The NTDs were not formally part of the MDGs. Now, with inclusion in the SDGs, how does inclusion of NTDs in SDG framework affect the work of the NGDOs?
The MGDs were transformative. However they were defined and monitored in a siloed way that did not facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration or action. In striving to attain these siloed targets the global effort often focused on populations that were easier to reach rather than those most in need.
The nature of the SDGs, and the fact that NTDs are now explicitly mentioned, gives us a very clear focus that we can use to drive political will and generate funds to support more comprehensive programmes aimed at ensuring no one is left behind.
This focus is critical to the NGO community as we expand our partnerships and collaborations. One such collaboration is the NTD NGO Network of which I am honoured to be Chair. The NNN now comprises over 60 organisations working together in more than 100 countries, spending annually more than 500 million dollars to support endemic country programmes.
The NNN has been developing a cross-sectoral framework for action called BEST. In the future we hope to encourage partners to use the BEST Framework to make sure that there will be a consistent and comprehensive approach to guide every programme we undertake together.
The comprehensive nature of the BEST framework will necessarily mean we have to engage with other organisations outside health that are needed to reach elimination such WASH, vector control and veterinary public health and those organisation working on social inclusion and disease management.
We have already had some significant success including catalysing the development of a Global Strategy on WASH and NTDs but we have to redouble our efforts to create further connections locally regionally and globally that will ensure this comprehensive approach is embedded and we can demonstrate the value of NTDs investments in moving forward the global health and development agenda.