Below is the text (in French) of a cyber-interview with Thanguy NZUE OBAME, about the adoption of a Tobacco Control law in Gabon. It provides additional details to our previous post (in English only). Very interestingly article 48 of this law proposes to award 2% of the tobacco taxes to fund tobacco control activities. If adequately implemented such a budget would be extremely valuable and effective (see question 8) as most of the time no regular funding is provided. The choice of 2% is an improvement upon the goal mentioned (never implemented) in the article 6 of the 1988 European Charter Against Tobacco, "impose a levy of at least 1% of of tobacco cotx revenue to fund specific tobacco control and health promotion activities".
The Textochange group in Kampala is looking for bloggers to blog about tobacco control. An interesting initiative but they don't tell if there is any financial incentive/compensation for the bloggers to blog?
CTCA's pdf report, Tobacco Industry Monitoring, Regional Report for Africa contains a detailed presentation of the industry tactics in 14 countries. it was published in August (sorry for the delay in telling you about it). Two small questions: 1. is a French version planned (could be a summary) 2. Who took all the pictures (many from Burkina Faso)? it would be interesting to make them available separately (with the due credits).
From a note posted on the Global Tobacco control Forum on Facebook (are you a member?) by Evan Blecher that pointed to the November 11 ACS press release (also below). Unfortunately the link to the full report did not work but it will certainly be fixed asap. Just so you know if you try right away. You can find the document (Google doc) here
Pressing the Nigeria's Ministers to sign the tobacco control law with an active advocacy campaign on Facebook, plenty of pictures, a petition, but do they listen? I wonder to what extent the Gates Foundation that works extensively in Nigeria in other areas could not use this network to help advocate for this law? It would be in line (if I understand it correctly) with the new organization of the Foundation as described by Jeff Raikes in a recent interview with Tom Paulson: "It was an opportunity for us to drive a closer working relationship between the global health and global development activities.
One way to explain this is by anecdote.
In December 2010, I was down south in Ethiopia in a primary health care center. The obvious health interventions offered at the clinic were posted on the wall. Some were the obvious ones like child immunization and support for HIV.
But they also posted about personal and environmental hygiene, about water and sanitation and nutrition. They even had a model garden outside.
I realized at that moment how important it was for us to reorganize in a way that pulled all of our programs together to support families (as opposed to isolated interventions). That was the driving force behind the reorganization."
As you can see from the most recent posts I have started to look at what happened in the past, especially since 2007/2008 when philanthropists Bloomberg and Gates provided millions of dollars that changed the face of tobacco control and I am wondering about what's next, especially, very concretely what is the Gates Foundation going to decide as they look for an organization to promote tobacco control in Africa for the next 3 years. I have a feeling of déja vu and fait accompli while at the very same time hoping for a change, a new practice in the process of grant management, engaging the whole community, including potential 'dissenters'. Making this wish I am only taking the word of CEO Jeff Raikes when he described his '3Ts priorities' in the speech he gave in Belfast in June 2012. I have a few ideas about encouraging everybody to pitch in, share their personal evaluation of what happened since 2007/08 and offer suggestions/wishes for the next 3 years. Stay tuned.
Here is the whole text of the conference given by Jeff Raikes on June 5, 2012. Read it all and especially the parts at the end devoted to Transparency and Teamwork. I have reproduced the text below for 'safekeeping' because my experience has been that sometimes links were broken, texts were deleted and the original material was lost. Yes this also happened on the website of the Gates Foundation and for information about the tobacco control grants.
Surfing on line on the theme of transparency in relation with the ongoing selection process at the Gates Foundation I found this conference given in June 2012 in Belfast by Jeff Raikes (the soon to be leaving CEO of the Gates Foundation). As often he talks eloquently about the need for transparency and also says:“We need to go beyond grantees and partners, to the critics and dissenters of our approaches.” As a dissenter I cannot agree more but is such an attitude implemented now? What about testing it for real in the decision making of the Foundation of how the promotion of tobacco control in Africa should be organized? See below for a more recent comment by Jeff Raikes from an interview published on Humanosphere.
As it's grey and cold today I have decided to look at the relevant numbers for the grants awarded to promote tobacco control in Africa during the period 2007 to November 2013. I mostly computed the data for the grants awarded by CTFK for the Bloomberg Initiative, comparing them with the grants awarded by the Gates Foundation.
