The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us a lot of things, one of them is to be adaptable in a difficult situation. In order to contain the spread of the disease, we had been suggested to do increase healthy behaviour and physical distancing. The same works for staffs of SEAMEO RECFON. For the last 3 months, we have conducted our 6 mandates, which are education/training, capacity building, research, information dissemination, partnership, and community development from the comfort of our home.
Here are a few highlights of our work from home moments:
- Capacity Buildings
Incapability to travel and having a face to face meeting do not lessen our productivity. One thing for sure, the method of our teaching has been changed into the online system. We indeed have to shift the schedule of online training activities earlier and cancel some face to face capacity buildings plan. In the last 3 months, we have conducted three online training, which are Early Childhood Care training (in collaboration with Ministry of Religious Affairs), training in Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and Nutrition management training for community nutritionist. The trainings attract more than 3500 applicants from all over Indonesia, and in the end, we have to expand our resources to facilitate the learning eagerness of the participants.
We also had two additional Online Lecture Series upfront. In collaboration with Directorate of Nutrition, Directorate General of Public Health, Ministry of Health Indonesia, we conducted Webinar on Updates on Nutrition Care Process at the Primary Health Care during the COVID 19 pandemic, which was viewed by 2335 attendees on youtube.
And in collaboration with WHO, a webinar on Food Safety during pandemic: A challenge for community, stakeholders, and food industry, with Indah Deviyanti, MPH (NPO Environmental Health WHO) as the speaker.
The recordings of the online lecture series can be found at http://bit.ly/YouTube_SEAMEORECFON
Before the pandemic, we have taken agreement for our contractual research grants. Despite the physical distancing recommendation, our researcher has modified their plan to make sure that their research could go as it planned. Some of the research activities are on implementation phase, while some others were just finished the final discussion for data collection. Modifications of the research methodologies and timing of data collection need to be made. However, we are positive that the 11 recipients of our 4th research grant program can manage to finish the study and come up with beautiful publications.
As a response to the pandemic, we also conducted our online research through online questionnaire concerning factors related with diet shifting, food security and accessibility during the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. We had 400 respondents from all over Indonesia responded to the study and the data is being currently analysed. Evidence from the study will be important as the base to give information on impact of pandemic and community containment on people’s diet, food safety and food security in Indonesia.
- Community Development and Partnerships
Activity regarding community development and partnerships probably are most significantly hit by this pandemic. As an institution that works a lot with communities, almost all activities and visits have to be cancelled. To monitor and keep our partners motivated, we keep our WhatsApp group alive. We also send our academic partners and teachers questionnaires to survey the impact of pandemic on their implementation of Nutrition Goes to School programs. A continuous communication is key to make sure the partnership works well and sustain.
Despite of limitation, we managed to maintain and expand our partnerships by conducting several workshops for module development, which succeeded with an intersectoral collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs, National Family Planning and Population Agency, and Early Childhood Care Educators professional organisations.
- Regular activities at the office
To make sure that we could always maintain our physical and mental wellbeing, we also continue our regular physical activity every Tuesday and Friday afternoon! We also build new hand washing facilities, put more sign and information booklet for our staff on how to keep healthy during the pandemic. In addition, even though the rest of the office were working from home, our Human Resources and General Affairs staff ensure the cleanliness of the office and make sure there is good ventilation and sunlight in every room every day. We also attended internal staff information session on Covid-19 and how to keep healthy during working from home.