Community Advisory Boards to Support Community Engagement in Research under the SMART4TB Project (Supporting, Mobilizing, and Accelerating Research for Tuberculosis Elimination)
The SMART4TB Consortium is calling for expressions of interest from multi-national community advisory boards (CAB) or similarly organized civil society organizations within three geographic focus areas to support community engagement in research in a new five-year research project funded by USAID: Supporting, Mobilizing, and Accelerating Research for Tuberculosis Elimination (SMART4TB).
SMART4TB is a US$200 million investment from USAID to tackle tuberculosis (TB) through research and its translation to policy and practice. The SMART4TB project is led by Johns Hopkins University and an international consortium of research partners and civil society organizations. SMART4TB will run through 2027 and will support research across five technical areas: diagnostics, treatment, operational research, prevention of transmission, and vaccines. Community engagement is central to the SMART4TB project across the research process and technical areas and will occur through multiple forums that leverage input from local, national, regional, and global community members. CABs, supported directly by SMART4TB consortium member Treatment Action Group (TAG), will be an important mechanism of community engagement for SMART4TB.
SMART4TB is looking for existing CABs or organizations representing multiple countries within SMART4TB’s three geographic focus areas, respectively: (1) Eastern Europe and Central Asia, (2) Africa, and (3) South and Southeast Asia. Applicants should have some experience supporting community engagement with clinical research and sponsors of medicines, diagnostics, and vaccines (experience in TB research and development being a strong advantage); and interest to expand member knowledge and capacity to learn about and engage with TB research is a must. Selected CABs will work with SMART4TB research teams over the 5-year length of the grant to provide input on research priorities, conduct clinical trials protocol reviews, and disseminate research results. Selected CABs will also work in partnership with global, regional, and national civil society groups to translate the results and findings of SMART4TB research studies into evidence-based policy, practice, and community demand for novel interventions.
Deadline to apply is Tuesday March 14th, 2023, at 5 PM ET (GMT – 5). The application consists of three parts: (1) applicant questionnaire; (2) letter of support from peer organization, and (3) CAB or organization terms of reference (ToR), where applicable.
Please submit your completed application via email with the subject line SMART4TB Community Engagement Platform EoI Application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading drivers of disability and death due to infectious diseases in the world, surpassed only by COVID-19. TB is the number one cause of death in people living with HIV. An estimated 25% of the world’s population is infected with TB, with around 10 million new cases of active TB disease each year. Access to critical diagnostic, preventive, and treatment options remains limited in many high TB burden countries, undermining global efforts to end TB.
Selected CABs and/or organizations will receive support from the SMART4TB consortium to expand the pool of TB research-literate advocates, build organizational and member capacity for engagement on TB and with SMART4TB research, and advocate for evidence-based, progressive TB policies and programs.
The leadership (e.g., chair, coordinator, or secretariat) of selected CABs or organizations will be expected to participate in a kick-off meeting in New York (anticipated in June 2023), and to work with SMART4TB to co-develop a member training curriculum and joint work plan. The curriculum will be designed to build member knowledge and understanding of TB, TB research and development, and the SMART4TB Project. The work plan will outline key areas of work and expected deliverables.
- Tuesday, March 14th, 2023: Deadline to submit Expression of Interest (EoI)
- June 2023: CAB leadership training in New York, NY
- Organizational interest in TB science, research literacy, and advocacy
- Basic knowledge of TB infection and disease
- Preference given to organizations with basic knowledge of research and R&D
- Experience with community engagement and advocacy at the regional and national levels
- Preference given to organizations with previous experience working on TB, bonus if work was in the TB research and development space
- Member affiliations / connections with other community and civil society organizations and/or networks working at sub-national, national, regional, or global levels.
- Organizational capacity to commit to a 5-year partnership with SMART4TB and to support community engagement in SMART4TB research and policy/community advocacy to support the translation of research results to policy and access.
- Multi-country Representation from one of the following country groupings, with openness to expanding coverage and/or membership to be more inclusive of the SMART4TB priority countries within the geographic area. Members must come from communities affected by TB and/or neglected in the context of TB across the region. Groups with membership in USAID priority countries will be prioritized.
USAID Priority Countries:
- Eastern European and Central Asian Region: Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan
- African Region: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- South and Southeast Asian Region: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam
Global Fund Technical Assistant Countries (Exclusive of USAID Priority Countries; still considered in scope for SMART4TB)
- Eastern European and Central Asian Region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Moldova
- African Region: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and South Sudan.
- South and Southeast Asian Region: Nepal and Papua New Guinea
- North American Region: Haiti
How to Apply:
The EoI submission should include:
- Completed application questionnaire with all relevant details of your CAB or organization and related TB experience (beginning on Page 5).
- Peer Letter of Support
Instructions: The peer letter of support helps the selection committee understand your organization, who your organizational peers are, and how you work with them and other organizations in your network. In 1-2 pages (maximum), please ask a peer community and/or civil society organization to explain how your organizations work together, why they support your application to be a SMART4TB CAB, and what they think you can bring to the SMART4TB project.
- A copy of your CAB/organization terms of reference or similar document.
Instructions: When relevant and/or when it exists, please submit your CAB’s terms of reference or similar document detailing information such as CAB/organization priorities, structure and composition, membership criteria and responsibilities, term limits, etc.
The EoI Submission should be sent by email with the subject line SMART4TB Community Engagement Platform EoI Application to email@example.com on or before Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 at 5 PM EST (GMT -5)
All information you provide in completing this application will be handled confidentially.
SMART4TB’s guiding principles are to be transformative, inclusive, collaborative, transparent, supportive, and synergistic. In keeping with these principles, we welcome organizations to apply that represent affected communities from diverse geographies, various experiences and backgrounds at the country-level, key affected populations, and cultural diversity including religious background, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of representatives from SMART4TB (including TAG), and two leading CABs in TB research, the Global TB Community Advisory Board (TB CAB) and the Community Research Advisors Group (CRAG). Partner organizations will be selected based on the eligibility criteria described above. One organization from each of the three geographic areas will be selected based on these criteria; all applicants will be notified of these results via email. Applicants not selected will be notified of other opportunities to engage with SMART4TB in the future.