ANSWER: The values of Deloitte drive our actions. One of our values is outstanding value to markets and clients and we see the Government of Tanzania as an important client. We play a critical role in helping our clients to operate effectively. We really do consider this role as a privilege and we know that it requires constant vigilance and unrelenting commitment. Tanzania faces many economic and social development challenges, including those posed by a generalized AIDS epidemic and other communicable diseases.
Tanzania has an estimated 5.8 per cent prevalence of HIV, with approximately 1.4 million people living with HIV. Nearly 1.3 million children have been orphaned by HIV. The Government of Tanzania is committed to improving the health and welfare of its people, by both increasing domestic spending on health and HIV and receiving increased support from bilateral and multilateral donors.
However, the regional and district authorities needed strategic and financial planning, programming, and monitoring capacity to effectively manage and implement health programmes. In addition, local civil society organizations did not have the capacity to manage large programmes and could not be leveraged sufficiently to deliver health services.
Through the TUNAJALI “We Care” programme supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Deloitte Tanzania provided financial, grants and strategic consulting services to regional and district government institutions charged with coordinating and providing HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services.
In addition, Deloitte provided capacity development services to civil society organizations which provide HIV services to tens of thousands of clients. Project activities focused on building regional, district, and civil society capacity to manage programmes and comply with U.S. Government regulations.
From what I have discussed above you will notice we have not really shifted from our traditional work. Our work in the area of HIV/AIDS is to bring on board our extensive experience in strategy, human capital, technology, accounting and grants management to the benefits of the Government of Tanzania in its management of complex HIV/AIDS programme.
Q: In a nutshell, explain the genesis of Tunajali programme from inception?
A: It all started around 2002 when Deloitte Tanzania was awarded the management of the multi-donor US$ 18million Rapid Funding Envelope initiative for HIV and AIDS. We also supported with the costing of the National HIV and AIDs Strategic Plans in Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland.
But significantly, in 2004 we were requested by USAID to manage funds for HIV care and treatment activities involving eight sites with Family Health International (FHI) as the technical partner. In 2006 we formed a formidable partnership with FHI and won two bids that resulted in the TUNAJALI programme which has two components: Home-Based Care (HBC) for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and HIV Care and Treatment program. Both projects are funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). They started in 2007.
The main objectives of the programmes were to scale up the national HIV/AIDS response by increasing the number of persons living with HIV and OVC receiving care and support services. Our strategy was to strengthen the existing local capacity and working towards sustainable progress.
Q: What made Deloitte win the bid to run Tunajali programme in Tanzania against other applicants?
A: Deloitte did win the bids through strategic partnerships with Family Health International. Each partner’s unique strengths and expertise to address challenges facing the care and support to PLHIV and OVC paved the way to win the bid. While Deloitte has vast experiences and leadership in institutional capacity building, management systems including grants and financial management; FHI has the technical expertise and leadership in HIV and AIDS through their work in over 37 countries worldwide. In addition and more important was the trust that both the Government of Tanzania (GoT) and the United States (USG) had in the partnership we had.
Q: In which ways or programmes is Deloitte supporting ownership and sustainability of HIV and AIDS programmes in the country?
A: From the very beginning of implementing the TUNAJALI activities we developed elements leading to programme sustainability with our local implementing partners which includes local government councils, civil society organizations and some private sector institutions.
For example the vision we developed for the home based care programmes reads: “Communities provide sustainable quality care & support to PLWHA and OVC” and the mission is “To empower community-based organizations and communities to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS and provide quality comprehensive care for PLWHA and OVC as part of a continuum of care”.
We see ourselves as playing only a catalysts role and so our focus is to build strong ownership and sustainability elements with all our local implementing partners. Through a series of empowerment interventions such as training, supervision, mentoring and institutional capacity building of the health sector personnel like members of the Regional and Council Health Management teams, we believe we are cultivating a culture of sustainability and ownership of the programs to fight against the HIV and AIDS.
Q: What would you consider to be major achievements in Tunajali programme that have made a mark in the Tanzanian health sector?
A: Through effective linkages and partnerships, we have registered many achievements that have contributed significant improvements in the quality of lives of people we serve i.e. the PLHIV, OVC and all affected household members. On the HIV Care and Treatment programme, we have registered a cumulative total of over 79,000 PLHIV in about 120 Care and Treatment Clinics (CTC) we support in all districts of Dodoma, Singida, Iringa and Morogoro regions.
