Tobacco Control Data Initiative

31 Jan 2020 - 12:45

In January 2020, REEP started a new 3.5 year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with Development Gateway, an international non-profit organisation that provides technical tools and advisory services. The purpose of the project is to support key stakeholders in 6-8 different African countries to make or influence decision making in tobacco control, through a well-designed data tool.

Understanding who the key decision makers in tobacco policy are and the way in which they make decisions, is fundamental for this project. To this aim, over the course of the project we are meeting with members of government, parliament, academia and civil society organisations from each country, through a series of meetings and group workshops. Thereafter, existing data sources will be mapped and any gaps identified, according to the needs of stakeholders. In some cases, new data will be collected through surveys or other data collection methods, to fill identified data gaps.

In the next phase, a tool will be designed to support stakeholders. The tool will draw on the most up to date existing data available, combined with any new data collected. The design process will be conducted in collaboration with the stakeholders from each country, guided by the technical expertise of Development Gateway and REEP’s understanding of tobacco control methodologies. This tool could take the form of an interactive data dashboard, a collection of short policy briefs or any other form that best meets the needs of each country’s stakeholders. The tools are designed to be open source, such that researchers and the broader public can access them for their work. Where confidential data are used, some password protection measures will be implemented limiting access to those with defined data access rights. Stakeholders will be guided on how to use the tools and encouraged to use them in their tobacco control work.

The focus countries are selected to reflect a variety of issues across the continent. We aim to include countries that have demonstrated strength and innovation in tobacco control as well as those who are falling behind, and those that have strong existing institutions and data and those that are weaker in these areas. In the first phase of the project we will be focusing on South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria. The remaining 2-4 countries will be decided over the course of 2020. We are excited to combine our knowledge of tobacco within South Africa and the broader African continent, with the expert technical knowledge and design skills of Development Gateway, and look forward to learning more from the tobacco control community about their needs and how we can support them.

DG / UCT Kick-off Workshop: 14 & 15 January 2020