A strong evidence base is the key to successful advocacy work of civil society organizations and TB-affected communities.
Community-based data collection on barriers to diagnosis and treatment of people with TB is the goal of the Stop TB Partnership OneImpact Assessment Tool (https://stoptbpartnershiponeimpact.org). This digital solution makes it possible to monitor the quality of activities towards ending TB in real time and promptly respond to emerging problems and obstacles.
The OneImpact smartphone app has already proven its effectiveness in 9 countries globally, including Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. A human rights-based monitoring system at the community level consists of 6 stages and subsequent steps:
First stage – feasibility and needs assessment
Second stage – the adaption of a digital platform OneImpact and development of the digital solution acceptable for each country (the monitoring application can be easily adapted and downloaded from Google Play),
Third stage – user training (usually in several stages, starting with the training of trainers who will teach health workers and people affected by TB),
Fourth stage – launch of OneImpact app in country,
Fifth stage – ongoing real time data collection and community consulting support
Sixth stage – evaluation and scale-up.
This community-based monitoring is a quick way to improve the availability, acceptability and quality of TB services using the data collected. It is usually implemented in collaboration with several stakeholders, including the National Tuberculosis Program, health care providers and health workers, civil society representatives and people affected by TB.
“The introduction of this tool has further strengthened partnerships between stakeholders in the Republic of Azerbaijan aimed at helping and supporting people affected by TB. OneImpact enabled us to identify the main barriers that people with TB face. More than half of the requests are related to economic barriers, the second place is taken by the problems of stigmatization of people with TB, a third of requests are related to the need for social services, the issues regarding treatment are also received. In addition to directly supporting people affected by TB and responding to their problems, we use this data to create a convincing evidence base for further advocacy activities”, said Parvana Valiyeva, Executive Director of the Saglamliga Khidmat Public Union, about the implementation of OneImpact in Azerbaijan.
The data analyzed is helping the TB-affected community in collaboration with government agencies to improve access to TB services, quickly remove human rights and gender barriers to prevention, treatment and care, and to make better use of financial resources. Continuous monitoring helps inform decision-makers and stakeholders about the barriers to human rights (availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality and equity of services) and subsequently reform policy and improve decision-making towards ending TB in the country.
It is important to know that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is inviting countries to expand community-based monitoring and include it in their grant proposals to improve the quality and effectiveness of investments in TB services and link it to national monitoring systems. It is advocacy based on real data collected during monitoring that should be the result of the implementation of the OneImpact tool. At the same time, TB-affected communities are free to decide what to track and how to do it. Detailed guidance on community-based monitoring is available on the Stop TB Partnership website: http://stoptb.org/assets/documents/communities/CRG%20Investment%20Package_OneImpact%20Community%20Based%20Monitoring_10.02.2020.pdf
Also, the TB Europe Coalition, within the framework of the Strategic Initiative “Community, Rights and Gender Strategic Initiative – Meaningful Engagement and Capacity Development of Key and Vulnerable Populations” is preparing for publication a special brochure for civil society organizations and TB-affected communities on the practical use of key Stop TB Partnership assessment tools, among which community-based monitoring of the TB response using the digital platform OneImpact is prominent.