Who we are
United by a
In 2018, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Danish Red Cross and Novo Nordisk formed a partnership to address the growing issue of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) affecting millions of people in humanitarian crises worldwide. The partners have been working together for the past four years to gain a better understanding of the particular challenges faced by this vulnerable group and to build capacity around NCDs, specifically diabetes and hypertension, in humanitarian settings.
The collective vision of the partnership is that all people affected by humanitarian crises should have access to the NCD care they need, no matter where they are.
The partnership is structured around three specific objectives:
Improve access to context-appropriate prevention and care for people affected by diabetes and hypertension in selected humanitarian settings.
Collect data and gather evidence on the prevention and care of diabetes and hypertension in humanitarian crises.
Inspire global health actors to take action to improve access and continuity of care for NCDs in humanitarian settings.
Partnering for Change is the sum of its partners – global leaders in their respective fields – committed to making a differerence for people with chronic non-communicable diseases in humanitarian settings.
International Committee Of The Red Cross (ICRC)
The ICRC helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, doing everything possible to protect their dignity and relieve their suffering, often together with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. They also seek to prevent hardship by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
ICRC will contribute its expertise of humanitarian operations and response, especially in providing health care to vulnerable populations in fragile and violent settings. Together with the Danish Red Cross and local partners, the ICRC will lead the implementation of demonstration projects on the ground including identifying people in need of treatment for diabetes and hypertension through the existing network of ICRC-supported health facilities.
Danish Red Cross (DRC)
The DRC supports vulnerable people to live safe and healthy lives in humanitarian and development settings as well as in Denmark. They equip people with the tools they need to strengthen their resilience. This organisation supports people on both sides of a conflict and in the remotest corners of the world with special expertise in community-based health services.
The DRC will contribute its knowledge of community health outreach and capacity-building activities in humanitarian settings, with a focus on the prevention and management of chronic diseases. It will facilitate access to nationwide networks of civil society groups, providing relevant services in their specific local contexts. It will mobilise staff and volunteers, including health professionals, with significant experience in humanitarian operations and response.
Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 49,300 people in 80 countries and markets its products in 170 countries.
Novo Nordisk is working in partnership with humanitarian organisations to improve access to chronic care, including access to reliable and affordable supplies of insulin, for people with diabetes living in humanitarian crises. Novo Nordisk will, among other things, share its wide experience in the field of capacity building and patient education.
London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
The Centre for Global Chronic Conditions aims to improve the understanding of and responses to chronic conditions in order to improve the health and health equity of people worldwide. We are a group of researchers from multiple disciplines (including epidemiology, economics, social-political sciences, and health systems). We work in low-, middle- and high-income country settings, including vulnerable populations such as humanitarian crises and migrant populations.
“We all have the ambition that even in conflict situations, people with diabetes should be able to get the treatment they need.”
Secretary-General, Danish Red Cross,
Launch of the partnership in 2018, Bagsværd, Denmark
SANA’A FAJ ATTAN.
An ICRC employee discusses with a civilian while evaluating the damages to civilian buildings following the fighting.
© ICRC: GLASS, Thomas
Partnering for Change came to life as an idea in 2015. The first seeds for the idea were sown from conversations at the World Economic Forum and follow-up conversations held at the World Health Assembly. During this period from 2016 to 2017, several meetings were organised to conceptualise a potential collaboration to jointly tackle the challenge of healthcare in fragile or humanitarian settings.
The idea was then developed into a concept for a partnership, which was officially launched in Copenhagen in April 2018. The first phase of the programme (Phase I) was completed in 2020. Phase II followed in 2021 and will continue until 2023. Despite challenges and the major disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership has achieved much across its four focus areas: research, field projects, joint advocacy, and patient resources. The timeline below provides a chronological overview of our work progress.
Launch of patient education materials
The Partnering for Change patient education materials developed were launched as part of activities of the Danish Red Cross in Lebanon. The materials are based on Novo Nordisk patient education materials and adapted to a humanitarian and Middle-Eastern context through a review by Primary Care International. The materials will be evaluated as part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine assessment of DRC’s peer-support group model.
A policy brief published ahead of World Health Assembly
On the occasion of WHO putting forward recommendations for better preparedness and care for people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in humanitarian crises at the World Health Assembly, the Partnering for Change partners wrote and issued their first policy brief based on key research findings from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with Partnering for Change. The brief was shared with the Danish WHO delegation and key opinion leaders in the NGO, academic and humanitarian fields.
Global review of expert opinions on models of NCD care in humanitarian settings
The second paper of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s global research, “Chronic NCD care in crises: A qualitative study of global experts’ perspectives on models of care for hypertension and diabetes in humanitarian settings” was published in the Journal of Migration and Health. The Partnering for Change team prepared a corresponding issue brief that summarises the paper’s findings for a broader audience.
Launch of knowledge hub on NCDs in humanitarian settings
Launch of Copenhagen Business School teaching case
The first Copenhagen Business School (CBS) teaching case was finalised and is available for free for case-based teaching. The case was launched at a virtual event hosted by CBS, “Business as Unusual: Cross-Sector Collaboration for Humanitarian Action”. Andreas Rasche (CBS) facilitated the discussion in which Soraya Ramoul (Novo Nordisk) and Peter Klansø (Danish Red Cross) participated as panellists for P4C alongside Mette Morsing (UN PRME).
Release of film ‘Managing diabetes in a humanitarian crisis'
Commissioned by Partnering for Change and produced by BBC StoryWorks, this short film is part of NCD Alliance’s “turning the tide” campaign, highlighting current issues in non-communicable disease care. The film follows a Syrian refugee with Diabetes living in Lebanon. The film features local personnel from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross.
Global literature review on models of NCD care in humanitarian settings published
The first paper of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s global research, “Models of care for patients with hypertension and diabetes (HTM/DM) in humanitarian crises: a systematic review”, capturing existing evidence on models of care targeting crisis-affected populations with HTM/DM during humanitarian crises in LMICs, was published in Health Policy and Planning. The Partnering for Change team prepared a corresponding issue brief that summarises the paper’s findings for a broader audience.
Adapted models of care for DRC and ICRC operations identified
Phase II agreement signed
Recognising the impact which the COVID-19 pandemic had on Partnering for Change activities and the continued great potential of the partnership, the partners agreed on a second phase, Phase II, of Partnering for Change until the end of 2023. The lessons from FSG’s review of Phase I were used to inform the partnership’s Phase II (2021-2023).
FSG assessment of Phase I of the partnership
Opinion piece on ‘Tackling the twin burdens of NCDs and COVID-19’ published on DEVEX
Novo Nordisk and the Danish Red Cross teamed up with the NCD Alliance to write an opinion piece calling for more funding for non-communicable disease (NCD) care, particularly in humanitarian settings.
LSHTM event on ‘Caring for people with NCDs in humanitarian settings during the COVID-19 pandemic’
The planned side-event of Partnering for Change at the World Health Assembly 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. Instead, an interactive webinar with key stakeholders discussing the challenges in providing non-communicable care in humanitarian settings during COVID-19 was hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as spin-off from Partnering for Change.
Global research on models of NCD care in humanitarian settings initiated
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a global literature review and a review of expert opinion on models of NCD care in humanitarian settings. Partnering for Change partners were interviewed and provided data for the research.