2020 NNN Conference—Accelerating to 2030: Building Resilient NTD Programmes

The 11th Annual Neglected Tropical Disease NGO (NNN) Conference, titled Accelerating to 2030: Building Resilient NTD Programmes in a Changing World, will take place on Tuesday, September 8 – Thursday, September 10, 2020. This year's virtual NNN conference has an exciting agenda including high-level panel discussions, interactive workshops and rapid fire sessions, and NTD innovations aimed at addressing critical challenges to strengthen cross-sectoral partnerships and achieve the goals of the global 2021-2030 NTD road map.

USAID's Act to End NTDs | West Program has a strong presence at this year's #NNN2020 conference. Check out the following workshops and presentations:

  • Wednesday, September 9, 6:00 am ET/11:00 am BST. Workshop Session 2.4 Applying a quality improvement model to neglected tropical diseases program implementation: supporting programs in identifying keys for sustaining operations, led by Act | West's Dr. Kisito Ogoussan, Implementation Management Lead, FHI 360. Other panelists include FHI 360's Director of Health Systems Strengthening Dr. Bruno Bouchet, Sierra Leone's NTD Program Manager Dr. Ibrahim Kargbo-Labour, Ghana's NTD Program Manager Dr. Benjamin Marfo, and Helen Keller International's (HKI) Quality Implementation Lead Dr. Benoit Dembele.  


    West African neglected tropical diseases (NTD) programs have made great progress toward the elimination/control of NTDs amenable to preventive chemotherapy. However, some districts have failed impact surveys—notably for lymphatic filariasis and trachoma—due to implementation inadequacies, despite reporting good mass treatment coverage. A quality improvement framework has been initiated to strengthen country program interventions and address issues that hinder their ability to achieve the World Health Organization NTD road map elimination/control goals. 

    The workshop aims to present an innovative model for improving implementation and discuss ideas, strategies, and plans for initiating quality improvement (QI) activities. Experiences from Ghana and Sierra Leone in the design and implementation of the QI model will be shared. 

  • Wednesday, September 9, 6:00 am ET/11:00 am BST. Rapid Fire Session RF1.D. Cross-sector approaches for sustainable service delivery: Integration with education and health for sustainable NTD programming, presented by Act | West's Arielle Dolegui, Technical Advisor, World Vision. 


    As Ministries of Education oversee the institutions that are critical platforms for deworming, health education, linkages to health services, and collaboration between education and health provide unique opportunities for NTD service delivery and sustainability. Ms. Dolegui will present approaches from Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone and discuss opportunities to strengthen collaboration.

  • Thursday, September 10, 6:00 am ET/11:00 am BST. Workshop Session 4.1. Considerations for developing and deploying cost and economic impact models in the elimination/control of 5 PCT NTDs, led by Act | West's Courtney Johnson, Senior Manager, Deloitte.  


    The economic impact model and supporting disease-specific tools estimate the direct and indirect economic impact, efficiencies, and societal benefits of investing in NTD programs and interventions. The workshop will explain how NTD programs can use the supporting tools to develop investment cases to advocate for domestic resources and prioritize NTD investments in a multi-disease environment. It will also describe how, with support from HKI and Deloitte, Sierra Leone’s NTD program will pilot these tools and serve as the advisor on country needs, program and financial data, user testing of the tools, and utilization of the outputs for advocacy. After incorporating the feedback from the pilot in Sierra Leone, the Act | West team will make the tools available to all supported countries to create investment cases that enhance advocacy efforts for domestic resource mobilization for NTD programming.

  • Thursday, September 10, 6:00 am ET/11:00 am BST. Workshop Session 4.3. Innovate to Accelerate: How to apply innovative thinking and design innovative projects to accelerate progress against NTDs, led by Act | West partner American Leprosy Mission's (ALM) Darren Schaupp. 


    To accelerate our progress, adapt to a changing world, build resilience and achieve our 2030 targets for NTDs, innovation is critical. This interactive workshop will help participants increase the quality of their innovative designs by:

    1. Gaining deeper understanding of innovation and how it can advance goals to control/eliminate NTDs
    2. Improving their innovation thinking and design skills through breakout session activities
    3. Being connected to funding opportunities and additional resources to enable innovation

    Innovation practitioners and funders from ALM, Sightsavers, The END Fund and Accenture Development Program will highlight the need for innovation within the NTD space, and help participants increase the effectiveness of their innovation thinking and design with activities and resources.

    More information on conference workshops, rapid fire sessions, and other activities is available in the full 2020 NNN conference agenda

    ALM is also hosting the second annual NTD Innovation Prize at the 2020 NNN Conference. In partnership with Novartis, ALM is offering two awards: a first-place prize (up to) 20,000 USD and a second-place prize (up to) 15,000 USD. Finalists will be highlighted at the opening plenary and winners will be announced at closing. The NTD Innovation Prize is designed to encourage and support creativity and ingenuity within the NTD space and to fund new ideas that could result in cost-effective, scalable and transformative positive impact.

Several Act | West team members have key leadership roles in the NNN: 

  • Dr. Yaobi Zhang, Senior Scientific Advisor on NTDs for Helen Keller International's Act | West team, is the immediate past NNN chair (2020–2021). Dr. Zhang oversaw the organization of the 2020 NNN annual conference.
  • Dr. Kisito Ogoussan, Implementation Management Lead for FHI 360’s Act | West team, is the current NNN chair (2020–2021). Dr. Ogoussan has more than 23 years of experiences in public and global health implementation and research, including 13 years of direct NTD experience.

  • Ms. Arielle Dolegui, Technical Advisor for Cross-Sector Coordination for World Vision’s Act | West team, is the new NNN Vice Chair (2020–2021). Ms. Dolegui is a global health practitioner with over 13 years of experience managing complex health systems strengthening programs and implementing strategic approaches with results-oriented program design, implementation, and evaluation expertise supporting neglected tropical diseases (NTD) and other public health programs.

American Leprosy Mission (ALM), of Act | West partner The AIM Initiative is a part, hosted the second annual NTD Innovation Prize at the 2020 NNN Conference. In partnership with Novartis, ALM offered two awards: a first-place prize (up to) 20,000 USD and a second-place prize (up to) 15,000 USD. 

Watch the NNN opening plenary session video on the NTD Innovation Prize 

Watch the NTD Innovation Award Winner video

Read the NTD Innovation Award blog post 

Over 1,000 individuals from over 80 countries and representing more than 300 organizations—including NGOs, donor agencies, health ministries, academia, research and individuals particularly, people affected by NTDs—attended the 2020 NNN conference. 

All Countries
All Preventive Chemotherapy NTDs
Focus Area
Mass Drug Administration (MDA), Support for NTD Sustainability, NTD Capacity Building, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting (MERLA)