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Dear LNCT members and partners,
As we embark on the Learning Network for Countries in Transition (LNCT)’s third year, and I mark my six-month anniversary leading the LNCT Network Coordinator, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your engagement with LNCT and to announce some 2019 activities I am particularly excited about.
First, I want to thank all the country core groups that have taken the time to share learning experiences with the network through blogs, webinars, and one-on-one discussions for the benefit of other countries. You have provided us valuable information about transitioning country needs that we used to set the network priorities. I also want to thank our partners for their commitment to making this network responsive to our countries’ needs and for their enthusiasm to share their work and collaborate on new activities. We continue to strengthen our relationship with existing partners, including UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, and CDC at global and regional level, and we are particularly enthusiastic about our closer collaboration with UNICEF Supply Division’s Vaccine Procurement Practitioners Network. We also developed new partnerships with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Johns Hopkins’ Teaching Vaccine Economics Everywhere, ImmunizationEconomics.org, and Abt Associates to bring our members relevant resources as they become available.
LNCT has a packed schedule for 2019. I am excited to announce that LNCT’s steering committee held its inaugural meeting this February with representation from the Nigeria and Georgia country teams, as well as from Gavi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, and UNICEF. The launch of the steering committee marks an important moment in the evolution of the network and will ensure that LNCT remains guided by member country priorities and partner technical expertise. The steering committee endorsed LNCT’s new membership policy, which allows a broader set of countries to access LNCT resources and allows LNCT to draw on those countries’ experiences. I sincerely thank the steering committee members for their time and commitment to our growing network.
In collaboration with our Network Coordinator partners, Curatio International Foundation, which coordinates LNCT engagements in Europe, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP), our technical workstreams are off to a roaring start. Over the next year, VCP and LNCT will capture country experiences of vaccine hesitancy and develop tailored learning materials to address member country challenges. We are partnering with UNICEF Supply Division to convene three regional workshops on vaccine procurement, each tailored to address priority issues within the region. Curatio is playing a leading role in preparing the workshop for countries in Europe (Tbilisi, Georgia, April 10-12), with focus on vaccine registration and licensing, and procurement mechanism options. LNCT will continue to develop and share learning around using twinning arrangements to facilitate capacity building through our engagement with Angola’s post-transition plan. Finally, LNCT will continue to curate and translate knowledge related to Gavi transition and facilitate access to customized support through synthesis, adaptation, tailoring, and amplification of partner resources.
I look forward to meeting all of you in-person at our third network-wide meeting this June, with accompanying side-meetings on vaccine hesitancy and national health insurance for relevant countries. We will build on the experience of our successful meeting in Hanoi to develop an agenda tailored to LNCT members’ identified priorities and centered on small group discussions that will allow countries to work with experts to address their specific transition challenges.
Please also look for news of our re-designed website, which will include a comprehensive dashboard tracking key indicators on member countries’ transition progress and challenges. We encourage countries to submit any comments or questions about transition to our discussion forum for feedback from experts and other countries. If you have any trouble logging into the website, please write to email@example.com for assistance. Finally, please keep an eye out for our newsletter, which you should receive via email every other month.
I hope you are as excited about our coming year as I am. Please continue to share with us your ideas, materials, and challenges. I look forward to seeing you soon at one of our workshops or online.