UNITED integrated neglected tropical diseases control programme evaluation

UNITED integrated neglected tropical diseases control programme evaluation


UK Department for International Development (DFID)







The Issue

Nigeria has the highest number of people infected with neglected tropical diseases (NTD) in Africa. The UK Department for International Development (DFID)-funded and Sightsavers-led UNITED programme supported government efforts to reduce the prevalence and interrupt the transmission of seven NTDs in five Nigerian states over five years.

Tropical Health was commissioned by DFID to conduct an end-of-term evaluation to analyse and report on the achievements of the programme, as well as to capture learning and make recommendations for future programming.

Our Approach

Tropical Health used quantitative and qualitative methods, including programme management data, survey data as well as semi-structured interviews with programme personnel and partners at global, national, state and community levels. During field visits in three states in Nigeria, interviews and focus group discussions were held and key stakeholders gathered to generate learnings from the programme.

Tropical Health delivered a comprehensive report including ratings for the programme for relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, scalability/replicability, and coherence/coordination, and a set of 20 recommendations in five areas to inform future programming. It delivered a separate paper outlining 30 lessons learned, also to help with future programming.

Our Findings

Tropical Health concluded that UNITED has been a pioneer programme, the first integrated NTD programme for seven preventive chemotherapy/NTDs in Nigeria with an unprecedented scale, operating in a complex and insecurity-prone region. Tropical Health found that the programme was overall successful, providing evidence that NTD integration and scale are possible, offering very good value for money. UNITED met or exceeded most of its targets, not only in treatment and mass drug administration but also in strengthening the health system, such as improving drug supply mechanisms. These were achieved despite slower progress in behavioural change communication, but efforts were made to include hard-to-reach communities, women, people with disabilities and poorly educated people and recommendations were made to boost the efficiency of this communication.