Tobacco Industry Documents Research in Africa is creating a pool of Africa-based researchers and advocates with expertise in documents research to support the implementation of effective tobacco control legislation in Africa and increase tobacco industry monitoring in Africa.

TIDRA emerged after Paul Ebusu with the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa participated in an advanced training by Otañez in South Africa on using industry documents for research and policy purposes in 2013. The American Cancer Society funded the two week training at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where Otañez and other global tobacco control experts administered courses. Also, the American Cancer Society funded Ebusu's two-year stay as a post-graduate student in Pretoria, South Africa. TIDRA is an outcome of the 'University of Pretoria-American Cancer Society African Fellowship Programme in Tobacco Control,' with Lekan Ayo-Yusuf as the Principal Investigator.

Follow-up discussions among Ebusu, Otañez and the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa revealed that additional work is needed to systematically train African scholars and advocates on documents research and to use the documents to inform new and existing activities aimed at domesticating FCTC in Africa. Guided by a theory of change, TIDRA is in the initial phase of developing allies and identifying opportunities to use documents research to counter industry policy interference in Africa. In 2015-16, TIDRA is a game changer with its project to train a specialized team of African advocates to use documents research to mitigate industry interference and enhance implementation of the FCTC in Africa. 

Partners include the Center for Tobacco Control in Africa (Uganda) and Marty Otañez, Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver. The project seeks to more fully utilize in Africa over 14 million documents in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library to protect public health and promote tobacco-free Africa.

Bios of Team Members

Marty Otañez is a California-born cultural anthropologist, tobacco control advocate and documentary filmmaker. Since 2008, he has been an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver. His scholar activist focus has been on tobacco industry practices that undermine livelihoods at the farm level in Malawi and other developing countries. Otañez has authored and co-authored publications addressing tobacco industry irresponsible farm-level behavior which have included: “Social Responsibility in Tobacco Production? Tobacco Companies Use of Green Supply Chains to Obscure the Real Costs of Tobacco Farming,” Tobacco Control (2011) and, in collaboration with Laura Graen (unfairtobacco.org) “‘Gentlemen, Why Not Suppress the Prices’: Global Leaf Companies Harm Rural Livelihoods in Malawi” in The Global Tobacco Leaf Marketing Chain, International Development Research Center, Canada (2014). He received funding for visual-based ethnographic work and global tobacco control policy advocacy from the Washington, D.C.-based International Labor Rights Forum; the Rockefeller Foundation, and the University of Colorado at Denver Center for Faculty Development.

Kellen Nyamurungi Namusisi. Currently working with the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa-CTCA as a Technical Advisor M&E and her key roles are providing technical advice on monitoring and evaluation. Kellen has a wealth of experience in Public Health of more than 8 years, specifically project design and management, monitoring and evaluation, mainstreaming, advocacy and organizational development. Her key achievements include: Design of Public Health projects, developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and systems, Developing Advocacy and communication strategies, developing strategic plans, developing M&E Curriculum for Master’s Program for Makerere School of Public Health and Capacity Building for M&E. Kellen holds a Master’s of Science in Population and Reproductive Health from Makerere University Institute of Statistics, with a two year Fellowship in HIV/AIDS management by Makerere University and Center for Diseases Control (CDC), with an award for exemplary performance.

Paul Ebusu holds a bachelors degree of Arts in Social Sciences (BASS) from University of Kyambogo, Uganda and a Master of Public Health (MPH) with special interest in tobacco control from University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa. He has attended the John Hopkins School of Public Health-American Cancer Society Tobacco Control Leadership Program at University of Pretoria. He also holds a certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programs from Measure Evaluations administered at the School of Continuing Education, University of Pretoria. He has done research in the area of tobacco control and has got over 5 years of experience in tobacco control working in civil society as a tobacco control advocate mainly in Uganda. He has experience in program development and implementation and has coordinated a number of tobacco control projects including; shadow reporting on the FCTC implementation in Uganda, 2012 and the evaluation of the African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC) project implemented by African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) across 10 African among other things.

Kenneth Bakaira is the ICT officer at CTCA. Graduated from Makerere University with a B.Sc. in information technology and holds certifications in CCNA and CCNP and Linux. Prior to Joining CTCA Kenneth worked for web hosting companies as a web developer and as a systems administrator with a focus in information systems security. 

Lily Sahaguian (Project Assistant) is completing her final year as a Public Health Undergraduate at the University of Colorado in Denver. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to continue her education in a graduate program that focuses on global health perspectives and environmental health. She is passionate about advocating and promoting health in order to minimize health inequities and promote access, delivery, and research. In fall 2015, she is a project assistant with Tobacco Industry Documents in Africa (TIDRA). In collaboration with Marty Otañez, Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at CU Denver, Lily performed the presentation called “Tobacco Industry Documents Research in Africa (tidocafrica.org): Creating a Community of Practice Among Public Health and Corporate Accountability Advocates” at the Global Health Symposium, Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, November 2015. The experience with TIDRA is helping Lily contribute to the training of public health advocates in Africa in order to effectively use tobacco industry documents to mitigate tobacco industry policy interference and promote health.