March 18, 2021

ADRA Paraguay Pioneers Data Collecting to Train Government Officials, NGO Leaders

Danitza Díaz, South American Division, and Adventist Review

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Paraguay recently launched the ADRA Innovation and Statistical and Educational Development System (IDEA System). According to ADRA Paraguay leaders, the agency’s goal is to use this new system to support and train government and social entities to better serve communities across this South American nation.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing health, economic, and social crises,” ADRA leaders said. “Across the board, it has caused great needs, especially in the areas of information and training on health, education, and risk management.” Leaders now hope this new system will generate solutions that can be applied to populations in need.

Innovation to Benefit Communities

The IDEA System works through the ADRA LAB Platform database, which every government social stakeholder can access. IDEA contains information released by Paraguay's federal government, emphasizing health infrastructure, access to water, education, mental health statistics, disability, and risk prevention.

Through this educational web platform, staff from public institutions and community leaders will be able to attend sessions on risk management, nutrition, and mental health, obtaining a certification in Community Health Training and Risk Management, ADRA leaders said. In addition, training sessions will be complemented by communication tools, such as webinars, podcasts, short videos, and commercials.

Currently, 1,500 participants are enrolled who hope to reproduce in their communities what they have learned at the training sessions. As a result, one million people are expected to eventually benefit.

“Our goal is to provide access to free education for government employees, educational leaders, and community role models within this new educational normal,” Joao Abadía, ADRA Paraguay director, said. “We will focus on 64 communities with a focus on community education, providing free access, interactive teaching tools, and learning communities.”

Official Launch

The launch of the new system took place during a special event in Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay, on March 12, 2021. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education and Sciences, the Ministry of Children and Adolescents (MINNA), and other government departments. During the program, an ADRA Paraguay team presented on the importance and impact that the platform is poised to have throughout the country.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“I congratulate ADRA Paraguay on this important initiative,” Eduardo Escobar, MINNA deputy minister, said. “They have been strategic allies since the beginning of the pandemic, always at the frontline, supporting our work.”

The IDEA System and ADRA LAB are the first virtual education platforms developed by ADRA. It has managed to gather the wide support of various government offices and departments, ADRA leaders shared. “And it shows that ADRA Paraguay continues to share justice, compassion, and love for all.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Spanish-language news site.