TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) is the only regional civil society network working exclusively on TB in the WHO Europe region and, with 171 members in 35 WHO Europe countries, is uniquely positioned to increase the political will needed to end the TB epidemic across the region by strengthening the coordinated response of civil society.
According to the latest figures released by the WHO in the Global Tuberculosis Report 2017, TB continues to be the world’s leading infectious killer, resulting in 10.4 million new infections globally - 600, 000 of which were drug resistant. Unfortunately, the WHO Europe region continues to lead in two key areas of concern - drug resistant TB and TB/HIV co-infection. Nevertheless, TB has maintained a low profile on the regional - and global - political agenda, failing to receive the attention and resources it deserves. 2018 provides unprecedented political opportunities to advance the fight against the epidemic, such as the first ever UN High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, which could trigger a dramatic shift in the global and European response. A strong, engaged and coordinated civil society will be key to guarantee these opportunities are not missed.
TBEC has identified health system financing, people-centred TB policy, and TB R&D as the key thematic priorities in the region for the next three years.
TBEC has identified four key objectives for 2018 work plan: 1) well-structured TBEC governance and accountability mechanisms; 2) robust processes for communication and external outreach, including one-to-one engagement; 3) strong partnerships with key decision makers, influencers and civil society in interdependent policy areas, in particular TBEC priority thematic areas; and 4) identification of skill gaps and knowledge needs amongst TBEC members, specifically with focus on best practices, as well as opportunities for training programme in 2019.
The TB Europe Coalition is a regional advocacy network of civil society organisations and individuals from across the WHO Europe region, comprising Western and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The network aims to strengthen the role of civil society within the regional response to tuberculosis (TB), and ensure political and financial commitments to end TB. Established in 2009, TBEC has TBEC has more than 200 members, including individuals and civil society organisations from more than 35 countries in the region. Membership is open and free of charge to all individuals and civil society organisations within the WHO Europe Region.
TBEC is governed by two key bodies: the Board and an Oversight Advisory Committee. The Board is TBEC’s highest governing authority and is legally liable for the work of TBEC. It provides strategic, operational and financial oversight of the implementation of TBEC’s strategy. The Oversight Advisory Committee provides strategic advice to the Board on organisational development, strategy, governance, policy and finance. The Secretariat is de facto based between London (hosted by RESULTS UK), Brussels (hosted by Global Health Advocates), and Kiev (hosted by Alliance for Public Health), with staff operating the work and budget of the network from the three individual organisations. The Secretariat is responsible for the coordination, communication, administration and management of the network. The role of the Secretariat is to ensure that the network’s work programme is successfully implemented, and to ensure that TBEC Board and Secretariat’s operations are transparent and efficient.You can read more about TBEC governance framework on TBEC website.
The TB Europe Coalition has two key areas of focus: first, to support civil society organisations and activists in their advocacy role at national level, and second, to coordinate and carry out evidence-based TB policy advocacy at regional and international level. In terms of TB advocacy, TBEC aims to address the lack of political will through continuous and strategic advocacy efforts with key decision makers and players from global organisations such as the Global Fund, WHO, UN, OECD, ECDC, G20 and EU amongst others at regional and international level. TBEC members regularly contribute to public consultations on the fight against TB in Europe, actively participate in relevant EU and WHO forums and stand available to provide information and advice to policy-makers on issues that the network has particular expertise. Since its creation TBEC also aims to support its members capacity and capabilities in order for them to successfully advocate for robust TB national and regional policies. TBEC actively informs, trains and engages civil society organisations and individuals working on TB at national level. It does this via regular country visits, online webinars and publications on relevant TB issues, ad hoc financial assistance to members to attend international and regional conferences, meetings and workshops, as well as various individual and organisation-based mentoring activities.
