Why cancer prevention and early detection
Early detection of cancer increases the likelihood of survival, if the patient is treated well and in time. According to the recent EUROCARE-5 study (2014), the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer in the Czech Republic has reached 78 per cent. This is close to the European average and exceptional in comparison to other European “post-communistic countries”. The study atributes this success to the organized screening. The OECD appreciated also new clinical guidelines, quality assurance, and health information infrastructure. Since 2008, the Czech development cooperation strives to share its cancer prevention know-how with Georgia and Serbia.
Evaluation of cancer fighting projects in Georgia and Serbia
So far, the Czech government has funded three cancer finghting projects in Georgia and Serbia. Evaluations commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs focused on one 3-year project in Georgia in 2013 and one similar project in Serbia in 2015. See links to the evaluation reports below.
At the end of 2016, I contacted all main stakeholders to find out about the impact of the evaluations. I also compared both projects and provided thoughts how Czech Reoublic (and other countries for that matter) can share its cancer fighting know-how.
Key conclusions (2016)
The Czech Republic should share transition experience in areas where they achieved evident progress and gained significant know-how, which they are able to share. Women’s cancer prevention and treatment seem to be a well- chosen transition experience shared with the Czech partner countries.
In my opinion, future similar projects should:
- be needs-based;
- be complementary to other development efforts in partner countries;
- be reflective of key local influencing factors;
- be flexible - they should understand how exactly each project would work and remain flexible throughout the project cycle;
- focus on actual impacts and accept accountability for the same
- and finally they should practice evidence-based, consistent, long-term advocacy to achieve systemic changes.
The article comparing both evaluations and offering lessons learnt for similar, tranistional projects is available in the peer-reviewed journal International Issues & Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs, Vol. XXV No. 3-4 | 2016, titled "Is there a shared transitional experience?".
Presentations from a multistakeholder debriefing at the end of the evaluation mission to Serbia is below. It includes just preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations. The presentation in Czech language is available here - it provides the final conclusions and recommendations.
Below is a presentation of the Georgia case vis-a-vis the Istanbul principles of Civil Society Organisations Development Effectiveness.