The Stop TB Partnership is making certain that all major advocacy events, opportunities and high-level activities during 2009 include top-line messages highlighting the threat of the financial crisis and the potentially disastrous effects it could have on tuberculosis programmes around the world. The global economy will be a major focus of the meeting of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board and the ministerial-level discussions during the Partners’ Forum in Rio in March.
We are strengthening resources allocated to advocacy campaigns and products that will explain and stress the risks associated with cutting funding for TB. We also will reinforce strategic alliances with partners , governments and new donors to ensure funding for TB is preserved and continue to increase in the years to come in line with the needs estimated in the Global Plan to Stop TB. We know that national leadership—especially in countries with strong, emerging economies—will be crucial to sustaining finance for TB in the months and years ahead. Encouraging those countries to move forward vigorously on TB control will be an important objective for us.
The Partnership has developed an advocacy strategy for 2009 that will focus in three fronts:
—To use thematic issues (TB/HIV, MDR-TB, Research) as drivers of awareness, commitment and action from decision makers.
–To sustain and enhance the profile of TB within prevailing development and policy agendas by targeting key endemic and donor countries in light of the important role emerging economies are and will take in the current global economic crisis.
–To make strengthen strategic alliances with key partners for advocacy purposes.
How can Partners get involved ?
The Advocacy Network is being developed to expand the number of partners engaged in TB advocacy activities and will be increasing its outreach though ramped up communications to partners. We are also developing web-based tools for disseminating common messages to partners in the network.
The Partnership has just decided to create a new Advocacy Advisory Committee, whose role is to advise the Coordinating Board and Partnership Secretariat on advocacy matters including strategies and work plans. This committee is bringing together 8-10 top experts on different advocacy fronts.
The Partnership will soon be launching a web-based social networking platform for the global community engaged in the fight against TB. This platform will offer unprecedented opportunities for partners to work collaboratively on advocacy strategy and messages.