Date of Award

Fall 12-5-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Michael P. Eriksen, Dean, School of Public Health

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheryl M. Strasser, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health

Third Advisor

Ms. Jacqui Drope, Managing Director, Global Tobacco Control, American Cancer Society

Abstract

Background: Tobacco use is one of the most ubiquitous causes of death and disability worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, despite the rising trend the use of tobacco in generally low among adults - less than 10% in men and around 2% in women. As a result the region is viewed as being in the early stages of the four stage tobacco epidemic model. Projections suggest that the tobacco epidemic, if unchecked, can peak in Sub-Saharan Africa in the middle of this century. This offers the public health community an extraordinary opportunity – not only is the epidemic predicted so far in the future, there is knowledge on how to prevent it. The purpose of this study is to (a) research and assess case studies and theoretical frameworks used to guide global collaborative efforts in public health and development; (b) develop, administer, and summarize feedback collected from key stakeholders representing organizations critical in SSA tobacco control efforts; (c) analyze findings and identify gaps in the collective action; recommend opportunities to improve the systematic operations/capacity of all collaborating partners within SSA so that progress and collective impacts are maximized in the future.

Methods: Secondary data was first sorted using a comparative, thematic approach to detect themes related to M&E practices at individual (organizational) level and at the group (collective) level. The sorted data was then analyzed using hypothesized content analysis for alignment of individual and group perceptions across the five components necessary for a collaborative effort to achieve a collective impact - shared agenda, shared measurements, mutually reinforcing activities, on-going communications, and support organization.

Results: Current practices of M&E are perceived as sub-optimal both at individual and group levels. Even though the secondary data was focused primarily on shared measurements, the mapping of individual and group level perceptions against the five components of collective impact indicates that attributes of the other four components were organically included in the discussion in varied depths. Analysis of perception indicates general willingness to adopt a common monitoring and evaluation framework.

Conclusions: A common M&E framework remains a missing component of the collaborative effort striving to prevent the tobacco epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. It is needed to learn from past successes and challenges and to inform strategy of current and future initiatives so that collaborating organizations are better able seize the unprecedented opportunity of preventing death and suffering from tobacco related illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa. It is important that such an M&E framework be thoughtfully conceptualized within the context of a common agenda, and supported by processes that facilitate mutually reinforcing activities and continuous communication among collaborators.

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