Arielle Dolegui of World Vision accepts vice chair role; Yaobi Zhang of Helen Keller International becomes NNN past chair
September 10, 2020
The close of the #NNN2020 annual conference, titled Accelerating to 2030: Building Resilient NTD Programmes in a Changing World, marked a changing of the guard in the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) NGO Network (NNN). On September 10, 2020, FHI 360’s Kisito Ogoussan became the 2020–2021 NNN chair, after serving as vice chair the previous year. As Dr. Ogoussan assumed his new position from the previous chair, Helen Keller International’s Yaobi Zhang (who will now serve on the executive committee as immediate past chair), World Vision’s Arielle Dolegui simultaneously stepped into her new role as 2020–2021 NNN vice chair.
As a trained medical doctor with 23 years of experience working in public health, including over 12 years of work on NTDs, and a founding member of the NNN, Dr. Ogoussan pledged to use his substantial technical knowledge and experience in NTD operations and research and his extensive networking skills to advance the mission and work of the NNN and benefit the entire NTD community.
“I will use my relationships, networks and communication skills to strengthen NTD partnerships and to take the NNN to the next level,” he said.
What makes 2020–2021 unique is that this year, for the first time, all three top NNN executive committee leadership roles—past chair, chair, and vice chair—have been filled by team members and partners on USAID’s Act to End NTDs | West Program (Act | West). Dr. Zhang is the senior scientific advisor for NTDs at Helen Keller International, an Act | West implementing partner; Dr. Ogoussan is Act | West’s implementation management lead; and Ms. Dolegui serves as a technical advisor for cross-sectoral collaboration with World Vision, an Act | West technical partner.
The executive committee oversees the management of the NNN and ensures that it meets the objectives outlined in its terms of reference, which include unifying the NGO voice to achieve our common NTD goals and enhancing NNN disease-specific and cross-cutting communities of practice through member engagement, learning, and knowledge sharing. The committee also organizes the annual conference, held each year in September.
The NNN is a global forum for NGOs to contribute to the global control, elimination, and management of NTDs outlined within the internationally agreed World Health Organization’s NTD roadmap. Established in October 2009 as a global forum for non-governmental organizations working to control onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths, and trachoma, the NNN has subsequently expanded to include leprosy, leishmaniases, buruli ulcer, rabies, dengue, and chagas disease, among others.
NNN members strive to use person-centered, cross-sectoral approaches in their work on NTDs, and this requires collaboration across the NTD community and with other sectors.
“Innovative collaboration will be the new norm,” Dr. Ogoussan said. “One of the values that guides the NNN is creative thinking that goes beyond silos, as we continuously search for better solutions in the fight against NTDs. Collaboration between sectors is critical to deliver on the NTD roadmap’s vision.”
NNN membership is open to all NGOs that wish to make a lasting contribution to the control and elimination of NTDs, and who believe more can be achieved in partnership than can be done in isolation.
Learn about Act | West’s participation in the #NNN2020 and download presentations on: