COVID Advocates Advisory Board

Ensuring ethical, inclusive, efficient and accelerated advancement of R&D to combat COVID
About the CAAB
We are a group of civil society organizations and global health advocates committed to the principles of Good Participatory Practice: that relevant stakeholders will be consulted in the design and conduct of the research in which they are invested—and that both ethical standards and scientific endpoints will be better served by doing so.

The CAAB was originally developed by AVAC, ITPC and TAG, building on the experience of community advisory structures such as AfroCAB, Global TB CAB, World CAB, Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR), ATAC, EATG/ECAB, NIH DAIDS Community Partners, and HIV Prevention Trial Design Academy. The roster of global CAAB partners is rapidly evolving and will be added to the website soon.

We recognize that the unprecedented nature of the current public health crisis demands innovative thinking regarding the nature of community engagement. Given the breadth of content, diversity of issues, and potential advocacy actions, CAAB work is divided into three parallel workstreams: vaccines, treatment, and diagnostics and is based on the following key considerations.

Unique Circumstances
Civil society engagement for COVID will inherently look different than it has for epidemics such as HIV and TB. R&D is moving at a rapid pace, innovative trial designs and research approaches are being implemented, and the ethical balance of risks and benefits of research are new. As such, we must consider how best to integrate and innovate engagement processes.

Global Representation
The COVID pandemic has impacted everyone on the globe in different ways. The CAAB must be representative of varied age groups, geographies, ethnicities and societal sectors, and intentionally include people who face a higher risk of COVID, bear a greater proportion of its burden, may be targeted for research involvement and may be less familiar with representing their communities.

Existing Capacity
Strong global civil society engagement and activist mechanisms around research already exist, with years of research literacy and advocacy experience. The CAAB will build on the established strength and capacity of existing mechanisms and lessons learned from other diseases.

Speed and Innovation
Given the volume and speed of COVID research, the CAAB must innovate to ensure relevance and responsiveness to this unprecedented global challenge.

Global Access
It is important to ensure access is considered from bench to bedside, in line with Global Principles and with contributions from other Access to Medicines (A2M) partners.

Learn more.
© AVAC 2020