By: Daniela Mohaupt, Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, World Health Organization
In the 10 years since its founding by just seven partners in 2001, the Stop TB Partnership has attracted over 1000 partners that share its vision of a world free of tuberculosis.
These include the World Health Organization – which hosts the partnership secretariat and is a major partner – and representatives from government programs, technical partners, research and funding agencies, NGOs, civil society and community groups and the private sector.
Over the past decade, the partnership has convened three global partnership forums, the most recent of which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2009 and gathered thousands of participants to shape the global TB agenda. The key guidance document for the Partnership is its Global Plan to stop TB which identified a USD 4 billion gap in global TB funding.
Besides its key role in global advocacy to close this funding gap, the partnership also convenes technical working groups, hosts specialized committees, operates grant mechanisms and offers consultancy services to Global Fund programs, all of which aim to tackle TB in areas with critical need. Moreover, its Global Drug Facility has supplied first-line TB drugs to more than 90 countries, translating into a cumulative supply of more than 18 million patient treatments.
The Stop TB Partnership also counts on and benefits from the strategic input of its Corporate Sector Constituency of 130 private sector organizations and businesses to advance its vision of a world free of TB. These private sector partners form a substantial basis for the Partnership’s work, ranging from shaping governance issues with private sector thinking to contributing project-related expertise, or donations. For example, several private sector partners have offered to form a “think tank” to contribute marketing and communication skills. The challenge to the group was this: at a time of dwindling resources, TB is being “out-messaged” and "out-championed’’ by other health and development issues. Their task was to apply their creativity, experience and tactical expertise towards developing the seeds of a revitalized and inspiring messaging campaign, one that can drive a new level of political commitment to and funding for TB.
To get the process moving, in July 2011 the corporate partners held a two-day meeting, hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Partners in Health, and held at Harvard’s Cambridge campus. Over 30 marketing and public relations experts from the private sector, advocacy professionals who know the global health/TB environment and the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat came together to achieve this much-needed breakthrough on TB messaging. Results will be presented to the Partnership’s governing board in November and the most promising campaign ideas and results from this work are to be rolled out next year.
This form of a private sector partnership, which builds on core competencies from the corporate sector, was pulled together at the highest level. Companies dedicated their marketing and communication experts from the senior or vice president level and contributed pro bono work from their Public Relations or branding agencies. In this way, corporate partners steered the process, taking into account corporate branding and campaigning strategies.
“This was an incredible gathering of great minds and big hearts,” says Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. “The results are very exciting – some bold first steps towards transforming the world’s conversation about TB.”
For more information, please contact: Daniela Mohaupt, Private Sector & Corporate Relations Officer, Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, World Health Organization