Reading an updated version (9/23/2013) of an interview with the Executive Director of the Alliance Nationale des Consommateurs et de l'Environnement (ANCE), Mr Ebeh Kodjo, who is also Secretary of ATCA, and an FCA board member (until december 31, 2013) the main problem seems to be funding. Nothing new? Except that ANCE has been one of the groups that received significant funding (the last CTFK grant awarded in Dec 2012 was for $152K+ while 54K had been awarded in January 2012) so how much is now needed, what happened to the previous grants, is any detailed budget explaining where the money went-goes available? Those questions are especially important when the Gates Foundation is looking for the next organization to coordinate their tobacco control efforts in Africa and ATCA could be a candidate.
This ad was posted on the site of the Center for Tobacco Control in Africa (based in Kampala). The deadline to apply is today! November 8! What organizations are going to apply? to serve as a strategic grant maker, capacity builder, and effectively coordinate with others working in tobacco control on the continent? Several existing (competing) groups are presently trying to do that. Strangely, once again, despite claiming to engage the whole continent the proposal is in fact much more narrow:The grantee organization will support work in 5-10 countries in Africa .
Another interesting (perplexing?) remark is Africa Tobacco control expertise is preferred but not required as a tobacco control expert could be hired as part of the investment.
What do you think? Is there any chance of a different organizing strategy being funded or are we going to see more of the same?
Duration of grant: 3 years, starting in 2014.
No budget amount if mentioned nor any mention of the capacity to operate in different languages (except English) despite the fact that the lack of French fluency has been, still is a handicap for all leading groups.
A specially trained team of tobacco control advocates has prevented the tobacco industry from getting a suggested tobacco tax increase in Uganda reduced.
The Ministry of Finance had proposed increasing Uganda’s excise tax duty on cigarettes by 45.5 percent in the 2013-14 budget. When the matter was discussed in Parliament’s Finance Committee, the industry submitted a petition calling for an increase of just 11.4 percent.
Here is one announcement but where are the articles? Where is the beef? There are no details about the $ amount of each award and there is no mention (apparently) of any radio project while radio broadcast remains a dominant medium in Africa. Another copycat reprint of the press release that does not provide any additional information.
Visiting the youtube channel of the Nosmoke Revolution advocacy campaign one can see that the most viewed of the 9 videos (apparently) is the spot by model LISSA (Mame Diarra THIAM) with 12000+ views (see her on FB). All the other videos have on average a few hundreds views but for the rappers with a few thousands (but on 2 months instead of only one)
The Prevenir Association (?) was awarded a one year grant of $65,925 in August, to 'galvanize support for the adoption of a FCTC-compliant TC bill in Senegal.
They had received a two months $31,241 grant in May. We found a FaceBook account for Prevenir but the main source of information remains LISTAB (in French)although the most recent post as of today is more than two months old (end of August 2013). Maybe because the updating now takes place on their FaceBook page, with details about their most recent campaign, NoSmoke Revolution (on FaceBook as well) and advocacy efforts.
The Bllomber Initiative/CTFK allocated $67,942 to the Tobacco Control Foundation of Nigeria for advocacy for passage and presidential assent of the national tobacco control bill (NTCB) in Nigeria. This comes in supplement of previous 2013 grants.
Recent grant noted on the Bloomberg Initiative website: $84,962 for The Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA) to support a 5-day Seminar for English-speaking African lawyers in Addis Ababa on the FCTC and the drafting and implementation of effective tobacco control legislation.
The countries that participated are: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Equatorial, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. My question is: how were those countries selected? why? by whom? How much did the workshop cost? What about a cybermeeting instead of moving all those people? Information published by CTCA
Visiting the blog of the American Cancer Society I find this pathetically and shockingly empty post (without forgetting to thank the funder of such useless trips). The example of what should stop. There is zero information about what the eventual contribution of Lekan O.A. Ayo-Yusuf has been.
Sylviane Ratte continues to travel around the African continent. The journalists invited to this workhop in Ouagadougou seem happy but how many articles or radio programs did they produce, for what investment? Is this a cost effective way to produce tobacco control content in the media? What about paying them directly to produce content? How much is spent on travel and hospitality that could be invested in writing stipends?
