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      Data Science: A Powerful Catalyst for Cross-Sector Collaborations to Transform the Future of Global Health - Developing a New Interactive Relational Mapping Tool


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          The increasingly complex and rapidly changing global health and socio-economic landscape requires fundamentally new ways of thinking, acting and collaborating to solve growing systems challenges. Cross-sectoral collaborations between governments, businesses, international organizations, private investors, academia and non-profits are essential for lasting success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and securing a prosperous future for the health and wellbeing of all people. Our aim is to use data science and innovative technologies to map diverse stakeholders and their initiatives around SDGs and specific health targets - with particular focus on SDG 3 (Good Health & Well Being) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) - to accelerate cross-sector collaborations. Initially, the mapping tool focuses on Geneva, Switzerland as the world center of global health diplomacy with over 80 key stakeholders and influencers present. As we develop the next level pilot, we aim to build on users' interests, with a potential focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as one of the emerging and most pressing global health issues that requires new collaborative approaches. Building on this pilot, we can later expand beyond only SDG 3 to other SDGs.

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          Stopping tuberculosis: a biosocial model for sustainable development.

          Tuberculosis transmission and progression are largely driven by social factors such as poor living conditions and poor nutrition. Increased standards of living and social approaches helped to decrease the burden of tuberculosis before the introduction of chemotherapy in the 1940s. Since then, management of tuberculosis has been largely biomedical. More funding for tuberculosis since 2000, coinciding with the Millennium Development Goals, has yielded progress in tuberculosis mortality but smaller reductions in incidence, which continues to pose a risk to sustainable development, especially in poor and susceptible populations. These at-risk populations need accelerated progress to end tuberculosis as resolved by the World Health Assembly in 2015. Effectively addressing the worldwide tuberculosis burden will need not only enhancement of biomedical approaches but also rebuilding of the social approaches of the past. To combine a biosocial approach, underpinned by social, economic, and environmental actions, with new treatments, new diagnostics, and universal health coverage, will need multisectoral coordination and action involving the health and other governmental sectors, as well as participation of the civil society, and especially the poor and susceptible populations. A biosocial approach to stopping tuberculosis will not only target morbidity and mortality from disease but would also contribute substantially to poverty alleviation and sustainable development that promises to meet the needs of the present, especially the poor, and provide them and subsequent generations an opportunity for a better future.

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            30 October 2017


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            Presented at the Data For Good Exchange 2017
            Philipp Meerkamp


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