Julia Gilbert: Better Together: Unleashing the Power of the Private Sector to Tackle NCDs

By Julia Gilbert, The Partnering Initiative

In September 2015, the governments of the world agreed the most comprehensive and integrated development agenda ever conceived: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Developed under the auspices of the United Nations, the goals bring together not just the world’s  governments but also private sector and non-profit organisations, including academics, research institutes and more. The Goals call for action from us all, across sectors, in both developing and developed countries, to reduce poverty, improve societal wellbeing, and live within ecological limits by 2030.

 

In other words, they are the result of – and a call for – a new collaborative way of working. They send a powerful signal that old ways of thinking and working in silos are no longer appropriate. One of the SDGs sets a target to reduce the global Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) burden by one-third by 2030. At a time when rates are increasing, not decreasing, this is a hugely ambitious goal. And yet the great damage to people, societies and economies that NCDs cause means we must act, and we must act now.

 

The scale alone of the NCD epidemic means that we need as much resource as possible put towards the problem. However, the complexity of the causes means that truly there is no alternative to an ‘all-of-society’ approach in which all sectors of society combine their unique resources to tackle the challenge in much more innovative, holistic and sustainable ways. And this needs to happen at a hitherto unprecedented scale.

 

Partnering across societal sectors is difficult. While we are all affected by NCDs, our drivers are different, we speak different languages, and we have different incentives and ways of working, different expectations, different cultures.

 

The Partnering Initiative (TPI), the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Bupa have worked together to co-create a new partnering guidebook designed particularly for non-profit organisations who wish to partner with companies against NCDs. The guidebook begins to set out how to bridge that divide: to engage with business and create effective partnerships to address the causes of NCDs.

 

Dr Cary Adams,
Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Dr Fiona Adshead,
Chief Wellbeing and Public Health Officer, Bupa

Dr Darian Stibbe,
Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative

 

Editor's Note:

The Better Together guidebook will be officially launched as part of a webinar on Monday 6th February 2017 at 12:00 GMT convened by TPI, Bupa and UICC, two days after World Cancer Day 2017. The discussion will focus on the role of the private sector in the cancer and public health space, and the ways in which other sectors can partner with business in the battle against NCDs.

The webinar will be moderated by TPI Director Darian Stibbe,  and will be introduced by Jean-Etienne Brodier, Director of Capacity Building, UICC, and Dr Fiona Adshead, Chief Wellbeing Officer, Bupa. Confirmed speakers include:

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