The results of the study of implementation of the “Stop TB in Ukraine” Program with the financial support of the Global Fund
From November 11 to December 16, 2011, upon request of the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine (hereinafter FDU), a study of the effectiveness of implementation of the “Stop TB in Ukraine” Program (hereinafter the Program), funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the FDU was conducted. The study was carried out by the Social Indicators Center in cooperation with the specialists from the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. The 29 experts were interviewed, including the representatives of the Global Fund, FDU as the Principal Recipient of the Program, sub-recipients and partners of the Program, as well as other parties involved in combating tuberculosis at the national level (government agencies, large NGOs and international organizations).
On the whole the experts positively evaluated the Program as the unifying and driving factor in the fight against tuberculosis. The clear strengths of the Program according to experts include a systematic approach to solving the issue and the possibility of creating a unified field of communication on the issue using the most advanced experience gained both in Ukraine and abroad. This approach will enable the creation of a capable system of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in Ukraine.
There is a concern that the lack of actual support and failure to meet the obligations by the state pose a threat not only to the Program’s success, but also to the prospects for overcoming the TB epidemic in Ukraine. It is the lack of government involvement in the fight against tuberculosis that raises most concerns of the experts.
An important achievement of 2011 is the signing of regional memoranda of understanding and cooperation between the Oblast State Administrations, Oblast Councils and the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine as a Principal Recipient of the “Stop TB in Ukraine” Program.
According to the results of the study the weaknesses of the Program include the difficulties in communication between the participants of the Program and the too complex procedures of selection of consultants and reporting - most of the experts were not satisfied by them to a different degree. According to the respondents, these shortcomings as well as the lack of FDU support for the procedural matters, lead to the deterioration in the attitude towards the Principal Recipient and the hold-backs in the work of the Program.
The significant shortcomings according to experts include the failure to meet the set deadlines for Program implementation and the fact that some sub-recipients have not yet started to implement the activities (the Penitentiary Service, TB Center).
In view of the discovered difficulties, the most important steps were suggested to be taken in order to improve the Program effectiveness:
1. Whereas the Program’s success directly depends on government institutions, the Foundation needs to ensure the closer cooperation with them as well as their commitment to the implementation of Program objectives.
2. The Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine should make an effort to strengthen the partnerships with the sub-recipients and other participants of the Program. It is necessary to improve the communication between the Program staff within the Foundation as well as between the participants of the Program as a whole.
3. It is necessary to implement large-scale awareness and advocacy activities. The drawing of attention of the public at large to the issue may help the society understand the need for its resolution and, subsequently, to put the stronger pressure on the state, which is to bear the primary responsibility for TB control in Ukraine.
The partners and sub-recipients unanimously emphasize that the “Stop TB in Ukraine” Program is a joint product and a common area of responsibility. Therefore, its improper implementation shall equally affect the reputation of all participating organizations and more the reputation of Ukraine as a state.
Such a study was of a great importance for the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine, because it allowed to modify the work so that the Program was implemented as effectively as possible.