ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE - Community engagement and compliance monitoring of COVID-19 safety protocols: innovative approach combining indigenous practice and GIS technology in Oyo State, Nigeria

Olanike K. Adeyemo, David T. Afolayan, Selim A. Alarape, Victoria A. Adetunji, Musibau A. Babatunde, Godwin Ana, Mojeed Mogbonjubola, Akeem Azeez, Kazeem Bolarinwa, Victor Olojede


Background: One of the major challenges that has driven the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide is the burden of enforcing the preventive measures required to contain the pandemic. Enforcement of COVID-19 precautionary behaviour should not be homogenous; every country needs to be creative to ensure that humane considerations guide all decisions during the extraordinary experience that COVID-19 pandemic portends. The model of self-policing is acceptable and maintained principally because the citizens of any communities operate, recognize, and accept them as preferred alternatives to the official models of policing for enforcement. Hence the approach presented in this paper, which deployed existing indigenous alternative systems in ensuring compliance with COVID-19 precautionary behaviour. This article therefore documents the unique approach deployed for the containment of COVID-19 in Oyo State, Nigeria.

Objective: This intervention was designed to explore established indigenous alternative systems and models of control, justice, law, security, and enforcement in Nigeria. Additionally, geographic information system (GIS) technology and investigative journalism was used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.
Method: The method employed was community conversation; a method of increasing inclusive, community-based engagement harnessing the expertise and motivation of key stakeholders. The community conversations were convened after the pattern of a traditional Town-hall meeting. Community conversations were organized as a qualitative framework focusing on deploying the indigenous practice of self-policing associated with Nigeria’s trade unions and aims to inform COVID-19 preventive behaviour at the community level. Geographical information system technology was used to develop COVID-19 Containment Compliance Citizens’ Reporter App. The App was developed using ESRI ArcGIS online platform to crowd source public feedback on The Proceedings of the Nigerian Academy of Science 30
compliance or contravention of COVID-19 protocols. Social media platforms were also deployed for monitoring and evaluation of the intervention post townhall meeting.

Results: The establishment of a State-wide Containment response network provided the required inroad for advocacy and deployment of state-wide community conversation framework in the different communities comprising diverse ethnic groups, religious leaders, market leaders, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and so on. Testimonials from the various communities showed that the people have embraced the self-policing strategy and the network system was effective with good outcomes in terms of response to decontamination, containment, and advocacy. The COVID-19 Containment Compliance Citizens’ Reporter App, investigative reporting by mass media were highly effective tools for monitoring and evaluation of the outcome of the intervention as well as possible evidence for melting out incentive and disincentive measures as necessary. This approach is a template, which could be adapted and replicated in other parts of Nigeria and other African societies with similar structures, demographics, and indigenous practices.


Indigenous Practices, COVID-19 Containment, Community Conversations

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