© 2011 United Nations High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Our History

The NCD Alliance was founded in 2009 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) CEO Ann Keeling.

Ann's vision was to convene a new global NCD civil society movement to confront the misconceptions about NCDs and catalyse political action. In January 2009 IDF invited sister federations UICC and WHF to campaign together as the NCD Alliance. Ann led the NCD Alliance as its first Steering Group Chair from August 2010 to August 2012, and together with the leadership of UICC and WHF set the Alliance's strategic direction, raised funds and led the successful campaign for a UN Summit on NCDs. The NCD Alliance grew rapidly into a respected global civil society movement that could not be ignored.

The campaign for a UN Summit on NCDs was launched at the World Health Assembly, Geneva in May 2009 by the International Diabetes Federation, World Heart Federation, and the Union for International Cancer Control at an event titled Health and Development: Held back by Non-Communicable diseases. Following that event the three federations issued  “Time to Act: The Global Emergency of Non-communicable Diseases”, the first publication to call for a UN Summit on NCDs.

In May 2010, this collaboration was further strengthened by inviting The International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union) to join, thereby including federations representing the four major NCDs. A Memorandum of Understanding was established between the four federations, in response to the growing momentum for the Summit and need to mobilise more widely, raise funds and recruit staff.  In September 2010, the NCD Alliance launched the UN Summit Partners Group, the Common Interest Group, and the Supporter's Group.

“It was a stroke of genius for the major NCD NGOs to form the Alliance.  When the history of these time is written and the credits given for the Summit, the name of the NCD Alliance will be writ large”.  - Sir George Alleyne, Director-Emeritus, PAHO

Over the last years, the NCD Alliance's global campaigns have contributed to two important step changes in the history of the NCD response. The UN High-Level Review on NCDs in July 2014 shifted the dial from global commitments to national action and implementation.  The NCD Alliance secured NCDs as a priority when the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted, in September 2015.

In order to capitalise on these step changes, the NCD Alliance have continued to build our portfolio of programmes and initiatives that support national and regional action on NCDs. In November 2015, the NCD Alliance convened the first ever Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This landmark event brought together the network of national and regional alliances for the first time, providing a platform for knowledge exchange, capacity building and priority setting across the alliances. 

In May 2017, the NCD Alliance transitioned to become a full-fledged NGO, based in Switzerland. In December of the same year, the Alliance held the second Global NCD Alliance Forum, also in Sharjah. It brought together even more national and regional alliances (49), and focused on preparing global civil society for the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, in 2018.

Today, with a strong global network of more than 2,000 organisations in 170 countries, strategic relations with the World Health Organization, UN and governments, and staff in Geneva, London and New York, the NCD Alliance is at the forefront of elevating NCDs onto the global health and development agenda. Our network includes global and national NGOs, scientific and professional associations, academic and research institutions, private sector entities and dedicated individuals.

The challenges ahead of us remains immense. But together, we are making a difference for people at risk or living with NCDs worldwide.