Authors: Janeth George, Barbara Häsler, Erick V. G. Komba, Calvin Sindato, Mark Rweyemamu, Sharadhuli I. Kimera and James E. D. Mlangwa
Animal health surveillance plays a vital role in ensuring public health, animal welfare, and sustainable food production by monitoring disease trends, early detecting (new) hazards, facilitating disease control and infection, and providing data for risk analysis. Good stakeholder collaboration across the sector can lead to better communication, better science and decision-making and more effective surveillance and response. An understanding of relevant stakeholders, their interests and their power can facilitate such collaboration. While information on key stakeholders in animal health surveillance is available at the national level in Tanzania, it is missing at the subnational level. The study aimed to explore the existing stakeholders’ collaborations and influences at the subnational level through stakeholder mapping and to determine potential leverage points for improving the national animal health surveillance system. A qualitative design was used, involving consultative workshops with government animal health practitioners in Sumbawanga, Sikonge and Kilombero districts of Tanzania from December 2020 to January 2021. Data were collected using an adapted USAID stakeholder collaboration mapping tool with the following steps: (i) Define the objective (ii) Identify all stakeholders (iii) Take stock of the current relationships (iv) Determine resource-based influence (v) Determine non-resource based influence and (vi) Review and revise the collaboration map. Forty-five stakeholders were identified in all three districts and grouped into four categories: private sector and non-government organizations (n = 16), government (n = 16), community (n = 9) and political leaders (n = 4). Animal health practitioners had a stronger relationship with community stakeholders as compared to other categories. The results also showed that most of the stakeholders have non-resource-based influence compared to resource-based influence. The private sector and non-government organizations have a relatively higher number of resource-based influential stakeholders, while political leaders have more non-resource-based influence. The mapping exercise demonstrated that the system could benefit from community mobilization and sensitization, resource mobilization and expanding the horizon of surveillance data sources. Some of the leverage points include integration of surveillance activities into animal health services, clear operational processes, constant engagement, coordination and incentivization of stakeholders. The diversity in the identified stakeholders across the districts suggests that collaborations are contextual and socially constructed.