Business Alliance Against Malaria: 2019 Progress Update

BAAM is the leading alliance of businesses committed to the elimination of malaria within our lifetime; and, through its close relationship with the RBM Partnership, BAAM is a vital part of the network that binds together the malaria community. As we enter the final quarter of 2019, we wanted to take a moment to take stock of the Alliance’s accomplishments to-date.

We started the year with a ratified Memorandum of Understanding between BAAM and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. Several joint activities were planned to align both BAAM’s and the RBM Partnership’s work plan. These included BAAM-representative participation in the RBM Partnership’s Advocacy & Resource Mobilization Partner Committee and our collaborative joint World Health Assembly side-event: Innovate + Collaborate + Scale = End Malaria, which included a panel discussion on deploying new tools to fight malaria.

The Alliance has also made progress on internal initiatives and governance work—for example, in August, the Alliance issued its first set of invitations to start-ups and small organizations to join BAAM’s “Innovator’s Circle”. The reasoning behind the creation of this initiative is that the fight against malaria is evolving and requires fresh thinking from innovative organizations of all sizes. In order to sustain the gains the global community has made in the fight against malaria, meet the needs of key and vulnerable populations, and grapple with drug and insecticide resistance, we need to invite as many creative and entrepreneurial players to the space as possible. Thus, in light of the changing nature of the fight against malaria and acknowledging that the fee structure has proven a challenge for small start-up innovators in the past, the Business Alliance Against Malaria has launched a new mechanism for malaria innovators to engage with the Alliance: the BAAM Emerging Innovators Circle. Should you be interested in further details on the program, or if you know of an organization or entrepreneur that might be a good candidate for membership, please reach out to the Focal Point team!

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Additionally, we are evolving our malaria investment case report to showcase how malaria affects economies and health simultaneously. Case studies from multiple sectors will be highlighted demonstrating how malaria prevention strategies are good for business. Further details on the report can be found later in this newsletter.

We also underwent elections this past quarter and are thankful and appreciative of Ms. Caroline Desrousseaux’s leadership! We welcome Caroline on to a new term as Chair of the Business Alliance Against Malaria.

BAAM has several exciting milestones to anticipate between September and the close of 2019--the Alliance will be participating in the RBM Partnership’s Country/Regional Supporting Partner Committee (CRSPC) National Malaria Control Program Managers and Partners Meeting, an important sub-regional meeting to help advance malaria control and elimination goals in Eastern and South Africa. The meeting is being held in Lusaka, Zambia from 16 to 19 September, and will bring together national malaria control program managers and their teams, as well as other key players in the field of malaria at national, regional, and global levels, to identify challenges and to share best practices and lessons learned. BAAM will be a focal point in the agenda with a high-level presentation of the private sector’s appreciation of collaboration married with a cocktail and dinner. We aim to increase the awareness and benefits of engaging the global fight against malaria, in particular through membership with BAAM.

Another important upcoming milestone is BAAM’s annual retreat which will take place on October 8th in Lyon, France alongside the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment conference. The retreat represents a valuable opportunity for BAAM members to come together in-person to spend dedicated time discussing policy priorities and positions, and strategic objectives to guide the development of the Alliance’s 2020 workplan. Further, by holding the retreat alongside the Replenishment conference, the Alliance will maximize members’ opportunity to participate in high-profile policy and advocacy conversations with leaders from multilateral and bilateral health and development agencies, governments, civil society, and the broader private sector.

As seen in the pledge map below, this Replenishment cycle is showing increased funding among many nations. Part of The Global Fund’s striking progress is achieved through their unique partnership model in which private sector and non-governmental partners play a vital role.

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BAAM will also be co-hosting a side-event, in partnership with several leading organizations in the malaria community, alongside the Replenishment titled “The Global Fund as a Catalyst for Regional Malaria Elimination: Applying Lessons Learned from the Sahel.” The event will take place on 9 October, and is being co-organized with: APLMA, the UN Foundation, ALMA, Malaria No More, Speak Up Africa, and CS4ME.

BAAM has set an energetic trajectory for the remaining quarter of 2019 and beyond – as members of the global community engaged in the fight against malaria, we thank you all for being a part of it!