activities found on the MEAL DPro certification website (see below.)

MEAL DPro Certification Exam

MEAL D Pro is a globally recognized certification for development professionals who understand the key concepts, purposes, components, and ethical principles relevant to MEAL. This course prepares learners to take the MEAL D Pro Certification Exam.

The certification was created by the PHAP Credentialing Program. You can find more information about the certification at the following website:  (or click the image below)

Online Course: The course fee does not include the cost of the exam, and it is not administered at the end of the course. You can arrange to take the exam online at any time after the course, with costs starting from $80. More information can be found here

MEAL DPro in-house or face-to-face training

We would be very happy to run this course in house, 5-7 days contact sessions in Somalia/Somaliland and also to discuss your organisation’s learning needs.

Any organisation purchasing an in-house virtual course will also receive an extra day of consulting to help you plan next steps and implementation.

For more Information

In case you may need additional details about the course, please contact us at or or call Dr. Mohamed Y. Dualeh at this number +252 63 4417945.

Official website: 

Thank you

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Somalia: building a stronger primary health care system

 In the first year of the Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (GAP), 12 signatory agencies have engaged with several countries to help them achieve their major health priorities. The initial focus has been on strengthening primary health care and sustainable financing for health.  Somalia is one of the countries where progress under the GAP is most advanced and where its added value has been most clearly demonstrated.

Routine immunization in Shibis mother and child health facility, Benadir region, Somalia.
The Somalia country Director and Representative of the World Food Programme, Dr Cesar Arroyo underlined the vital importance of the GAP – through cementing collaboration among the 12 agencies: 

The GAP initiative marks a crucial step towards solving health-related challenges in Somalia and offers us an opportunity to strengthen our partnerships across the humanitarian community thereby enhancing operational efficiency, particularly within the COVID-19 context and beyond. 

Three decades of civil war and instability have weakened Somalia’s health system and contributed to it having some of the lowest health indicators in the world. The situation varies from region to region but between 26-70% of Somalia’s 15 million people live in poverty and an estimated 2.6 million people have been internally displaced. 

But the Government is committed to using current opportunities to strengthen health and social development. These include implementation of Somali National Development Plan for 2019–2024 and the Somali Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Roadmap, launched in September 2019.

Both plans identify primary health care  as the main approach to improving health outcomes in the country.  Primary health care provides whole-person care for most health needs throughout the lifespan, ensuring that everyone can receive comprehensive care ─ ranging from health promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care ─ as close as possible to where they live.

Working together, the Government of Somalia, GAP agencies and multilateral and bilateral partners have identified 5 priorities for enhanced collaboration to accelerate progress towards UHC.

Says Monique Vledder, Head of Secretariat for the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents: 

The launch of the Global Action Plan has helped accelerate momentum across global health agencies to align their support to country partners. In Somalia, the GFF has brought the spirit of the GAP from the global to the country level, convening partners across the federal and local governments, Somaliland, UN agencies, donors and civil society to establish the Health Sector Coordination Committee. Country stakeholders and GAP agencies  are now building consensus around a priority package of essential services and critical health system reforms.

 1. Establishment of a health coordination mechanism

 Efforts are underway to set up a coordination mechanism for all health partners to strengthen primary health care and fill gaps in services at the district level, building consensus around a priority package of essential services and critical health system reforms and mapping the availability of services and health workers.

2. Improving access to a package of high-quality essential health services

The country’s health services package is being updated with support from GAP agencies and other partners, with a focus on prevention and community-based components, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and mental health. 

De Martini COVID-19 isolation center in Benadir, Somalia supported by WHO.

3. Strengthening emergency preparedness and response through UHC

Somalia is prone to emergencies from natural disasters and disease outbreaks and is now responding to COVID-19. GAP agencies are exploring opportunities to support the finalization and implementation of components of a National Action Plan for Health Security, which includes strengthening of laboratory and early warning systems and ensuring that a package of essential health services and key commodities are effectively delivered in humanitarian settings.

4. Strengthening the role and capacity of the Ministry of Health

This is essential to address fragmented health service delivery and funding arrangements; improve institutional capacity for policy-making, regulation, coordination, planning, management and contracting; and use of data in decision-making. 

