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.
But don't imagine I expect big revelations by such an evaluation or that I trust the very people who manage ATCC (and the 'funding organizations) to bring out drastic changes however necessary they are: “I am very cynical about institutions and their willingness to address themselves to reform.” You just have to look at the conclusion of the meeting to understand such changes are very unlikely.
Under the headline 'funding', 3 questions are listed:
1. how to reestablish a balance for the repartition of funds among all countries of the continent (while this has never been the case before as we told without any result from the very start of the Bloomberg Initiative and the Gates Foundation's involvement with IDRC)
2. How to reinforce the transparency in funds allocation and other opportunities (while there has never been any transparency, no detailed budget has ever been presented nor any selection process been open and transparent and there are no public reports about how the money is spent by the grantees)
3. How to improve on projects ownership by our members (while only a fraction of them receive any financial support, why should they care to play a game that only serves a very small group -mostly always the same- of people and organizations?
Proposed solutions: ATCC's Board will have to come with pertinent answers to those 3 questions.
Indeed. The very same people who created and managed the problems (and benefit from the present system), but for Rachel Kitonyo who resigned effective June 30 (why?), are going to fix them.
This meeting took place on May 15. What's next? If anything.
Don't think my critical assessment comes without positive and precise propositions on how to address those issues: read the proposal made to the Gates Foundation in 2009, read Honest Feedback, read Transparency Scorecard. There are other/better ways to organize and manage tobacco control in Africa for the benefit of the whole of Africa.
The french version:
Comment rétablir l’équilibre entre la répartition des fonds à travers le continent ?
Comment renforcer la transparence dans l’allocation des fonds et autres opportunités ?
Comment améliorer l’appropriation des projets par nos membres ?
Le Conseil d’Administration d’ACTA devra venir avec des solutions pertinentes pour répondre à ces 3 questions.