This project aims to develop an evidence-based intervention strategy to amplify the input and influence of people disabled by NTDs into programs and policies that impact their lives.
Exploring strategies and identifying effective mechanisms to mobilise persons disabled as a result of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) to influence policy and programs to ensure person centered approach for affected persons in Cote d’Ivoire
- effect: hope
- National Leprosy Elimination Program Cote d'Ivoire
- Federation Des Associations des Handicapes de Cote d'Ivoire
- National Program NTD-MDA
- Ministry of Health, Cote d'Ivoire
A significant proportion of people affected by NTDs are living with permanent disabilities. The health system in Cote D’Ivoire is focused on curative services and cannot manage alone the longer term physical and socio-economic consequences on the person affected by the disease. This is likely in part due to the lack of a strong coordination mechanism involving several sectors of human development, but is also a result of competing priorities for resources and the lack of clear demand and influence of persons affected by NTDs on agenda setting and resource allocation at the policy level.
The aim of this study is to develop an evidence based intervention strategy to amplify the input and influence of people disabled by NTDs into programs and policies that impact their lives, improving their access to psychosocial, physical and economic rehabilitation services. It will be conducted in Cote d’Ivoire, an African sub-Saharan country co-endemic for 10 NTDs. It is a two phase study consisting of a formative and intervention phase. The purpose of the formative stage is to build an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and experience of people disabled by NTDs in relation. The formative phase will adopt a cross-sectional design using quantitative and qualitative methods, including baseline and endline surveys. Based on these findings, the project intends to develop and test interventions to mobilise NTD affected people to influence government policy and multisectoral programs towards improved access to psychosocial, economic and physical rehabilitation services. A steering committee composed of people disabled by NTDs supported by key stakeholders will develop the intervention strategy. The intervention strategy will be piloted in the health region of Gbeke, a co-endemic region reporting a significant number of disabilities caused by NTDs. The intervention phase will facilitate the organisation of persons disabled by NTDs, reinforce their capacity, support them in the testing and validation of the intervention strategy, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the strategy and using the lessons learned and recommendations finalized the strategy and develop a toolkit and knowledge translation plan for scaling up of the strategy. The outcomes and lessons learnt through the study will be used to develop and validate an intervention strategy and toolkit that can be used and adapted to mobilize underrepresented groups to influence the policies and programs that impact their lives. The highly transferable nature of the research output will enable scaling up and replication to other regions of Cote d’Ivoire and in other settings.