UK government commits to 5 years of support to TDR

TDR news item
18 June 2013

The United Kingdom’s government has committed to a 5 year period of support to TDR to use research to fight infectious diseases of the world’s poorest. The funder found that no other single organization could deliver TDR’s full programme of work at this level, and called TDR unique in its ability to conduct high quality research, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and research uptake activities within a single organization – providing good value for money.

TDR’s work fits with the UK government’s priorities of neglected tropical diseases, malaria, tuberculosis and building research capacity. It is situated within the World Health Organization and co-sponsored by 3 major UN agencies and the World Bank, which provides a structure to ensure the results of research are used to influence policy and programme delivery globally. The UK government is providing £12 million, from the Department for International Development, over 5 years (approximately US$ 18.2 million).

TDR Director John Reeder said, “This support reinforces to us that we’re on the right track. It feels great to get this long-term support that is really critical during the ramp-up of our new strategy. These multi-year awards help us in our strategic planning and commitments to grant recipients.”

TDR is implementing a new strategy under the direction of Dr Reeder, who was appointed in February, 2012. This strategy helps build research capacity in the countries where the diseases are prevalent, and supports research conducted by local and regional scientists. Areas of focus include identifying bottlenecks in the systems to deliver services and testing new drugs and other health products in the field.

Strengthening research capacity where it’s needed

TDR has a large network of scientist and programme implementers that have led to rapid roll-out of new technologies in the countries where they are most needed. These capacity strengthening programmes and services, which have already supported thousands of researchers, are being expanded. An external evaluation of the impact of TDR showed that 40% of grantees reported that their results were incorporated into public health policies, most of them within national control programmes. Many have gone on to create and/or lead major research institutions and work at the policy level in ministry offices.

In addition, TDR works with partners to identify knowledge gaps in the areas of infectious diseases so that research can be directed to those areas.

For more information, please contact

Ms Jamie Guth
TDR Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289
E-mail: guthj@who.int

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