From left: Johanna Ralston, José Luis Castro and Cary Adams, at the high-level reception to mark the NCD Alliance's transition in leadership, 24 September 2015, New York.

NCD Alliance in the Post-2015 Era: Leadership, vision and priorities to transform the NCD response

24th September 2015

The adoption of the post-2015 development agenda (“2030 Agenda”) at the UN Sustainable Development Summit this week marks a momentous achievement for the NCD Alliance and the non-communicable disease (NCD) community as a whole. Following years of collective efforts to galvanise political leadership and reinforce the evidence and cost-effective solutions, NCDs are firmly featured as a priority for sustainable development for all countries. This was a goal of the NCD Alliance (NCDA) when we were formed six years ago. And this week, we can finally say we have done it!

"In preparation for this new and transformative era of sustainable development, the NCD Alliance announced this evening at a high-level reception in New York a transition in leadership and an ambitious new strategic plan for 2016-2020. Together, these will ensure NCDA remains relevant and influential in this evolving global landscape, and equipped to seize the opportunity to accelerate the NCD response over the next 15 years.

"After three years of invaluable leadership and commitment, Dr Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will step down as Chair of NCDA. Cary has led NCDA from 2012-2015, a period that has seen NCDA go from strength to strength in terms of both global advocacy impact and organisational development.

"We are delighted to announce that Mr José Luis Castro, Executive Director of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, (The Union), will now assume the role of Chair of NCDA. José has 25 years experience in public health management, including 14 years with The Union, where he has played a leadership role in growing the organization to a multi-office network of experts and programmes, working in 156 countries and with more than 17,000 members and subscribers across the world. The Union joined the NCD Alliance in 2010.

"Also joining our leadership, as Vice-Chair, is Ms Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation (WHF). Johanna has worked in the field of global NCDs since 1999, and has been a member of the NCD Alliance Steering Group since 2010. Over the last five years at WHF she has worked to enhance the organization as the global voice of cardiovascular disease, align its efforts with the NCD agenda, and strengthen its community of more than 200 member organisations.

"Together with this transition in leadership, we are also pleased to share the headlines of our new NCD Alliance Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Informed by an Independent Review conducted earlier this year, our new plan outlines four strategic directions that will address the unfinished business of NCDs and accelerate progress towards the NCD targets in the SDGs. 

"In this next phase, we remain focused on what we as a global civil society alliance can do best. At the same time, we recognise that “more of the same” is insufficient, and NCDA needs to adapt to address new challenges and opportunities in the changed landscape. We recognise that our success in the SDG era will be dependent on working across sectors, our ability to stimulate improved integration within the health sector, and our ability to fuel action at national and regional levels. 

For these reasons, over the next five years NCDA will focus on four strategic priorities:

1. Advocacy: Lead global advocacy to maintain political momentum and action on NCDs, including on the SDGs, WHO Global NCD Action Plan, UN Review on NCDs, and mobilising sustainable global resources.

2. Accountability: Ensure governments are keeping to the promises made on NCDs, by acting as a watchdog and supporting national and global accountability efforts to monitor and review progress against NCD targets and political commitments.

3. Capacity Building: To ensure that our success at the global level is matched with attention to NCDs in every country and region, NCDA will have a new focus on building capacity of NCD civil society organisations and alliances at national and regional levels.

4. Knowledge Exchange: Act as a global thought leader on NCD policy and practice in order to increase access to, and use of, knowledge and innovations to enhance policy, service delivery and financing mechanisms for NCDs.

"The challenge ahead of us remains immense. But equipped with this new plan, with inspired leadership, and by uniting our 2,000 organisations in 170 countries, we believe together we can deliver our vision for a future free from the preventable suffering, disability and death caused by non-communicable diseases.

Read Mr José Luis Castro speech at the high-level reception to mark the NCD Alliance's transition in leadership in the link below.

Click here to read NCD Alliance Independent Review 2015.


From left: Johanna Ralston, José Luis Castro and Cary Adams, at the high-level reception to mark the NCD Alliance's transition in leadership, 24 September 2015, New York.