November 30 – December 2, 2022
The TB Data, Impact Assessment, and Communications Hub (TB DIAH), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is part of USAID’s programmatic approach to fight TB: the Global Accelerator to End TB (the Accelerator). The Accelerator is designed to increase commitment from, and build the capacity of, governments, civil society, and the private sector to accelerate countries’ progress in reaching the goals set forth at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB. TB DIAH aims to ensure optimal demand for and analysis of routine and non-routine TB data and their appropriate use to support interventions, policies, and performance management. To achieve this, TB DIAH supports national TB programs (NTPs) in strengthening TB surveillance systems and improving data use, building capacity to report on countries’ TB Roadmap indicators, strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) skills, and developing and promoting online data resources.
TB DIAH’s approach in the Eastern Europe and Eurasia region (EE&E) is centered around a Center of Excellence (COE) model as a means of providing technical assistance. The TB DIAH project established a virtual EE&E COE in TB monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and Surveillance in May 2022 in Georgia. The COE is hosted by Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) together with the country’s National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NCTLD). The COE’s purpose is to model, test, and share best practices in TB M&E in the region; serve as a hub for TB DIAH support in the region; and ensure synergy and effective use of resources.
To address the overarching need to strengthen the capacity of NTP staff in order to improve TB data collection, reporting, analysis, and use, TB DIAH, through the COE framework, hosted a “Regional Training Workshop on TB M&E and Surveillance Capacity Strengthening” for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region (EE/CAR) NTPs. The in-person workshop took place in Tbilisi, Georgia, from November 30 through December 2, 2022.
More than 90 participants from 10 EE/CAR countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) attended a mix of presentations and individual and group activities. The event engaged NTP representatives; civil society organizations working in community-based TB M&E; USAID Mission health staff; and USAID-funded TB implementing partners, including TB advisers. USAID/Washington staff and representatives from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) and The Global Fund were also engaged.
The first day served as an introduction to TB DIAH and the Performance-based Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (PBMEF). WHO/Europe presented the M&E framework in its new “Tuberculosis Action Plan for the WHO European Region 2023–2030.” The reporting requirements for the WHO global TB data collection and practical aspects of reporting were also covered during the dedicated session.
The second day opened with discussion around USAID’s Global TB Strategy 2023-2030, including its results framework and strategic objectives. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) reporting was extensively discussed. Most of the day detailed the PBMEF and how NTPs can use it as a performance monitoring tool even if they do not have any USAID-funded TB projects.
TB DIAH presented on tools that support implementation of the PBMEF: the Surveillance and TB M&E Strengthening Plan (STEP), M&E and Surveillance Systems Assessment (MESSA), and Assessment of Data Collection, Reporting, and Analysis Capacity (ARC).
The third day of the workshop drew from TB DIAH’s TB M&E training materials, customized for EE/CAR, and covered data quality, visualization, communication, and use.
The event laid a solid foundation and further strengthened the grounds for inter-country collaboration through the COE and was another important step towards strengthening the M&E and surveillance capacity in the region.