‹ Go back to overview

Evaluation of Structures of supporting the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN)

Field of Expertise:
Health Service Delivery; Communicable diseases (CD); Infectious diseases / epidemic / outbreak / vaccination; Health Policy and Governance; PPP and Private Sector; Public Private Partnership
Narrative description of project:
In January 2012, a coalition of philanthropic organizations, donor countries, governments of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) endemic countries and pharmaceutical companies signed the London Declaration committing to control, eliminate, or eradicate 10 NTDs. Out of this commitment the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), was established in 2016, and was developed in the spirit of partnership between WHO-AFRO, Member States and NTD partners to mobilize political, technical and financial resources to reduce the burden of the five most prevalent NTDs in Africa, amenable to preventive chemotherapy (PC).. ESPEN serves as a coordinating entity among partners and stakeholders and adds value to partner investments through technical and operational support to endemic countries to achieve control and elimination targets by 2020.

The goal of ESPEN is to accelerate the reduction of the burden of disease for the five PC-NTDs by 2020 through the control and elimination of targeted NTDs in the Africa region.

hera was contracted to undertake an Evaluation of the Structures supporting ESPEN. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which the ESPEN Secretariat has the appropriate structure to fulfil its mandate; and the extent to which the RPRG and Steering Committee are supporting the needs of ESPEN.
Description of services provided:
The evaluation team combined document review, semi-structured key informant interviews with ESPEN stakeholders, and an on-line survey with a wider group of ESPEN stakeholders. Key findings from interviewing main stakeholders indicate that ESPEN has generally progressed well against its objectives and has overall adhered to its four guiding principles, but that a clear overview of targets and progress per country is still lacking and that it could do more to promote national leadership, ownership and mutual accountability.

Different options were presented for optimising current performance. These include a slightly adapted ESPEN governance structure; modalities, timing and content of country support (through NGDOs, WCO, IST); staff composition of ESPEN secretariat versus scope of tasks; need for multi-year ESPEN strategic plan, joint accountability framework and communication strategy; supporting national NTD coordination committees led by government.