During the week of September 24, Dr. Angela Hilmers, senior associate director for science for TEPHINET, traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to join the FETP Frontline evaluation team consisting of representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), and the national ministry of health.
Similar pilot evaluations are being carried out in Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. The evaluation team plans to reconvene later this year to assess how well the tools worked and whether improvements are needed.
“Periodic monitoring and evaluation is critical to ensure that FETP Frontline is effective in developing needed capacities and to assess its overall impact on a country’s surveillance system,” says Hilmers. “Our goal is to develop an effective system for monitoring and evaluation of programmatic delivery, training outcomes, trainee development and movement over time, as well as to evaluate progress towards program institutionalization and sustainability.”
In the months leading up to the site visits, TEPHINET hosted two working group meetings with CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) representative Dr. Laura-Lee Boodram, monitoring and evaluation expert Elizabeth Lloyd, and the CDC evaluation team in Atlanta to discuss harmonization of the evaluation framework. TEPHINET and CARPHA have been collaborating on the development of FETP-Frontline monitoring and evaluation framework following the successful implementation of the program across Latin America and the Caribbean from 2016-2018 as a response to the Zika outbreak in that region.
The evaluation process in Africa is being led by Capt. Reina Turcios-Ruiz, medical epidemiologist for the CDC. The preliminary results will be presented in November at the seventh AFENET scientific conference in Maputo.