Advancing Tobacco Control in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI) Website

May 30, 2023 Health Development Gateway
Launch, Program

In partnership with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) Ministry of Health Programme National de Lutte Contre la Toxicomanie et les Substance Toxiques (PNLCT), Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) launched the French version of the Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI) DRC’s dashboard in Kinshasa, DRC on May 29, 2023. The English version of the DRC dashboard is forthcoming.  

This “one-stop shop” provides policymakers and other key stakeholders with relevant data to advance tobacco control implementation. The dashboard is one of six country-specific websites that DG developed in collaboration with University of Cape Town’s Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP) and national partners in each focus country as part of the TCDI Program, supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other TCDI country dashboards have already been launched in  South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Each country-specific TCDI dashboard addresses barriers to data use in tobacco control by consolidating the available, reliable, and evidence-based tobacco control data identified by national partners as key to the creation and implementation of tobacco control policies. 

Why TCDI? 

In the DRC, the prevalence of tobacco use varies greatly by geography and socio-demography. The overall prevalence of tobacco use was found to be 27% among men and 4% percent among women in 2014. Smoking among young people is of particular concern. Research on tobacco use among adolescents conducted in 2008 showed that over 33% of 12- to 15-year-old students surveyed in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi reported having used tobacco products, with rates of smoking in girls (29%), nearing that of boys (37%).

For policymakers and practitioners looking to implement tobacco control policies and programs to protect public health, the lack of recent and sufficient data on tobacco control in the DRC poses a real challenge. When data does exist, it is usually only available from scattered sources. By engaging national tobacco control stakeholders in their research, TCDI and PNLCT identified common themes in the data landscape of tobacco control and key priorities for tobacco control in the country. 

The TCDI Democratic Republic of Congo Dashboard

TCDI, PNLCT, and other national partners co-designed a publicly available dashboard (, a website that aims to address key decision-making needs. The dashboard equips stakeholders in government, civil society, academia, and the general public with reliable and up-to-date evidence to promote tobacco control, public health, and other disciplines. It draws from both primary and secondary data sources and presents tobacco control information in user-friendly formats such as graphs, infographics, myths and facts, and downloadable national legislation.

The website features six themes: Prevalence of Tobacco Use, Tobacco Control Legislation, Tobacco Industry Interference, Tobacco Taxation, Morbidity, and Illicit Trade. The dashboard will be updated with new information as it becomes available over the course of the program.

The Development Process

Before creating the DRC dashboard, the TCDI team first assessed the existing data and stakeholder needs through hour-long interviews with 20 key tobacco control stakeholders in the country. The findings from the assessment were discussed with stakeholders during a workshop on May 24-25, 2022 before beginning technical development of the dashboard. The website was created through an agile co-design process in close consultation with key tobacco control stakeholders in DRC, including PNLCT and other partners. Initial mockups and website designs were shared back with stakeholders for their input and suggestions. As a final step before launching the site, user-feedback sessions were held May 1-5, 2023 and revisions were made to the dashboard based on comments received.

About the Partners

DRC’s Ministry of Health (MOH)
TCDI in the DRC is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) through the Programme National de Lutte Contre la Toxicomanie et les Substances Toxiques (PNLCT), a specialized program created in 2003 to lead tobacco control activities in the country. The PNLCT’s mandate is to prevent, treat, and provide medical and psychosocial care for victims of addiction and other problems related to the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs as well as toxic substances. Its headquarters are located at the General Reference Hospital of Kintambo in Kinshasa, DRC. 

Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG)
Development Gateway: An IREX Venture provides data and digital solutions for international development. DG creates tools that help institutions collect and analyze information; strengthen the institutional capacity to use data; and explore what processes are needed to enable evidence-based decisions. A mission-driven nonprofit since 2000 with staff based in five global hubs and around the world, DG supports the use of data, technology, and evidence to create more effective, open, and engaging institutions. More at

Other Partners

Other partners who have been involved in the dashboard development are: Alliance Congolaise pour le Control de Tabac (ACCT), Initiative Locale pour le Développement Intégré (ILDI), Université de Lubumbashi, Université de Kinshasa, Programme National de Lutte contre les infections respiratoire aiguë (PNLIRA), Ministère du Commerce Extérieur, Direction Générale de Douanes et Accises (DGDA), and Ligue pour la Santé des Fumeurs et autres Toxicomanies (LSFT).

We welcome you to visit the dashboard for more information and encourage everyone to use the data therein for necessary action for the advancement of tobacco control in the DRC.



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