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Introduction to PCF

PCF Introduction, Background & Philosophy

The People-Centred Framework for TB programming was jointly developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Royal Tropical Institute Netherlands (KIT), the World Health Organization (WHO), Linksbridge, TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium (TB MAC), and refined by KNCV to provide countries with the necessary tools and approaches to optimize their National Strategic Plans in line with the End TB Strategy, Sustainable Development Goals and country commitments.

The PCF approach was first presented as a White Paper titled “Improving the Use of Evidence for TB Program Planning: a framework for people-centred data consolidation and policy translation at the WHO Global Task Force on TB Impact Measurement” – Seventh Task Force meeting, 1-4 May 2018, in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland.

The ensuing People-Centred Framework for National Strategic Planning (PCF4NSP) project funded by the Gates Foundation and implemented by KNCV built on the principles of the People-Centred Framework for TB programming and the experiences from the use of data consolidation and policy translation across the TB care continuum as partially piloted in 4 countries and the principles described in the White Paper.

The PCF Approach is in line with and seeks to accelerate, the realization of the WHO End TB Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals by enabling countries to develop and implement optimized, responsive, and resilient National Strategic Plans (NSPs) for TB programming. The concept, manuals, tools, and experiences shared in the PCF Knowledge Management Hub are based on the experiences and country inputs gained during the practical application of the PCF approach for NSP development and Global Fund Funding Request preparation in 10 early adopter countries during the 2019-2020 period.

The PCF Knowledge Management Hub was conceived as the practical step-by-step guide, toolbox, and user forum (peer-to-peer support) platform complementary to the WHO People-centred framework for tuberculosis programme planning and prioritization, User guide published in 2019 [2], and the upcoming revised WHO guidance on NSP development.

The People Centred Framework effectively uses great advances in the fight against TB in recent years, these include:

Usefulness assessment and capacity building

The project was designed to strengthen the capacity at the country level in the areas of data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and utilization for decision-making. Tools and processes were not only tailored to country needs but actively co-designed and created with selected early adopter countries. Based on the feedback and experience of early adopter countries, other countries interested in applying the approach, partner organizations, and technical assistance providers, this PCF Knowledge Hub was developed as a linking and learning platform. The Knowledge Hub is envisaged as a one-stop-shop for a PCF Community of Practice, designed to host all relevant resources, tools, learning, and exchange interactions as well as links to relevant additional information and resources, country programs, and their partners might need in the application of the PCF approach for TB programming. Ongoing continuous feedback and experience sharing (among countries and with the developers) will ensure that the design, toolkit, processes, and resources remain relevant and keep improving with use.

The current content encompasses:

  1. The PCF online manual/ handbook (with step-by-step implementation guides for key components)
  2. A PCF toolkit repository including the PCF data analytics dashboard, the PPA wizard, and various PCF approach templates (with upcoming links to modeling and costing tools)
  3. A capacity building/ eLearning platform with recorded introductory webinars on key PCF topics, recorded conference and experience sharing presentations, and interactive online course (under development)
  4. A user forum/ community of practice exchange hub (under development).

PCF Theory of Change

The PCF is based on the need for change in policy, strategy, and programming, based on the existing and preferred future situation, as described in the Theory of Change on improving the use of evidence.

The Theory of Change approach was chosen as a guiding framework for all stages of thinking, action, and sense-making to facilitate optimal collaborative action with others. The use of a Theory of Change approach fostered critical questioning of all aspects of change interventions and supported adaptive planning and management in response to diverse and quickly changing contexts. It contributed to the quality and transparency of strategic thinking in a collaborative environment, and therefore to personal, organizational, and social learning. Adequately addressing identified problems at the individual-, community-, institutional-, and/or country-level required stepping out of the uniformly identified approach of this project.

Public health interventions should not be developed based on a theoretical model alone. The process started with a detailed situation assessment supported by research and consistent everyday observations.  Application of a Theory of Change led to the common understanding of how change occurs, creating awareness on different values among stakeholders, generating ownership of National Strategic Plans and GF applications, thus supporting the decision-making process on which solutions should be prioritized for bigger impact.

To formulate a new National Strategic Plan, an assessment of the performance of the current strategic plan needs to take place. Application of the People-Centred Framework approach facilitates a systematic process to country-led, data-driven, and people-centred planning, prioritization, and decision-making. The approach includes three major components (1) analysis of evidence along the continuum of care, (2) prioritization of interventions in order to optimize the impact of investments, and (3) program needs are the basis for evidence generation.

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