Visiting the site of the ACBF(African Capacity Building Foundation) that was awarded a 3 year grant (amount not available) one can see that the scope of the interventions has been drastically reduced, focusing on the CTCA and the University of Cape Town. Only six countries are 'targeted': Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. 0 information about this grant is available on the site of the Gates Foundation (that I could find). The more it changes... It's sad to see such a waste. The prospects don't look much better from the Bloomberg Initiative/CTFK where I have not seen any new grant recently awarded. When there is no clear strategy and no real leadership...
Visiting the Bloomberg Initiative's site we discover 4 grants awarded in May, June and july 2014. All are provided to groups that were already regularly funded in Togo ($100,293), Ghana ($80K) and Uganda ($32K and $75K). See the details below.
'The Harare based African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) recently entered into a strategic partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through which ACBF will advance evidence-based tobacco control policy in Africa through support to African civil organizations (CSOs). ACBF will serve as a strategic grant maker, capacity builder, and effectively coordinate with others working in tobacco control on the continent. The deliverables of the Foundation under this assignment include grant making and capacity building of the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), a regional center of excellence in tobacco control based in Kampala, Uganda and to civil service organizations operating in the tobacco control sector in Africa." They are looking for a 'Consultant Program Officer' and an administrative assistant. The deadline to submit an application is July 27. I have not yet found information about the budget awarded by the Gates Foundation. While researching for this post I found this very interesting interview of Frannie Léautier who used to be ACBF's Executive Secretary, about evaluation and monitoring results. Since December 2013 ACBF's Executive Secretary is Emmanuel Nnadozie.
Here is an ad for a communications officer position with the Gates Foundation. How do you think tobacco control could/should be part of this job? What could/should be a global communication strategy to promote tobacco control in Africa? How could tobacco control be part of the African Media Initiative who just got a new CEO, Eric Chinje?
Read the ITC press release. A report released today at a World No Tobacco Day event in Lusaka, Zambia, reveals that Zambia needs to address key gaps in its tobacco control policies in order to combat the increasing tobacco epidemic in Africa. The report, entitled “ITC Zambia National Report: Findings from the Wave 1 (2012) Survey” was produced by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project), centered at the University of Waterloo, in partnership with the University of Zambia and the Zambian Ministry of Health.
Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizationsin each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Awards, World No Tobacco Day Awards, and in 2014, two WHO Director-General's Special Recognition Certificates. Here are the African Region awardees Dr Kangoye Larba Théodore, Burkina Faso The House of Peoples Parliament, Federal Democratic Republi of Ethiopia Ms Dorcas Jepsongol Kiptui, Republic of Kenya Mr Badarou Agaly Maiga, Republic of Mali Professor Abdoulaye Diagne, Republic of Senegal Mr Vuyile Dlamini, Kingdom of Swaziland
ATCA held a strategic planning workshop in Lomé(Togo) for 3 days (April 2-4). They had the support of an anonymous consultant (but for his first name, Stéphane) from the Canadian consulting firm Universalia, apparently without previous experience in tobacco control. If you can understand what the results were, please tell me (see below the document provided on their site). No financial information is provided, like where is the funding going to come from? From the Gates Foundation again? From ACS?
WHO received in December 2009, $9.994.093 for a 5 year project centered around the creation of a 'hub'. The search for the country where the 'hub' would be installed was organized by the same DC based firm that was put in charge of its design and 'independent' evaluation. The announced budget for the 'hub' was to be about $3.5 million (less than 35% of the global grant) according to the document published in April 2010. The CTCA was inaugurated on... November 1, 2011 (the director had been recruited in September 2011). The 'first phase' of the WHO project is supposed to end, according to this document (at the bottom) in two months, in July 2014. What's next? Is the Gates Foundation going to continue its funding? at what level? for how long?
You can now search again the grants. That helps while I am updating the data for the third edition of Honest Feedback, soon to be available in print (on demand) and as e-book via Kindle/Amazon. The second edition was published in November 2011.
From The Atlantic, a very touchy subject, especially when you depend on philantropic funding. Does it apply to tobacco control funding in Africa? Does anybody dare expressing any wish for changes, ask for public evaluation and transparency? But of course, speaking out can bring personal negative consequences, as explained in this opinionin Chronicle of Philanthropy.
From the FCA's website. How cost effective is the training workshop practice that is still prevalent? In our internet age, is it really necessary to move (and host) people ("experts") that way to share information and build capacity? How is the information made available beyond the workshop's audience? What's differentfrom the september 2013 workshop? Is that voluntourismor expertourism?
Philamplify is an interesting initiative by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy to promote honest feedback to improve philanthropy. As for now it does not seem to include international projects but it is still worth examining.
Do Tobacco Control Advocates succumb to voluntourism (as discussed in the New York Times). In our internet age I often wonder about the real use of many (costly) trips/meetings under the pretense of helping out. Of course there are always great group pictures, but what else?
Considering the technical issues of the new ACCT site (click for instance on the presentation or nos projets sections), one wonders why they did not choose to use existing ready to use blog platforms like Blogspot or Wordpress along with a Facebook page instead of trying (and failing for now) to master Joomla. There is also a spelling problem with the position of the e and u in accueil/welcome. Easy to fix :) All our best wishes.
The Bloomberg Initiative has funded 4 projects in Africa since the beginning of 2014, in DRC ($80K), Kenya ($60K), Uganda ($18K), Ghana ($20K) for a total of $178K. All are linked to support passing legislation or implementing existing regulations.
Read this very interesting post and the comments. Unfortunately it looks like the infamous anti-gay law has been signed by the President while in fact the 'scientific report' that was submitted does not even support this text, despite all the claims to the contrary. My hunch is the scientists were coerced to come up with something but even under pressure their contribution was not enough. It had to be viciously twisted (by the President's 'scientific' advisor?) to provide some sort of support. Of course most (all) local media claim 'scientific support' but that's just not true. Amazing manipulation.
After some more thinking I wonder how much credibility one can give to the report presented to President Museveni who seems to have chosen persecution to gain popularity but still looked for scientific support for his decision. Let us not forget Galileo's lesson. How much independence was left to the physicians that were requested to provide a 'scientific' advice to Museveni? What choice did they have in the present Ugandan context? It's interesting to see how Museveni hides behind the scientistshe probably coerced. Reading Udoka Okafor's contributionin the Huffington Post one can see that a significant part of the problem lies with the christianization and especially the most recent activities of the US fundamentalist evangelicals. Not that the islamic groups are innocent (see below extract from Facebook's Museveni's page). It remains to be seen how best to actto defend human rights and academic freedoms.
President Obama has warned Uganda about anti-gay legislation. Will such a law have an impact on the support provided by US based NGOs for tobacco control activities in Uganda and other African countries? It could if they take seriously the defense of human rights.
A one year grant of $100,484 to the African Women's Alliance for Tobacco Control to promote smoke-free workplaces, $68,254 for the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance, $91,339 for the Tobacco Control Board. Total awarded = $260,077.