The operational objectives below have been developed in response to the above situational analysis and in relation to the multiannual work programme of the network (2018-2021) in order to reach the specific objectives:
Strategic Objective 1: Well-structured TBEC governance and accountability mechanisms created by the end of 2018, including a) clear internal governance structure; and b) horizontal and vertical accountability mechanisms. This is a crucial building block of the long-term sustainability of the coalition;
Strategic Objective 2: Develop and operationalise robust processes for communication and external outreach, including one-to-one engagement, by the end of 2018;
Strategic Objective 3: Strong partnerships developed with key decision makers, influencers and civil society in interdependent policy areas, in particular TBEC priority thematic areas: R&D, he
The objectives were achieved via the delivery of key outputs that form the annual work programme by:
1. Registration of TBEC as a legal entity in the Netherlands;
2. Adoption of TBEC Articles of Incorporation and bylaws, establishing key governance structures and procedures such as establishment of TBEC Board Executive Committee, or adoption of delegation of authority and Board's annual work cycle;
3. Online elections of TBEC Board members;
4. Facilitating access to information and resources for advocacy and capacity building for TBEC members via TBEC webinars, country visits, publications, listserve, Mailchimp updates, website, newsletters, social media and Youtube Channel;
5. Conducting outreach to civil society across the region with the aim of expanding the network and building relationships with target civil society networks, for example, European Harm Reduction Association;
6. Engaging with decision-makers on behalf of civil society across the region, for example, WHO Europe, the Global Fund, the UN, the EU, G20 and others;
7. Managing the network effectively to implement the four-year work programme;
8. Carry out skill and knowledge audit of TBEC member to ensure sustainable training schedule - online and in person - in 2019;
In 2018 TBEC continued to strengthen its position as a key civil society network, working on TB issues in the wider European region. Throughout the year, TBEC carried out various advocacy activities on various TB policy aspects such as:
- transition and sustainability;
- people-centred care;
- integrated health systems;
- access to TB medicine and tools;
- UN High Level meeting on TB;
The continuous financial support from the EC allowed TBEC Secretariat and Board members to actively participate in various regional and international conferences such as UN High level meeting, AIDS conference, the Union conference, various regional meetings and events, as well as engagement with the EU via EU Civil society forum. The grant also allowed to closely engaging with various international and regional stakeholders such as the EU (EU Global Health Policy Forum, EU Civil society forum on HIV, TB and Hep C, CHAFEA, DG SANTE amongst others), WHO Europe and the Global Fund. Furthermore, TBEC strengthened the regional partnerships with Eurasian Harm Reduction Association through joint training workshop and webinars on the Global Fund CRG technical assistance programme, and Treatment Action Group on STC of health products, and worked closely with the Global TB Caucus in order to strengthen ties between the CSOs and the parliamentarians, for example, in Norway and Romania.
UN HLM on TB
TBEC Board members were chosen as members for the Affected Communities and Civil Society Advisory Panel for the UN HLM on TB (Work Track 6). Both of them attended and spoke at the Interactive Civil Society hearing in NY in June 2018 and the high level meeting itself in NY in September 2018.
TBEC Secretariat continued to engage with TBEC members on UN HLM on TB:
- TBEC specific listserve on UN HLM on TB;
- TBEC policy update in EN/RU in March and September;
- TBEC questionnaire to TBEC members in EN/RU on UN HLM on TB engagement at national level;
- TBEC webinar on UN HLM on TB in May;
- TBEC brochure on accountability post UN HLM on TB in December;
- TBEC translated supporting documents in RU – letter samples to HoS and MoH, STOP TB Partnership 5 key asks etc.;
- TBEC signed the Communities and Civil Society Communiqué on the draft multi-sectorial framework to accelerate progress to end Tuberculosis;
- Information exchange and coordination with various TB and CSO networks ahead of the UN HLM - ACTION partnership, GFAN network, ICSS, Global TB Caucus etc.;
Research & Development of new TB tools
- TBEC member - RESULTS UK, attended C20 face-to-face coordination meeting in April and was heavily influenced in development of C20 final position paper ahead of G20 meeting.
