The Need for a COVID Advocates Advisory Board (CAAB)

Engaging civil society helps to ensure an R&D process that is ethical, inclusive, efficient and accelerated to stop COVID-19.

■ CAAB participating countries

The world needs health tools to diagnose, prevent and treat COVID-19. Many efforts are taking place worldwide. Civil society input ensures that those efforts are ethical. Also, civil society boosts access to social justice. To do so, we find new ways to collaborate adapted to the current situation.

Luckily, we do not start from scratch. There are already many communities that work with research groups. Their skills help to ensure community engagement for COVID-19 R&D in a creative and effective way. The COVID Advocates Advisory Board (CAAB) is built on these existing structures. It is a volunteer group that welcomes seasoned and new advocates.

The mission of the CAAB is divided into two. First, we want to help advance R&D for health tools to combat COVID-19. So, we promote community and civil society participation in science. In this way, we ensure ethical, inclusive, and efficient R&D. Second, we advocate for global access to proven tools. Our focus is on historically neglected people, communities and countries. CAAB’s efforts are directed towards social justice, health equity and human rights.

How do we do it?

We inform CAAB members about ongoing research. We talk with ongoing and planned research and access programs so that the communities’ perspective is considered. The CAAB’s focus adapts to our members’ feedback to adjust to real needs.

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