Outcome 5: Strengthened institutional capacity of ATCA to manage tobacco control programs and funds.
During the ATCC project, the ATCA Board took a number of initiatives for the organizational development of ATCA. The results of these actions are indicated below but the details are available in the report “Post-ATCC Transition of ATCA”:
- A Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2017 was developed to reflect the future strategic orientations of ATCA;
- An Action Plan and Results-Based Framework was developed to indicate the expected results in implementing the Strategic Plan 2015-2017;
- A Governance Plan was developed to assess and strengthen the governance strategies of ATCA;
- The Constitution of ATCA has been amended to suit the changing needs of the alliance and is pending adoption by the General Assembly;
- A Members Audit was conducted to capture the needs of ATCA’s members;
- A Members’ Profile Survey was conducted to update the profile of ATCA’s members; and
- A new Online Resource Centre (ORC) for ATCA is being developed and is expected to be operational by the end of May 2015.
These results are expected to have a profound influence on ATCA in the years to come by helping to maintain the network as a cohesive continental force with a mobilized and motivated membership. We hope they will also help in building donors’ trust in and support to ATCA.
The integration of tobacco control in the development agenda of WAEMU (a non-ATCC project)
ATCA also launched a project of 18-month duration in 2013 with the financial and technical support of the CTFK with the aim of raising awareness on NCDs in WAEMU, create an NCD alliance in the region and prioritize tobacco control within the NCD Action Plan of the eight WAEMU countries so as to position tobacco control for development funding.
To achieve these objectives, ATCA conducted activities both at the regional and country levels. The regional activities consisted of:
- a technical meeting held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in September 2013 for the eight NCD focal points of the WAEMU countries; and
- a meeting of Ministers of Health of WAEMU held in Cotonou, Benin, in February 2014 which also saw the participation of representatives of WHO AFRO, WHO Country Offices, WAEMU commission, UNDP and NCD donors.
During the Ouagadougou meeting of September 2013, the WAEMU NCD alliance was officially launched, its constitution was adopted and Board of Directors constituted. The creation of the alliance increased collaboration and sharing of information among the NCD advocates in the region. The Cotonou meeting led to a number of recommendations which were endorsed by the Ministers of Health. One of these recommendations concerns the elimination of the 45% tobacco tax ceiling in WAEMU countries so as to comply with FCTC Article 6 guidelines and set up public health fund to support NCDs and tobacco control strategy and programme in the region. The Cotonou recommendations of 2014 have been submitted to the WAEMU Secretariat for adoption by the government of the WAEMU countries
The awareness strategy of ATCA included the mapping of the National Health Partnership, UNDAF and NCD Action Plan process within the 8 WAEMU countries. Advocacy materials have been developed and widely distributed among NCD stakeholders in the region. A mailing list of NCD stakeholders in the WAEMU region was created which allows the exchange of information. In 2014, the website of the alliance was launched which increases its visibility in the region.
Three countries in WAEMU, namely, Benin, Senegal and Togo also received seed grants from ATCA and developed country-level campaigns on NCDs. Togo developed an NCD strategic plan and organized sensitization campaigns. It also held a workshop on innovative funding mechanism for the NCD programme which targeted parliamentarians, directors of cabinet and ministerial institutions. Benin developed a strategic plan on NCDs and set up a multi-sectoral committee in order to involve all the sectors concerned. Senegal is still in the process of adopting its NCD action plan; however, it has already taken steps to reinforce its NCD programme.
The project has helped to create a general awareness on NCDs in the WAEMU region. Seven of the eight countries of WAEMU have their strategic plans on NCDs. Ivory Coast, Benin and Niger have budgetary provisions for the funding of their NCD campaigns. Three WAEMU countries have taken measures against smoking in public places. Ivory Coast has a website dedicated to health in general and NCDs in particular.