National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP):
Frequently Asked Questions
||National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP):
Frequently Asked Questions
How will NTIP be integrated into the cooperative agreement
The national TB program objectives established in 2006 will be
included as guidance in the 2010 cooperative agreement. Using the
data that are submitted to CDC, NTIP will provide program areas with
reports of their performance on achieving these objectives. Program
areas will use these reports to complete their interim and annual
progress reports to CDC, as well as in their applications for
How do the national TB program objectives compare to the 7
performance objectives in the 2005 cooperative agreement
announcement on which programs are currently expected to report?
Most national TB program objectives are similar to the 7
performance objectives in the 2005 cooperative agreement. However,
the national TB program objectives include a set of standardized
indicators and calculations for measuring performance and progress.
The national TB program objectives also include new objectives and
measures (e.g., TB case rates [U.S.-born persons, foreign-born
persons, and children younger than 5 years of age], treatment
initiation, data reporting, sputum culture conversion, recommended
initial therapy, universal genotyping, and sputum culture reporting)
that are important to TB control. Data for these objectives are
already being collected; monitoring progress on these objectives
will enhance the programs’ abilities to improve program outcomes.
When will NTIP be available for TB programs (state/county)?
NTIP reports will be available to all TB programs funded through
the cooperative agreement in the fall of 2008. Programs are strongly
encouraged to pilot NTIP in 2009 for progress reporting to CDC, and
provide feedback on the process before the formal NTIP
implementation in 2010. Additionally, Division of Tuberculosis
Elimination will be providing NTIP reports for some counties with
high TB incidence. The date for this rollout has not been
How will TB programs be expected to use NTIP reports?
NTIP is a service for TB programs. In addition to using NTIP
reports for completing cooperative agreement reporting and
prioritizing efforts for program improvements, programs are
encouraged to use the information provided to assist with their
program planning, education, and outreach. These reports can be used
to facilitate discussion and encourage problem solving among staff
and with community partners. DTBE consultants will be using NTIP
reports to work with programs and to provide appropriate technical
Do programs have to provide progress report on all national TB
program objectives? Or can they pick and choose which objectives to
NTIP will provide quantitative progress reports on all
objectives. Programs should provide context and comment on the
performance described in NTIP. The focus of progress reporting
should remain on communicating pertinent issues, concerns, and
challenges faced by the program on objectives on which they are not
doing well. Most importantly, the program should elaborate on its
plan to better understand the barriers and improve the performance.
Programs are encouraged to identify other objectives that are
important to monitor for their specific programs, and share progress
and updates with CDC.
How does NTIP change the progress reporting for programs?
Reporting progress on objectives has been a standard operating
procedure for TB programs. NTIP reports are being provided as a
service to programs, thus reducing burden on program staff from
having to calculate indicators and generate reports. In addition,
NTIP provides standard definitions, indicators, and calculations
such that all TB programs in the United States are using data
consistently to assess progress toward achieving the national
objectives and performance targets.
Will programs be able to set their own performance targets?
Yes. The national performance targets are provided as guidance.
Achieving the national performance targets will not be feasible for
all the programs. TB programs will continue to work with their
program consultants to set performance targets based on what is
feasible to them.
How will DTBE use NTIP?
DTBE will use NTIP data to assess national progress toward
achieving objectives and established performance targets. Program
consultants will use NTIP data to monitor program performance,
assess needs for education and technical assistance, and work
jointly with programs to plan program improvement efforts.
Will NTIP be used to determine funding/resource allocations?
No. Cooperative agreement funding for the recipients will
continue to be based on the formula established by the CDC/NTCA work
group. However, programs are encouraged to use NTIP reports to
inform their planning process and allocation of resources within
their programs, or to advocate for additional needed resources.
What kind of support or assistance can we expect from DTBE?
Training on NTIP will be provided at the regional meetings and
the CDC Program Managers’ Course, and via webinars. All requests for
assistance in using and interpreting NTIP reports should be directed
to your program consultant. As necessary, other DTBE staff will be
consulted to provide additional assistance.
How is NTIP different from the evaluation that we are doing?
NTIP is a monitoring system using standardized indicators and
calculations to track progress toward national objectives. Program
evaluation is the systematic examination of the processes that are
done to better understand the factors that contribute to program
outcomes. NTIP reports will be useful to programs in assisting them
to identify areas in need of improvement, thus helping to focus
program evaluation activities.
Will NTIP replace the current evaluation requirement?
No. NTIP can be used to help programs identify areas in need of
improvement; however, understanding why the program is doing well or
poorly requires a more in-depth examination of the process.
Evaluation planning assists the program in thinking through the
evaluation process before investing resources in the activity.
If we know where we are falling behind, will evaluation be
necessary before we can implement changes?
Program evaluation should be conducted to gain the understanding
of why program objectives are not being met and to inform changes.
When sufficient information is available to make informed decisions
regarding program improvements, evaluation activities should be
focused on another area where information for decision-making is
Will programs be expected to write an evaluation plan for every
objective for which they didn’t meet the target?
No. Programs will continue to be expected to address one priority
objective through evaluation. The program consultant should be
actively engaged in the selection of the objective to be addressed.
Will an evaluation plan be required before any evaluation can be
Yes. Program evaluation requires program resources. As with any
activity requiring resources, a plan should be developed to
anticipate issues and problems, and thus ensure that resources are
How often will the evaluation be required? Will CDC establish
To be useful and feasible, program evaluations must be tailored
to the program’s needs. While programs will continue to be expected
to routinely conduct program evaluations, the specifics and
timelines of the evaluations will be established in consultation
with the program consultants.
The National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP)