Brucellosis in Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan brucellosis is an endemic zoonosis of concern to public health also causing considerable economic losses due to reduced reproduction in livestock. Currently, a test-and-slaughter policy is implemented, but its efficacy appears to stagnate. Experts have stressed the need for new innovative one health approaches to tackle brucellosis, and scientists, as well as the World Bank Group have recommended One Health approaches in low and medium income countries, such as the former Soviet Republics. However, there is a lack of evidence for best practice in literature, and methods for implementation are not established.
This project aims to introduce a One Health approach to brucellosis control in Kazakhstan. It uses the evaluation framework developed by the “Network on Evaluation of One Health” (NEOH) as a means to engage in the policy cycle and to transit an existing policy towards One Health. Evaluation requires an extensive amount of information on current existing system. For that matter, we organized 2 day participatory workshop for stakeholders and conducted individual interviews. During workshop, participants were instructed to elaborate their personal perspectives on the control of brucellosis in Kazakhstan. These perspectives were successively merged in brainstorming and mapping exercises to finally obtain a plenary system map. Throughout the process, the participants engaged in an open conversation and several discussions around issues that may obstruct the results of the current anti-brucellosis campaign. All this allows assessing existing strengths and identifying weaknesses of the existing effort to control brucellosis.
Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping and Scenario Modelling
As a next step, we plan to use fuzzy cognitive mapping. Previously generated maps will be used as a basis, supplied with input of the stakeholders and groups that were not present during first workshop. Combination of the evaluation data with fuzzy cognitive mapping for policy formulation will demonstrate a methodology which may be useful in other cases. Providing guidance on how to use existing data from evaluation will endorse the use of evaluation and systems thinking in policy making and establish the iterative learning process to build learning organisations around the policies. Eventually, produced outputs will be presented to the officials as a roadmap and policy recommendations. The agenda setting phase of the policy cycle can be animated and informed towards a more systemic and inclusive approach.