Among Stop TB Partnership's new priorities: A 'self-funded' special envoy

Jorge Sampaio, U.N. special envoy for the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis. Stop TB Partnership’s steering committee and advocacy experts agree that the partnership should identify a self-funded special envoy instead. Photo by: unaoc / CC BY-NC-ND

Under a new operational strategy, the StopTBPartnership will discontinue a number of activities and reallocate staff and financial resources.

The new strategy aims to boosting the partnership’s efforts to meet the goal of reducingtuberculosis cases by half by 2015, which is laid out in the Global Plan to StopTB covering the 2011-2015 period. Current efforts are “unlikely” to meet this goal, according to the strategy document.

The strategy sets out four strategic goals:

  • Improve collaboration between partners.

  • Promote innovation inTBdiagnosis and care.

  • Ensure universal access to “quality assuredTBmedicines and diagnostics.”

  • “Double” financing fortuberculosisuntil 2015 by increasing engagement with world leaders and key influencers.

Each goal has a set of objectives, activities and desired outcomes. But given “significant resource constraints,” the Partnership Secretariat will have to discontinue or scale down some of its activities, the strategy recommends. They include celebrity engagement, and support for the activities of the U.N. special envoy fortuberculosisand nationalTBpartnerships.

An independent group of advocacy experts have underlined the “extensive human and financial resources” engaging celebrities require. Such an activity is also not among the strengths of the secretariat, according to the partnership’s steering committee. This is the same reason behind the committee’s recommendation to review the secretariat’s current advocacy, communications and social mobilization activities, and end technical support to nationalTBpartnerships.

The goals have been developed based on the Secretariat’s “comparative advantage and available financial resources.”

As for the U.N. special envoy, both the committee and advocacy experts agree that the partnership should identify a self-funded special envoy instead. The strategy recommends support for the current envoy to be only until the end of this year.

The board, however, may reconsider its recommendations over these activities if donors pledge interest in funding them, including human resource costs, according to the document.

Reallocation of some staff members and financial resources, meanwhile, may take up to six months following the approval of the strategy. The Secretariat will need to revise its budget and present it to the Coordinating Board on its 23rd meeting for approval.

The Secretariat, meanwhile, will continue its Global Drug Facility, andTBREACH and Global Fund initiatives, as per the strategy’s recommendations.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.