Currently about 50,000 are using the life-prolonging ARVs. We have trained nearly 2,500 health care providers and equipped all health care facilities with modern equipments for CD4 counts, biochemistry and haematology lab services. With regards to preventing the transmission of the virus from mothers to their children we have screened over 180,000 pregnant women and protected 980 of them from infecting their new born babies.
With regards to the HBC program we have registered over 81,000 PLHIV and linked 90 per cent of them to CTC where they receive care and treatment services. Initially most of these were bed-ridden because of severe illness but now they are mostly ambulant and up and about doing their income generation activities.
Definitely, this has had an impact in the economic well-being of the affected individuals, their families, communities and the nation at large. We have registered and supported over 89,000 OVC with education, health care, shelter and counseling services. The achievements of this programme have been possible thanks to a well trained community volunteer force of 3,400 men and women that TUNAJALI has motivated and supported.
Q: How would you compare Deloitte performance and acceptability of governments in the East African countries where you have health programmes?
A: It is difficult to compare how Deloitte has been accepted among the East African countries. But the fact that the company has established itself in these countries several years now (actually over 100 years in Kenya) and being counted as a reliable local partner in the delivery of sensitive social services like health services in partnership with the governments is an indication that the company has been accepted. In Tanzania, the company enjoys a high level of trust by not only the government but public and private companies and individuals because of quality services we provide to our clients.
Q: What is the take home perk (funds) that your company makes every year in being contracted compared to the income you get from your traditional role in the finance sector?
A: The goal of any private company is to make profit. We do however recognise that our fees on selected public sector clients will always be lower than our market rates. On the TUNAJALI programme, we do not charge any fee on one of the sub programmes.
Our fee on the other programme is also significantly below what our normal market rate is, especially considering the risk of managing such large amounts on behalf of the government and the donor. We however believe that through the TUNAJAI programme we have been able to help train over 80 new staff that can be used on other future Deloitte projects.
Q: The Tunajali programmes came to an end in September last month, what are the future plans for Deloitte in the Tanzanian health or public sector?
A: Good question. In tune with the government policy and that of USAID on creating favourable environment for local ownership and sustainability of programmes, there are plans to ensure a local organization continues with the programmes with the support of international organizations.
There are several options to this but the preferred option will be selected by the donor and not us. But Deloitte would like to see the good work it championed for five or so years do not come to a shuddering halt while HIV and AIDS is still an enigma in the country.
Q: What is the secret behind your metamorphic rise in the management of a big company like Deloitte and what challenge do you give to Tanzanians who aspire to reach and go beyond your level in managing a reputable consulting organization like yours?
A: Well! What can I say! It was not metamorphic as you say. My secret of reaching where I am now has been contributed by the people close to me, my family, office colleagues and my strong desire to always delight my clients. But for sure, the desire to excel including the love for knowledge, hard work and the desire to live a befitting but simple life has really paid of for me although I have not yet reached the sky.
My challenge to Tanzanians and Africans in general is to crave for knowledge, work hard and learn to achieve results through people. One can never achieve anything on their own. At Deloitte in Tanzania we have ensured that the entire TUNAJALI programme is led by Tanzanians.
The Chief of Party of the Programme, The Finance & Grants Director, the Finance Manager, the Grants Manager etc., are all Tanzanians which is unique for a programme of that size and we are very proud of it. Within our functional areas you will also notice that we have several Tanzanian managers leading our service areas such as Business Development Services, Technology, Strategy, operations and Audit.
Q: Deloitte has been associated with credible audit and servicing, banking and insurance clients. What can you mention as key benchmarks or highlights of Deloitte work in the finance sector that has given you accolades, client and public trust in Tanzania?
A: Our focus has always been helping our clients to excel irrespective of the sector. In the financial services sector, our clients look to us to provide them with insights and trends in the industry and that is exactly what we have been doing. Our unrelenting focus on client service has since last year made us the Number 1 Professional Services firm in the world. We are always one step ahead in investing in our people, in anticipating our client’s needs, hence all this work in the area of HIV/AIDS, and in helping our clients and people reach their goals.