Our overall stakeholder engagement approach is focused on the most relevant groups:
Potential beneficiaries and those directly impacted by our research in Africa.
This fundamental principle is based on ethical considerations, starting with the fact that malaria in Africa mostly impacts vulnerable rural populations characterised by a low income, limited access to health care facilities, and low average literacy level. Our work starts in these communities.
In the villages and around our insectaries, we use culturally appropriate communication tools that are co-developed by the communities and the teams in local languages taking into consideration stakeholders’ preferences.
At the national and regional levels, the project is engaging with multiple stakeholders such as public health agencies (for instance National Malaria Control Programs, Ministries of Health), relevant regulatory authorities, and other research institutions and civil society organisations, to ensure awareness about the research and its potential as a new tool for vector control for malaria.
At the Pan-African level, Target Malaria engages with key actors involved in making decisions on public health and research. Because the potential implementation of our technologies would be an area-wide environmental intervention across countries, this engagement takes place at the sub-regional level (West and East African communities) as well as at the Pan-African level. It is necessary to inform and share knowledge so countries can engage in Pan-African policy discussions about the framework for this research.
At the global level, we work alongside other experts in the field of gene drive research as well as risk assessment and regulatory science, to ensure that international policy makers have access to up-to-date information about the latest scientific developments in the field. International stakeholders not directly affected by the project’s activities are engaged to ensure that their knowledge and perspectives are taken into account in the development of the technology and that their concerns are heard. This engagement includes meeting with many diverse individuals and organisations such as scientists, ethicists, regulators and malaria advocacy groups.