Needs assessments

The Conference of the Parties (COP) called upon developing Parties and Parties with economies in transition to conduct needs assessments in the light of their obligations under the Convention. The Convention Secretariat was requested to assist Parties in doing so upon request, to advise them on existing mechanisms of funding and technical assistance, and to provide information to development partners on the needs identified.

In line with the decision of the COP, needs assessments are carried out jointly with the national government concerned. Each exercise has three phases: the pre-needs assessment phase, in which the Secretariat studies relevant documents and Party reports, and prepares a detailed programme; the needs assessment mission, during which an international team interacts with the health ministry and various national stakeholders, the WHO country office and the United Nations resident coordinator; and the post-mission and follow-up phase, in which the Secretariat finalizes the needs assessment report in cooperation with national focal points and works with the government and international partners to promote the jointly agreed action plan.

Parties wishing to request the Convention Secretariat’s assistance in conducting a joint needs assessment can send an official request from a competent authority to the Head of the Convention Secretariat (e-mail:; fax: +41 22 791 5830).

Needs assessments 2009–2012

Joint needs assessments have so far been conducted in: Bangladesh, Jordan, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea (2009); Ghana, Guatemala and Republic of Moldova (2010); Bhutan, Palau and Fiji (2011); Samoa, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kyrgyzstan, Gambia, Colombia and the Federated States of Micronesia (2012). Partial exercises to assist with the review of national tobacco control legislation and development of a national action plan were conducted for Afghanistan and Senegal in 2012, to be followed by full exercise at a mutually convenient time. A preparatory mission prior to a subsequent full needs assessment was also undertaken for Botswana in 2012.

Needs assessments 2013

  • Islamic Republic of Iran (3–7 February 2013)
  • Nepal (14–19 April 2013)
  • Sierra Leone (6–10 May 2013)
  • Burundi (13–17 May 2013)
  • Georgia (3–7 June 2013)
  • Mauritius (10–14 June 2013)
  • Gabon (1–5 July 2013)
  • Burkina Faso (12–16 August 2013)
  • Marshall Islands (7–16 September 2013)
  • Sri Lanka (14–18 October 2013)
  • Peru (18–22 November 2013)

Needs assessments 2014

The Convention Secretariat has received requests for assistance in conducting joint needs assessments from the governments of the following Parties: Jamaica, Niue, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Rwanda and Tonga. Dates for the missions will be identified in consultation with the relevant national authorities.

Post-needs assessment assistance

Parties that have conducted joint needs assessments have been provided with post-needs assessment assistance. Such assistance is made possible by the grant provided to the Secretariat by the European Commission. Assistance is provided to the countries for technical work in areas such as tobacco taxation, surveillance, pictorial health warnings and development of national tobacco control action plans and communication strategies. Such projects have been completed or are currently ongoing in Colombia, Cook Islands, Gambia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Federated States of Micronesia, Nepal and Solomon Islands. For example, the World Bank provided expert advice to the finance ministry of the Gambia in the post-needs assessment phase, and will gradually target other needs assessment countries. The World Lung Foundation has provided expert advice on national media strategies and pictorial health warnings to Colombia and Kyrgyzstan. The Secretariat will mobilize other international partners in specific areas under the Convention to meet the needs identified during the joint needs assessments.

In addition, multisectoral stakeholder meetings to launch needs assessment reports or develop national action plans were conducted in Colombia (2 September 2013), Nepal (13–15 September 2013), the Federated States of Micronesia (18–20 September 2013) and Georgia (29 November 2013).

Other Parties which have undergone the needs assessment exercise are in the process of identifying priorities and preparing project proposals.

Australia has also provided a grant to the Convention Secretariat to support countries in their needs assessment exercises, including assistance in meeting the treaty obligations. As part of this grant, Bhutan, Ghana, Guatemala and Jordan, which conducted needs assessment jointly with the Convention Secretariat, have further implemented projects in promoting education, communication, training and increasing public awareness. Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Samoa and Solomon Islands are in the process of developing post-needs assessment assistance proposals.

As part of the post-needs assessment assistance coordinated by the Convention Secretariat, four lawyers and policy experts from countries that have gone through the needs assessment exercise will participate in the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer Intensive Legal Training Programme, which will take place in February 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. It is expected that the course will provide the national experts with knowledge that can then be used in their countries in developing or updating tobacco control legislation, relevant regulations and other administrative means to boost full implementation of the Convention.

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