TDR board cites successful financial recovery
TDR’s Joint Coordinating Board met this week and endorsed financial and programmatic reports covering 2013 that document the successful transition to a stable, well-functioning programme. TDR ended the biennium with a positive balance and a leaner and more cost effective structure.
Board chair Hannah Akuffo said, “It is so rewarding to see the major progress made by Director John Reeder and his staff. The focus on intervention and implementation research and research capacity strengthening is clear, and we also recognize the extensive work done to transition and complete projects involving pharmaceutical product research and development.”
Professor Akuffo from Sweden was elected as the new chair (see profile of Hannah Akuffo), replacing Dr Sue Kinn from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Dr Kinn oversaw this transition during her tenure, and her expertise was warmly and enthusiastically acknowledged by both board members and staff.
A proposal to strengthen TDR co-sponsorship was accepted by the board. The co-sponsoring organizations WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank have each identified opportunities in their organizations for more synergy with TDR, and it was agreed that they would come to next year’s meeting with specific joint workplans with TDR.
The World Health Organization’s financing and coordination mechanism from the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (CEWG) was also discussed. TDR has been identified as the best option for managing this by utilizing its technical expertise and extensive R&D networks. Four demonstration projects have already been identified through the WHO-led process. Overall governance of such a scheme would be through the Joint Coordinating Board of TDR. See earlier news on this here. The board strongly supported the concept and the continuation of discussions with WHO through its established sub-committee.
The JCB requested TDR to explore ways to mainstream gender equity to the entire portfolio of projects and start mapping projects’ contribution to gender equity issues. It also endorsed a portfolio prioritization model, new terms of reference for members of TDR’s scientific and technical advisory committee and scientific working groups, new conflict of interest principles for JCB members, and ways to reduce the workload for meeting preparations. All of these actions are designed to increase efficiency and transparency.
The board welcomed two past directors – Adetokunbo Lucas and Tore Godal, who came to speak at a special session to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the World Health Assembly agreement to create TDR. Another speaker, Dr Juliana Quintero, provided a personal view from the current generation of TDR grantees of TDR capacity building in Colombia for the past 40 years, and its impact through institutional and individual support, and a Latin American multi-country study on dengue and Chagas disease.
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