Background and Context:
Jordan ratified FCTC in 2004. Progress has been lagging with no comprehensive review of advances in tobacco control (TC). With better understanding of size of problem, national achievements, and barriers; and with collaboration forums in place; stakeholders -including civil society- are set to change the scene.
King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center undertook a national project aiming to strengthen political commitment, stakeholder engagement, and TC planning, eventually leading to prioritizing TC in national policies.
Stakeholder roster was expanded beyond conventional entities. A core team of TC experts, TC activists, and legal experts undertook a status quo assessment covering policies, legislation, activities, and opinions. A comprehensive report –in layman language- was developed. Several national stakeholder workshops were held to plan and sustain momentum.
Building on FCTC, a framework was developed to guide the review. Methods included desk review of plans and policies, a comprehensive review of legislation, interviewing stakeholders, and surveying the public on attitudes and opinions. Workshops were held to educate stakeholders on evidence-based TC policies, share report, identify priorities, and initiate plans. The report was shared with media and made publicly available.
Outcomes/What was learned:
TC, perceived exclusively as a health concern, is not a national priority and is thought to compete with short-term economic interests. TC plans are disconnected from national goals, activities are unsystematic, funding is minimal, legislation is fragmented and ambiguous, and the supply side is under-regulated. There is public support for TC and belief that the government should do more. Engaged in process and equipped with knowledge, stakeholders demonstrate stronger ownership, civil society advocacy has gained momentum, and networks conducive to stronger TC efforts are in place. Examples of increased momentum include growing stakeholder interest, increasing media coverage of TC, and rising demands for protection from SHS.