- TBEC Board fed into the civil society contribution during the annual meeting of WHO Green Light Committee;
TBEC Secretariat continued to engage with TBEC members on G20 processes:
- TBEC policy update in EN/RU in March;
- TBEC overview of G20 and guide to CSOs on how to influence G20 health negotiations at national level on TBEC website;
- TBEC member participation in bi-monthly calls with G20 coordination group and G7 Health Working Group;
Health financing/The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
TBEC Secretariat continued to engage with TBEC members on health financing and advocacy toward the Global Fund:
- TBEC case study on transition process from the GF support of national TB programmes to national funding in Georgia, with specific focus on procurement laws in June;
- TBEC session at the IAS2018 community space on the impact of the Global Fund withdrawal, with specific examples from Estonia, Bulgaria and Georgia;
- TBEC session at the Union conference on sustainability and transition, with specific examples from Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and MSF;
- TBEC webinar on the Global Fund STC policy and impact on TB drug procurement in June;
- Monthly calls with Global Fund Advocates Network on specific issues, for example, UN HLM on TB, GF replenishmen
In 2018 TBEC continued to strengthen its position as a key civil society network, working on TB issues in wider WHO Europe region. The continuous financial support from the EC allowed TBEC Secretariat and Board members to actively engage with various international and regional stakeholders such as the EU (DG SANTE, EU CSF on HIV, TB and Hep C, EP, CHAFEA etc.), the Global Fund, WHO Europe Regional Collaborative Committee on TB Control and Care and Green Light Committee, G20, AIDS conference 2018, the Union conference on lung health and various civil society partners such as Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, MSF, Treatment Action Group, Global TB Caucus, TB People, ACTION etc.
Throughout the year, TBEC continued the effective engagement with EU, WHO and Global Fund on shaping TB policy, including transition, people-centred care and UN High Level Meeting on TB through participation in meetings and conferences, as well as publishing policy reports. Furthermore, TBEC Board members were part of Civil Society Panel ahead of the UN HLM on TB and actively contributed to the content of political declaration, adopted on 26th September. TBEC continued to work closely with WHO Europe, the Global Fund, Wolfheze working group on people centered care other technical partners. TBEC has also closely worked with the Global TB Caucus in order to strengthen ties between the CSOs and the parliamentarians, who are part of Global TB Caucus in the EU and EECA region.
Since January 2018, TBEC has:
Published 100 blog articles and 10 newsletters in both languages (target: 12 newsletters).
TBEC sent out 188 listserve emails via TBEC listserve (Target: 55).
TBEC Facebook followers have increased to 726 (Target: 725).
TBEC published 129 Tweets, and its followers have increased to 906 (Target: 725).
TBEC further simplified TBEC website and created its own YouTube Channel to be used by TBEC Secretariat and TBEC members to promote any relevant TB videos.
TBEC published 3 key policy papers:
TBEC brochure on sustainability and transition - case study of Georgia;
TBEC brochure on resource mobilisation and partnership building;
TBEC brochure on accountability post UN HLM on TB;
TBEC organised 4 webinars:
- on UN High-level meeting on TB in EN/RU;
- on Global Fund STC policy of health products in EN/RU.
- on GF CRG TA program in RU;
- on GF CRG TA program in EN;
TBEC carried out research regarding key skills and knowledge of TBEC members (both in terms of "cross cutting" skills such as fundraising and in terms of understanding of specific issue, for example, people centered care). TBEC Secretariat sent out the questionnaire to TBEC Board and general membership, all together 180 members. Overall 32 members participated in TBEC skills audit, including 7 TBEC Board members. 19 participants responded in English and 13 in Russian. Countries represented in the skills audit include the UK, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, Kosovo, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and the USA. The respondents include individual TB survivors and/or TB activists in the country, representatives of national NGOs, working on TB within and outside the country, representatives of regional TB networks and international and regional organisations. TBEC Board members outlined various desired capacity building activities in upcoming years: a) peer-to-peer exchange visits; b) country workshop with mixed target audience; c) webinars in partnership with other international organisations; d) more engagement at national level ahead of various regional and international events; e) expansion of the network; f) webinars on fundraising. Overall, TBEC Board member focus aligned with wider demands and suggestions by TBEC members. Overall TBEC skills audit results showed that TBEC members value various TBEC capacity building activities such as country visits, online webinars and publications. Nevertheless, members expressed wish for more tailored country visits and workshop, in terms of target groups (asking to include health workers), thematic issues (asking to include human rights) and specific skills (asking to include training on fundraising, communication and management). The participants also expressed wish for new capacity building activities such as peer-to-peer visits and study tours.
