TB Data, Impact Assessment and Communications Hub's (TB DIAH) is part of USAID’s new model to fight TB: the Global Accelerator to End Tuberculosis (USAID TB Accelerator). The Accelerator is designed to increase investments from the public and private sectors to end the TB epidemic, while simultaneously building local commitment and capacity to achieve the goals set forth at the United Nations High-Level Meeting. 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.
Establishing a Center of Excellence (COE) in TB M&E and Surveillance is one of TB DIAH’s strategic approaches to strengthen the M&E capacity of national TB programs (NTPs) and other TB partner staff in data management, collection, quality, analysis, and visualization, and promote ownership and use of the TB surveillance system.
Eastern Europe and Eurasia (EEE) regional COE was founded in May 2022 and is hosted by the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) in collaboration with Georgia’s National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NCTLD). The primary purpose of using the COE model is to help improve countries’ TB data reporting, communication, and sharing for effective decision-making. The COE will serve as a model for other countries in the region and will be the hub for TB DIAH support in the region to ensure synergy, sustainability, and effective use of resources.
As a next step and to catalyze country engagement in COE activities, the NCDC, in partnership with the NCTLD and with TB DIAH’s support, is convening a Regional Consultative Meeting July 28-29 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The objectives of this two-day meeting are as follows:
• Introduce the TB DIAH project and EEE work plan to NTP staff from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova;
• Explain the COE approach and strategy, introduce COE host institution, and key partners;
• Review and discuss country-specific M&E and surveillance systems and identify areas for further TB DIAH assistance, tailored to country needs; and
• Discuss operational aspects of and collect feedback on the COE virtual platform.
We expect the outcomes of this important meeting to be three-fold:
• Enhance partnership between COE host and attending priority countries
• Shape country-specific needs responsive technical assistance plans
• Assist the project in defining target audience needs and technical requirements, and facilitate the operationalization of the Virtual COE platform
The meeting were attended by professionals with TB program management and M&E and surveillance expertise from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Country-level global fund project representatives, representative s from USAID country missions and The WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) joined the event.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the TB DIAH project, work plan and strategies; Introduction to the COE host country institutions and country sessions to present overview of the national M&E and surveillance systems – identifying strengths and challenges.
The second day was dedicated to the Strategic planning of country TB M&E and surveillance systems strengthening. Countries will be provided with guidance/templates in advance and will complete their plans during the breakout group sessions, with the assistance of mentors. On day two, the Virtual COE session collected feedback on the target audience's needs and technical requirements.