The report is organized in five sections: Stakeholders, Context, Project, Outcomes, and Project Sustainability. The Stakeholders section provides background information on the Canadian and Tanzanian institutional partners and the expertise each brings to the Western Heads East project. The project participants, operating as a Community Based Organization under the name Tukwamuane, are also introduced in this section.
For any development project or research programme to be successful it must be both context-specific and context-appropriate; therefore, in Context the project setting is documented. The impact of the AIDS epidemic on Tanzania and its citizens, the nutritional status of the population, social and economic realities, and the current level of gender equity are all explored in this section.
The Project section begins with an explanation of probiotics and the role researchers believe beneficial bacteria can play in combating HIV and alleviating diarrhoea. There is a brief explanation of why, from among the many available media, yoghurt was chosen as the preferred delivery method for the probiotics. Rationale for the selection of the project planning and reporting framework and the selection of a gender analysis tool are given and, following this, the project document and the completed gender analysis are presented in their entirety.
As Western Heads East organizers prepare to enter the research phase of the project, two preliminary studies were undertaken to measure results thus far. In Outcomes, the results of a Rapid Health Impact Assessment and an Economic Empowerment & Health case study, and a Community Readiness Assessment are presented.
A key goal of the Western Heads East collaborators was to create a sustainable project, thereby ensuring that the health and nutritional benefits of probiotic yoghurt would continue to be available to Tanzanian citizens for years to come. To assess Project Sustainability, stakeholders were surveyed on the steps necessary to reach sustainability. This section of the report will be of interest to other groups interested in launching similar initiatives, allowing them to leverage WHE’s successes and avoid unnecessary pitfalls.