In the report about the May 15 meeting in Dakar devoted to the future of tobacco control advocacy in Africa (still only available in French?) there is a presentation by Patrick Musavuli entitled: "Report of the evaluation on the ATCC project by the Gates Consultants and about the future of tobacco control advocacy in Africa", «Compte-rendu de l’évaluation des Consultants de GATES sur le projet ATCC, et sur l’avenir de la lutte antitabac en Afrique ». Unfortunately the summary does not provide any information about this "Gates evaluation", who did it, when nor if it is meant to be shared or kept confidential.
From reading the CTCA sitewe learn that 'a tobacco control capacity assessment exercise is currently under way in Angola to help the government identify the country’sability to implement tobacco control, based on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The assessment is jointly carried out by the government of Angola with technical support from the World Health organization, ( WHO) and the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa ( CTCA).
Revisiting the grants awarded by IDRC it is interesting to look at how Dakar based CRES has been significantly funded to researchthe taxation of tobacco products in West Africa. Of course many meetings were organized including one in Paris and a 3 day conference in Ougadougou. But is any specific information available on line? I have not found any -yet-.
Below is the summary of the presentation of Fabrice EBEH (in French'Rapport Consultation ONG') with our translation (in English) of the main points (in yellow) with our comments (in light blue). Considering the content of Rachel Kitonyo's presentation all does not seem as well as Fabrice's summary seems to imply.
What to retain of Rachel's presentation (as it is summarized below in French -as the report in only available in French for now- with our partial translation in English of what we consider the key points, colored in yellow with our comments in italics and colored in pale blue).
As diplomatic and vague as the presentation is summarized, it does raise a significant number of issues about how the program was/is managed. How can the apparently badly needed changes be implemented?
Or is everything going to remain the same?
While the Bloomberg Initiative runs its 14th round, I looked for the project IMPACT had submitted to the Gates Foundation in 2009, after the IDRC's debacle. I think it still contains strategic priorities that should be implemented today although they would mean a cultural revolution as far as the present and dominant practices are concerned. Are the decision makers ready and willing for such a change? Are they ready to give a chance to a very reasonable alternative way to manage grants and projects to promote tobacco control in Africa?
Don't click on the links inside the Google doc document as they don't work any longer. We'll produce a short summary asap.
The Bloomberg Initiativehas recently awarded the following grants: 6 months support for the Ghana advocates ($100,463), one year media initiative in Kenya ($73,659), one year grant for advocacy support in Nigeria ($170,380) and the Nigeria Adult Tobacco Survey ($12,000), 3 months grant for advocacy support in Senegal ($31,241) for a grand total of a little less than $400,000. Applications for the next round end July 26.
Announcing Round 14 of the Bloomberg Initiative Grants Program (1 July 2013) Project Ideas are now being accepted for Round Fourteen of the Grants Program. The deadline for submission of Project Ideas is 12:00 hours, US Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5 hours) on Friday, 26 July 2013.
From the CTCA's sitethis self-congratulatory presentation of their second annual performance review that does not tell us anything specific that we did not already know but probably cost a bundle. Who cares at WHO? Nobody as nobody outside of WHO is allowed to look at the cost effectiveness of the programs. Just try to get the detailed annual budget for the CTCA or the cost of this annual performance review...
Rachel Kitonyo, ATCC's Programs Director, shares this information in an email (see below) received yesterday. It raises (at least for us) a few questions as Rachel had been very instrumental in the creation and management of the Consortium. How will this departure impact the management of ATCC? That remains to be seen as well as the potential changes that could occur following the still mysterious 'evaluation' made by Gates Foundation's advisors as mentioned briefly in the report ( see page 6, only in French for now) about the May 15 meeting "What future for tobacco control in Africa" that took place in Dakar.
Rachel's presentation at this meeting is summarized on page 5 and 6.
Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in 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 2013, one WHO Director-General's Special Recognition Certificate.
A WHO Director-General Special Award went to Paul Kasereka Lughembe, from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the picture with Véronique Le Clézio who received the same award in 2010.
African Region awardees went to the following:
Vision for Alternative Development (Ghana), Mr Ibrahima Kalissa (Association guinéenne de lutte contre le tabagisme, Guinea), Ms Diabate Mariam Berthe (Association de lutte contre le tabac et autres stupéfiants au Mali, Mali), Mr Mayaki Mamane (Direction de l’hygiène publique et de l’éducation pour la santé, Ministère de la santé, Niger), Mr Jean Christophe Rusatira (National University of Rwanda, Rwanda).
These six award winners will be recognized for their outstanding contribution to tobacco control in their respective countries