5. Harnessing the private sector for UHC

Private health services and the pharmaceutical sector are largely unregulated in Somalia but could contribute to improving access and achieving UHC. GAP agencies are exploring opportunities to support the development and operationalization of a strategy for the private health sector, to assess its current role in service delivery and implementation of regulatory frameworks and contracting mechanisms.

GAP provides us an opportunity to accelerate progress in achieving universal health coverage in Somalia through coordinated action and alignment with development partners and UN agencies. More than ever, we now need to push this agenda as we support the health systems of Somalia recover stronger and better from the COVID-19 pandemic, said WHO Country Representative in Somalia, Dr Mamunur Malik . 

A polio zonal officer is preparing vitamin A supplement for a child during a recent integrated campaign.

“Our collective engagement in improving access to care for women, children, and other vulnerable groups will be decisive in improving health and well being in the country. Through an integrated, coordinated and collaborative approach such as the GAP,  we can also build the required capacity of national and local health authorities to  deliver not only cost-effective health interventions using a primary healthcare approach, but also monitor and track porgress of the health-related indicators of sustainable development goal in the country“, he added.
Although there are many health and social challenges in Somalia, the GAP is leveraging emerging opportunities to strengthen primary health care to support the country in achieving UHC and other health-related SDGs.  
To move these efforts forward, GAP agencies are collaborating with the Government to develop an operational plan. They aim to align this with the new funding that a number of agencies are providing for the response to COVID-19, to support the scale-up of primary health care, including implementation of the package of essential health services.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Switzerland Provides Support to UNFPA Somalia for Improved Maternal and Newborn Health & the Fight against FGM

 Switzerland has contributed CHF 4’552’000 (around $5M), in support of the UNFPA Country Programme 2018-2020. This is to strengthen efforts towards improving maternal and newborn health, the fight against harmful practices including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and for the empowerment of young people in Somalia.  

Millions of women and girls in Somalia remain at significant risk of maternal mortality and FGM. Maternal mortality remains high, with 1 in 20 women aged 15, expected to die of pregnancy or birth-related complications by age 49. The country has an FGM prevalence rate of 99 percent among women and girls of 15 to 49 years.

Switzerland remains committed to alleviating the severe health needs of women and girls in Somalia, and in promoting human rights.

We’re glad to provide support to Somalia through UNFPA, as we continue to collaborate to help re-build the health system and to address challenges faced particularly by women and girls, said Thomas Oertle – Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation for the Horn of Africa.

UNFPA Somalia Representative Mr. Anders Thomson expressed gratitude to the Government of Switzerland saying the funding is coming at the right time when these essential services are needed most, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, when vulnerabilities and needs of women and girls have intensified.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Ethiopia to begin manufacture and export of COVID-19 test kits

 East African nation of Ethiopia has announced that it will begin the manufacture of COVID-19 test kits for export to African nations with China’s help.

This was announced by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health earlier this week. Ethiopia’s deputy State Health minister, Dereje Duguma, announced that the Chinese government is working with the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed and production is expected to commence this month.

The Minister added that Ethiopia will stop the import of test kits into the country, and will in the nearest future export the manufactured test kits to other African nations. Ethiopia has already tested over 1 million people and had confirmed 58,672 cases of the virus by September 9, including 21,307 recoveries and 918 deaths.

Health Minister, Leah Tadesse thanked Ethiopia’s health workers for working tirelessly across the country’s 52 coronavirus testing centers.

As we pass one million tests, I would like to sincerely thank all our health workers working tirelessly, particularly those working as sample collectors, our lab technicians, rapid response teams, contact tracers, logistic teams, drivers and all coordinators and leaders of all labs and facilities across the country, she said.

China has been working closely with the country and recently donated for the 3rd time 500,000 surgical masks and 10,000 pieces of protective medical gear.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

In Somalia, COVID-19 Fears Prevent Maternal Healthcare, Child Vaccines

 MOGADISHU - Somali health authorities say the number of maternal checkups and childhood vaccinations have plunged during the pandemic as many people fear catching COVID-19 at clinics and hospitals.  Healthcare workers worry the lack of medical care for pregnant women and children could result in a wave of common diseases that take more victims than COVID-19.

Amina Mustaf and her family were displaced by drought three years ago and have since been living in a Mogadishu relief camp.

