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Evolving our partnership for the future

02 March 2019



April 2019

The Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases partnership was created to drive progress for ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), taking inspiration from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘Roadmap for Implementation’ which set targets to 2020. Over the years, the partnership has grown and developed to meet the needs of the NTD community; we brought organisations together, celebrated achievements and pushed for further action. Our collective efforts have secured countless successes and helped significantly to raise the visibility of NTDs.

In the run up to 2020, the Stakeholders Working Group (SWG) – which provides strategic guidance and direction for the partnership – has been reflecting on the future and the vision, structure and activities that will be needed to drive further change. Last year, many of our partners contributed to a thorough external review and consultation process, which helped to shape how we will work together in years to come. This consultation concluded at the end of 2018, and we are pleased to share an update on the key decisions.

Moving forward, the partnership will be guided by the following goals. Uniting to Combat NTDs will:

  • Elevate the prioritization and inclusion of NTDs in global health, using our convening power, collaborative voice and harmonized messages.
  • Advocate for maintained and increased donor and endemic country resource commitments for NTDs.
  • Foster collective action around critical challenges and opportunities, when we are uniquely positioned to do so.

To achieve these goals the governance structure of the partnership needs to evolve. We need to operate more effectively, and with greater transparency and inclusivity. Changes to our structure will improve decision-making, accountability, credibility and agility. Over the coming months we will establish the following groups that will replace our existing structure:

  • The Board: The Board will be responsible for strategy and governance decisions. It will approve the partnership’s strategy, operational plan and budget, whilst monitoring progress against our strategic goals. The Board Chair will also have responsibilities to represent the partnership externally on the global stage.
  • The Advisory Group: The Advisory Group will provide guidance on strategy and tactics to the Board, the Secretariat and working groups. This group will bring the perspectives of the broader NTD Partner Network to the Board and other partnership bodies.
  • Working Groups: Working groups will be created as required to leverage partner expertise and execute activities around specific objectives in the partnership strategy and operational plan.
  • The Secretariat: The partnership support centre will be known as the Secretariat. It will develop and implement the board-approved strategy. It will carry out ambitious advocacy initiatives and represent the partnership externally, whilst providing administrative and coordination support to partnership groups.

All of these groups will include and represent the members of the partnership, which collectively will be known as the Partner Network (which most likely includes you and your organisation). Our many partners are the foundation of our collective voice and we know that more can be done to improve the communication, coordination and participation with stakeholders.

We will shortly be releasing the updated terms of reference for the partnership. We will also be starting a process to populate the Board and Advisory Group. Stay tuned for more information on the skills and experience that will be sought, as well as how to apply or nominate others to take on a role in one of these important governance groups. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to send them to info@combatntds.org.

Download a diagram of our new structure here.