Regional and Country-specific Leadership Programs
As part of the Bloomberg Initiative (BI) to Reduce Tobacco Use, the regional Tobacco Control Leadership Program aims to develop and enhance leadership in countries experiencing the greatest burden of disease and death from tobacco use by building capacity to develop, implement and enforce effective tobacco control policy interventions. Region-specific tobacco control leadership programs allow for more emphasis on locally relevant tobacco control policy issues, as well as other relevant public health policy issues. Nominations for participants are recommended by Bloomberg Initiative Partners working in the countries.
The South Asia Regional Tobacco Control Program (SAARC) was held in May 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal with over 70 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in attendance. The SAARC sessions emphasized leadership principles in relation to the range of tobacco control topics noted below, structured around the components of the World Health Organization’s MPOWER package of policy measures to reduce the demand for tobacco. The Program, delivered by a faculty comprised of regional and international experts, focused on tobacco control leadership, policy development, implementation, networking, communications, research, advocacy and surveillance.
A South East European and the Newly Independent States Program was held in September 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. A total of 65 participants from 20 countries took part in the program. A number of sessions focused on the tobacco industry which has challenged many of the policies in these countries and continues to undermine the tobacco control movement with their overt and covert practices. In addition, there is on-going concern in a number of countries about the economics of tobacco control, particularly in relation to: increasing taxes on tobacco products; the lack of strong comprehensive smoke-free legislation and related enforcement; health warning labels and plain packaging; illicit trade in tobacco products; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and, cigarette smoking alternatives, including water pipes, smokeless tobacco, etc. Programs for 2018 are being finalized and will become available at a later date.
Program Objectives - The overall program objectives are to:
- Enhance leadership and networking skills to affect policy development and implementation;
- Delineate leadership principles and their relevance in addressing country-specific tobacco control issues and challenges;
- Strengthen skills in policy intervention development and implementation and strategic communication; and,
- Engage with and enhance collaboration among a wide range of partners in the tobacco control movement.
At the completion of this Program, participants will have:
- Enhanced leadership and networking skills to advocate for, enact and implement effective policy change;
- An improved ability to apply leadership principles and better utilize tobacco control-related evidence to advance policy development and implementation aimed at resolving country-specific issues and challenges;
- Strengthened skills in strategic communication and policy development and implementation; and,
- Strengthened ties and linkages with international colleagues.
Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program
This comprehensive two-week leadership program was focused on building leadership capacity to develop effective tobacco control policy interventions. This program is currently discontinued, as the Institute has refocused on regional, in-country leadership programs.
The program sessions addressed a range of tobacco topics, including policy development, advocacy, communications, and management and leadership. Key characteristics of the program included:
- Active engagement among a wide variety of international participants who come from different settings and backgrounds
- Delivery of the program through a diverse, experienced international faculty who aim to challenge and inspire the participants
- Thematic emphasis on leadership across a range of tobacco control issues, irrespective of participants' positions in their organizations
Acceptance into the leadership program was by nomination only from one of the Bloomberg Initiative (BI) partner organizations (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, World Health Organization-Tobacco Free Initiative and Vital Strategies).
The leadership program began in 2006, and grew from fewer than 20 participants from less than 10 countries to more than 100 participants from 26 countries in the 2016 program. IGTC has offered this training to more than 700 professionals from around the globe over the last 10 years.