Her three-week-old baby needed vaccinations, but she was too afraid of catching COVID-19 to go to a clinic.

She said that it is a common fear among mothers in the camp.

Mustaf said that she couldn’t go to a health care facility because of this COVID-19 spreading across the world.  she feared for her health and that of her child, she said.  Mustaf said because they are scared of contracting the virus at a health facility they missed important pre-natal and post-natal vaccinations, all because of COVID-19.

Somali healthcare workers are alarmed by the sharp decline in child immunizations and visits to clinics during the pandemic.

Volunteers like Sadia Ahmed, with local health group SORRDO, are going door-to-door urging families to vaccinate their children.

But it’s no easy task, she said.

Every mother, whether pregnant or lactating, is not ready to come to the health facility for vaccination, said Ahmed. Most fear contracting COVID-19.

If left unaddressed, Somalia could see a jump in respiratory infections, measles, and malnutrition, said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ICRC said visits to Somali Red Crescent clinics by children under five and pregnant women dropped by more than half in the first seven months of this year compared to 2019.

ICRC health officer Ahmed Nur said the risk of them catching common diseases is high, especially among the vulnerable.

He said COVID-19 has badly affected the entire country and forced mothers and children not to come to health centers for vaccinations in fear of the virus. Nur said the fall in vaccinations will result in more and more children contracting  contagious diseases.

Somalia’s Health Ministry admits there is a problem.

The ministry’s national director of efforts to fight COVID-19, Abdirizaq Yusuf, said they are taking measures.

He said that they indeed realized vaccination numbers have dramatically dropped due to the emergence of Covid-19.

Nonetheless, Somalia’s Health Ministry is exploring new ways to urge people to embrace vaccinations, as a way of preventing contagious diseases and reducing child mortality rates.

Flooding around Mogadishu in recent months also risks waterborne disease, warns the ICRC.

The floods are further straining Somalia’s pandemic-stretched health system and only adding to the worries of mothers like Mustaf.

By: Mohamed Sheikh Noor


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Certificate(s) Distribution Ceremony: Graduates in Mogadishu earned their credentials

 𝑨𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒂𝒍𝒍...𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔!

Let us celebrate today with our University of Washington’s Department of Global Health E-learning graduates in Mogadishu, the capital city, Somalia.

Continuing and Professional Education is key to develop one’s ability to efficiently cope with his/her daily routine works, increase awareness of the most recent trends in their professions and help them solve the challenges around their businesses effectively.

University of Washington (USA) offers learners from developing countries the opportunity to earn graduate-level certificates with a concentration in Global Health. Learners who successfully complete the required course series will be awarded a high quality certificate of completion on vellum bearing the University of Washington Seal.

In addition, we will finalize other partnerships from globally recognized certifications and trainings from several highly reputable organizations in USA, UK and Australia; in our attempt to further knowledge of our people & build capacity of the working professionals, individuals who want to move into management, and also helping new graduates who looking for a job.

We are not looking only a prestigious certificates to showcase in this recent competitive job market but rather we deeply understand the importance of training and value / significance each and every one of those certifications can have on a professional level.

To this end, we are thankful and really appreciate the management of Benadir University, Mogadishu for hosting this graduation event and their collaboration, similar applause goes to 𝐌𝐫. 𝐀𝐛𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐣𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐥 𝐀𝐛𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐡𝐢 𝐀𝐥𝐢 (PhD Candidate), a senior lecturer and independent consultant/head of MEAL Department at SOS Children's village somalia and 𝐃𝐫. 𝐌𝐨𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐎𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 (𝐍𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐦) Head of NCD Ministry of Health and Human Services Federal Government of Somalia for their honoring our graduates on the stage.

Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to 𝑴𝒐𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝑨𝒉𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝑯𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒏 (Arab), the even manager, 𝑺𝒂𝒉𝒓𝒂 𝑴𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝑴𝒐𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅, 𝑫𝒓. 𝑴𝒐𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒐𝒖𝒅 𝑴𝒐𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝑫𝒂𝒉𝒊𝒓, 𝑨𝒃𝒅𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒛𝒂𝒌 𝑴𝒐𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒖𝒅 𝒀𝒖𝒔𝒖𝒇 and the valuable members from our team who worked hard to make this event possible and collected their certificates successfully.

More photos from the event can be reached here (click this link)

Thank you for your reading and consideration.