Facilitated an advocacy workshop (15 participants, 3 collaborative relationships) and meetings with stakeholders and decision makers in Romania, as part of TBEC series of country visits and national advocacy workshops for local civil society.
Participated in the Union Global Conference on Tuberculosis and Lung Health in the Netherlands (supported 13 civil society representatives, and organised 3 community sessions, 1 networking event and 1 TBEC booth at the community space), AIDS conference in the Netherlands (3 sessions at the community space, and one brochure on HIV/TB transition in Georgia), UN High Level meeting on TB (CSO hearing and meeting itself), WHO TAG TB and Green Light Committees, and the EU, specifically, CHAFEA, EC and EP (Target - 5 meetings/conferences attended, 3 consultations TBEC input in and 6 meetings with decision makers). All targets were met.
Organised Annual Steering Committee meeting (13 out of 13 participated) and produced the report (target: registration of the network, Board elections and annual Board meeting);
Conducted Annual Member Survey, with 80% believing that T
TBEC’s dissemination and evaluation strategy and activities are based and informed by the dissemination and evaluation strategy and activities included in the FPA 2018-2021, which was the result of in-depth consultations with the various stakeholders involved in the implementation of the TBEC operational work programme. Evaluation will be conducted regularly to inform the activities of the network and to ensure maximum impact and sustainability and assure continuous stakeholder engagement, for example, looking at most read newsletter articles, or social media posts to inform the quantity and form of the engagement.
TBEC website structure has been further simplified and the content updated to mirror TBEC governance revamp and Strategy 2017-2020 (specifically, pages on TBEC Board and TBEC Director). TBEC has published 100 blog articles and 10 newsletters in EN/RU in 2018. TBEC has also issued a press release on UN High Level meeting on TB. TBEC Secretariat organised a coordination meeting at the beginning of the year, which included a section on communications, establishing ground rules for TBEC website, listserve, social media (Facebook/Twitter) and communication with TBEC Board. Throughout the year, TBEC listserve has receive around 188 email communications (split 70% TBEC Secretariat, 10% TBEC Board and 20% TBEC members). TBEC also created a smaller TBEC listserve on UN HLM on TB engagement.
Electronic versions of the TBEC Steering Committee annual meeting report, TBEC online webinars, TBEC publications - country example of Georgia during transition from the Global Fund support to national funding, TBEC capacity building brochure on resource mobilisation and development of partnerships were published on the website, distributed via TBEC member Google listserve and social media, as well as mailed to the Secretariats in Brussels and Kiev and interested TBEC members to reach out to larger pool of members in order to strengthen their awareness of actions at EU and regional levels that have significant relevance to their work at national level.
Complementary to these reports, the website hosted case studies, funding opportunities, technical assistance programmes, a calendar of events and other information to support members’ advocacy in response to the TB epidemic.
The TBEC logo and the emblem of the EU/CHAFEA 3rd Health Programme with disclaimer have been visible on all reports publicly disseminated by the network. These have been presented on the TBEC website and newsletters to ensure maximum visibility and recognition of support.
TBEC Senior Officer with support from TBEC Administrator monitored the implementation of the 2018 work programme, throughout duration of the Specific Grant Agreement. The framework of monitoring and evaluation entailed quantitative and qualitative data, based on process, output and outcome indicators.
The key monitoring and evaluation documents include:
1. TBEC quarterly overview of quantitative data (Excel sheet, collecting quantitative data, focused on work tracks 1 and 2 - governance and communications and can be presented internally to TBEC Board Executive Committee if requested);
2. TBEC bi-annual monitoring report (Word documents, 5-8