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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 4:50 PM

Engaging and Energizing Development Organizations in Tobacco Control

Shoba John, MSW, PATH CANADA, CPAA, King George Memorial, E Moses Road, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai, India

Objective: This abstract seeks to identify the challenges, strategies and principles in engaging and energizing a wide range of NGOs in tobacco control.

Methods: Principles and strategies mentioned here have been developed based on interventions with NGOs in India and South East Asia and through analyzing tobacco control networks in other parts of the world.

Results: Positioning tobacco control as a development issue and packaging it in forms that are relevant to NGOs working in the health, economic and environmental sectors helps in recruiting new allies and facilitate smoother integration into existing programmes.

Innovation is the key to sustaining interest in the long term. Exploring strange allies and giving a new spin to old messaging helps sustain interest as it begins to fade.

Enlisting the support of international alliances and people's movements brings political weight and mass following to tobacco control.

People are important and so is there time. Successful tobacco control networks underlines the importance of keeping their members engaged through division of roles and delegation of tasks.

Success breeds success. Recognizing success and rewarding through opportunities and exposure instills interest and entrepreneurship in tobacco control.

Financial concerns prove a major challenge while initiating and sustaining any new programme. The cost effective nature of tobacco control and the wide array of low cost strategies to combat the epidemic needs special mention in winning new hearts and organizations. Sustainable and long term sources of funding such as through raising tobacco taxes could be supplemental to this effort.