The Need for a COVID Advocates Advisory Board (CAAB)
Biomedical strategies to diagnose, prevent, and treat COVID are urgently needed, and efforts to rapidly develop these tools are underway worldwide. Accelerated research enhances the need for civil society input and necessitates innovative engagement structures, mechanisms, and actions.
Fortunately, the global research enterprise is not starting from scratch—there are platforms, normative frameworks, and research-literate community networks to facilitate effective, creative community engagement for COVID R&D. Building on these existing structures, global health advocates have come together to form a COVID Advocates Advisory Board (CAAB) to ensure the engagement of civil society in COVID R&D.
The mission of the CAAB is to strategically engage civil society and community representatives to ensure the ethical, inclusive, efficient, and accelerated advancement of research and development for urgently needed interventions to combat COVID-19, as well as global access to proven interventions, especially among historically vulnerable and disenfranchised populations, countries, and communities.
We are working to simultaneously build literacy on COVID research among a pool of global civil society organizations, while also facilitating linkages with ongoing and planned research programs. This will ensure community input into ongoing research while allowing the exact nature of the CAAB to be formed based on civil society feedback and the evolving research landscape.