The Proof is in the Planning, Supervision and Monitoring
Bringing Efficiency and Efficacy to IRS Operations
Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is a complex operation that requires rigorous planning, supervision and monitoring. The PMI VectorLink Project employs a cadre of planning tools, job aides and supervision and monitoring checklists to ensure efficiency, quality, and effectiveness at the national and district levels to help host-country governments carry out IRS campaigns.
Determining quantities of resources and where to distribute them requires significant planning efforts.
PMI VectorLink uses a Quantification Tool to calculate the total amounts of the various resources, such as spray equipment, insecticide, and Personal Protective Equipment, required for a successful spray campaign. This tool is used at government and stakeholder meetings to support planning efforts at the national level and contributes to annual work planning efforts for the project.
Once the total amounts are decided, micro-planning meetings are held at the district level with all the relevant stakeholders, including technical officials, political leaders, and other key influencers to where and how resources will be allocated. A Micro-Planning Tool guides the process. This tool is more detailed than the Quantification Tool as it calculates by district the quantities of each resource needed at each spray operation site. The Micro-Planning Tool also determines the number of seasonal workers needed to carry out the campaign, i.e. spray operators, team leaders, supervisors, storekeepers, washers, security guards, pump technicians, etc.
As the date for the launch of the spray campaign approaches, logistics preparations intensify. To support in-country teams, PMI VectorLink uses the Race to the Starting Line tool, developed under the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project,which lists the critical milestones that must be achieved in the final eight weeks before the start of a spray campaign to ensure it begins on time.
AIRS has also designed Spray Calendars to reduce the lengths of spray campaigns. Vehicle rental is one of the biggest contributors to the cost of IRS operations in all countries. Spray Calendars enable teams to plan out vehicle rentals to ensure they are rented only on days when they are absolutely required. Where possible, spray teams move to communities on foot and by bicycle.
PMI VectorLink trains and supports district officials, and other relevant stakeholders in the supervision of spray activities in the communities. Supervision Checklists were developed for supervisors of spray campaigns. The supervisors include project staff and Government/District officials. The checklists cover all the key aspects of spray operations, such as compliance to safety procedures, spray personnel conduct in the community, and insecticide application techniques. The checklists, which come in both paper and digital (e-) formats, include:
- Spray Operator Morning Mobilization & Transportation Vehicle Inspection
- Storekeeper Performance
- Homeowner Preparation & Spray Operator Performance; and
- End-of-Day Cleanup
With 400-900 spray operators in the field during a campaign, standard procedures are essential to ensuring success. PMI VectorLink’s job-aids help temporary employees of spray campaigns to achieve a higher level of standardization in operational performance. The Spray Operator Pocket Guide, the IRS Storekeeper Pocket Guide, and a Team Leader Guide can be referenced quickly in the field should any operational or safety questions and concerns arise and help personnel perform their jobs successfully. Each of the job-aids are available in Portuguese, French and Malagasy, as well as other local languages, and are distributed throughout the 17 countries in which PMI carries out IRS.
IRS requires strict supervision and monitoring to ensure spray activities are carried out safely, efficiently and successfully. PMI VectorLink’s performance culture in IRS implementation among spray personnel helps to guarantee the objectives of spray campaigns are achieved.
PMI VectorLink’s Spray Performance Tracking Sheet enables supervisors and spray teams to measure their performance against set targets on a day-to-day basis. The tool allows all cadres of spray campaign supervisors, including Team Leaders, to have access to performance data in real time. This enables them to promptly address any issues that may arise in the course of a spray day, and to take relevant remedial actions to ensure the success of a spray campaign.
The Spray Performance Tracking Sheet measures performance against the two critical operational indicators:
- The number of structures sprayed per spray operator per day, and
- The number of structures sprayed per unit (sachet or bottle) of insecticide.
By streamlining processes and providing planners and spray teams with the tools and guidance they need, PMI VectorLink ensures high-quality, efficiency and efficacy in the overall operations of IRS.