The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented global public health challenge also affecting Zimbabwe. Its effect on government, the economy, delivery of services and people is enormous. In order for the Government of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders to respond to it effectively, it will be important that they have good, reliable data and are transparent about every decision and resources available.
As Zimbabwe goes under lockdown for 21 days there is a need for decisions to be data driven in order to minimize the effects of Covid-19. Data driven decision making accompanied by transparency will contribute to effective and efficient results. It enables trust building on the government’s capacity to manage crises by putting the needs of citizens first.
The Government of Zimbabwe and supporting stakeholders will need to put the following in place:
- To proactively share all information and data on testing and infections of Covid-19 as soon as the data becomes available;
- Proactive disclosure of resources allocated by government towards the health sector and disaster management in open and friendly formats;
- Proactive disclosure of data on all donations made to government and other local stakeholders;
- Transparency on expenditures and distribution of all resources allocated and donated;
- Transparency on government and stakeholder economic and social strategies to avert the effects of Covid-19;
- Engage media frequently to share government’s thinking, position and strategies;
With crisis comes misinformation and fake news. To tackle misinformation and disinformation, government and other stakeholders involved will need to lead from the front by being transparent.