Planning and Budgeting for TB control activities
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1. Why was this tool developed?
- The Global Plan has set out what needs to be done to improve TB control and achieve international targets in the ten years 2006–2015 for seven regions of the world, based on the Stop TB Strategy. For the Global Plan to succeed, plans and budgets developed at country level will need to be line with the regional plans that make up the Global Plan. However, early assessment of strategic plans for individual countries for the period 2006 onwards showed that national plans are not always in line with what has been set out in the Global Plan, especially for the newer components of the Stop TB Strategy (country plans tend to be less ambitious). The tool was developed to help countries develop plans and budgets that are in line with the Global Plan, as well as to develop budgets that can be used as the basis for resource mobilization from domestic governments and donor agencies.
2. How was this tool developed?
- A proposal for development of the tool was submitted to TBCAP, which is funded by USAID, in February 2006. This proposal was approved in March. A first draft of the tool was developed in April and May 2006. The starting point for development of the tool was the planning frameworks prepared by the DOTS Expansion, MDR-TB, TB/HIV and ACSM working groups for the Global Plan, and the planning frameworks prepared by staff from the WHO Stop TB Department for Global Fund proposal development workshops. This final version has been improved through field-testing in several countries including Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, and South Africa, and practical application of the tool during planning workshops held in the Eastern Mediterranean region (9 countries) and Latin America (14 countries). It has also benefited from the input of many people who are closely involved in planning TB control activities at country level.
3. Is the tool only available in English?
- No. The tool is also available in French, Russian and Spanish.
4. Do I need to be a computer expert to use the tool?
- No. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Excel can use the tool. See the "Basic tips for using Excel" section of this Sharepoint site for some tips on how to use Excel.
5. Is it very time-consuming to enter the required data in the tool?
Completing the tool does require investment of time. The actual amount will depend on factors such as the amount of work on planning and budgeting that has already been done for the period 2006–2015, the extent to which the strategies and related interventions and activities to be implemented have already been defined, and the extent to which TB control needs to be improved to reach international targets. Field-testing and planning/budgeting workshops held so far suggest that about 1–2 weeks is needed to prepare a first draft for all relevant sections of the tool, followed by a period of discussions/review and finalization that should ideally be completed within 2–3 months.
While probably requiring additional effort at the beginning, it should not be long before the tool saves time and improves the quality of planning and budgeting. This is because:
- It provides a ready-made framework for planning and budgeting covering all elements of the Stop TB Strategy
- Background epidemiological and demographic data are already integrated into the tool, helping with projections of indicators such as the number of patients to be treated and estimation of the first-line drug budget;
- Summary tables and figures are automatically generated and can be used as the basis for resource mobilization including Global Fund proposals;
- A ready-made list of likely inputs and activities is already provided, based on experience from a variety of countries, which can serve as a useful checklist when developing plans and budgets for different aspects of TB control;
- Data are entered in Excel, and can be easily revised or updated when necessary;
- Much of the plan document itself can be produced by writing a written text description of what has been set out in the tool - for example, key components of a plan such as the goal, objectives and targets, strategies to be implemented, activities and inputs that are needed to implement strategies, and budget requirements and funding gaps, can be written based on the data entered in the tool.
- Of course, the tool is just that, a tool. It is not an excuse not to think. In fact, the tool forces the user(s) to think hard about different aspects of TB control, and in doing so can help to improve the quality of planning and budgeting.
6. What is the purpose of the link called "Application Options", which appears on the bottom right-hand corner of the Welcome page?
- In the default version of the tool, the sheet tabs as well as the column/row headers are hidden for presentational purposes. Furthermore all sheets are protected and the background data are hidden for security purposes. To be able to add rows, modify contents or enter formulae that include links with other sheets you will need to show the sheet tabs, unprotect the sheets and show the column/row headers. You can do this manually in each sheet (see also points 5–7 in "Trouble-shooting Tips").
- The "Applications Options" link allows you to simultaneously unprotect all sheets, show row and column headings in all sheets and show all worksheet titles, rather than doing this repeatedly in each page/sheet. You can do this by clicking on "Application Options", and then clicking on the different buttons, as appropriate.
- Please note that the Show/Hide data option is set to Hide. The data that are hidden and protected are background epidemiological and financial data for 211 countries in the world. You should not need to work on these sheets, and it is advisable not to "Show" the data or to modify the data. If you want to change some of the values for your country, please change them in the page in which they appear, rather than in the "Background" data.