News and Opinions  –  2020

Key points from ReAct’s comments to the Independent Panel on Evidence

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2020-06-17

Earlier this week, ReAct provided feedback on the establishment of an Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against Antimicrobial Resistance. Also, the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition came together around a joint response on the proposed Terms of Reference that the Tripartite Joint Secretariat on AMR had issued a public discussion on.

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Photo: Helloquence, Unsplash.

ReAct welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft terms of reference of the Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against Antimicrobial Resistance. The establishment of an Independent Panel on Evidence is an important aspect of global and national governance on antimicrobial resistance.

Key point from ReAct’s comments

The establishment of the Panel must not happen in isolation of establishing the Global Leaders Group and the Partnership Platform.

Unless the relative interactions and dynamics of the whole governance system and its relations with stakeholders beyond it is developed and clearly described it might be difficult to correct it and get it right at a later stage.

Ensure that the outputs of the Panel are authoritative, credible and legitimate.

For this a rigorous and robust scientific process must be in place. The Terms of Reference lacks clarity on these processes, and we suggest to provide further details on procedures and modes of working.

Independence and safeguarding from conflicts of interest.

Adhering to the principles of transparency, scientific inclusiveness and independence is at the core of ensuring authoritative and credible outputs from the Independent Panel. We take concern with the framing of certain guiding principles of the ToR, such as political neutrality and group influence. There is also a need to stringent language on how to secure the Panel’s work from financial conflicts of interest.

Independent with respect to the Tripartite agencies.

In order to bridge the inter-sectoral gaps among the work of these agencies, the Panel must have the freedom to operate truly independent of them. Several parts of the Terms of Reference risk compromising this foundational principle. We suggest that the Panel’s Nomination process, its staffing, and the handling of its membership should all be independent of the Tripartite Secretariat, and to consider alternative proposals for secretariat support.

Delete the content of the principle Non-duplication and complementarity,

as it not only could compromise the independence of the Panel, but also strip the Panel of the necessary scope and the ability to apply the interdisciplinary systems approach to problems that might be under the jurisdiction of one or more of the Tripartite agencies.

Strengthen language on low and middle income countries involvement.

This includes also to reconsider the point on compensation for the work and the notion that “Members will receive no fees or remuneration for their time”, as this could pose an even greater barrier for low-and middle-income countries representation.