London meeting kicks off Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission work

Author: Nancy Ferguson, NCD Synergies
February 1, 2016
The commissioners of the Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and Injuries for the Poorest Billion stand in the lobby of the Wellcome Trust on day one of the opening meeting.

Nancy Ferguson / Partners In Health
Commissioners and participants of the opening meeting of the Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and Injuries for the Poorest Billion, in the lobby of the Wellcome Trust.

Commissioner Agnes Binagwaho joins the meeting via video conferencing.

Nancy Ferguson / Partners In Health
Commissioner Agnes Binagwaho joins the meeting via video conferencing.

The first full meeting of the The Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and Injuries for the Poorest Billion took place over three days in London in January 2016.

It was attended by 21 of the 23 commissioners, with commissioner Agnes Binagwaho joining via video conferencing, and included days at the Wellcome Trust and The Lancet offices.

At the opening dinner, commissioners revisited the history behind Lancet Commissions, and The Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton set the stage by emphasizing the opportunity before the Commission to reinvigorate the NCD movement through this work. The commissioners also had a chance to to hear from co-chair Ana Mocumbi and commissioner Yogesh Jain on their experiences and the urgent need for a strong NCD and injury response in Mozambique and rural India, respectively.

Commissioner Margaret Kruk speaks to the group on the first day of meetings.

Nancy Ferguson / Partners In Health
Commissioner Margaret Kruk speaks to the group on the first day of meetings.

Day 1 introduced the objectives of the Commission, and the core analytical constructs upon which the work was to be situated. Gisela Robles of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative discussed technical issues in poverty measurement and presented new analysis performed for the Commission on the characteristics and geography of the “poorest billion.”  The commissioners also heard from Robert Beaglehole on the history of the Lancet NCD Action Group and complementarity with existing efforts within the NCD community. There was spirited discussion around these constructs, with commissioners weighing in on core objectives, communication strategies, key definitions, and proposed country partnerships.

Discussions on the working groups dominated the second day of the meeting, hosted by The Lancet.

Nancy Ferguson / Partners In Health
Discussions on the working groups dominated the second day of the meeting, hosted by The Lancet.

On day 2, the commissioners spent the majority of the day discussing the objectives, work plans, and timelines for the four working groups:

  • WG 1: Poverty and Disease Burden
  • WG 2: Integrated Delivery, Multisectoral Action, and Priority Setting
  • WG 3: Financing and Commodities
  • WG 4: History, Advocacy, and Governance

Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton and co-chairs Gene Bukhman and Ana Mocumbi provided final comments and next steps on Friday. The commissioners will meet again in the summer of 2016. To learn more, visit www.ncdipoverty.org or follow @NCDIpoverty on twitter.