Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting travel restrictions, this, which would normally be the annual face-to-face meeting of the TBEC Board, took place on the 13th November 2020 online via zoom.  

Over the last year, TBEC has grown considerably and developed into an important leader in the region. Although COVID-19 has severely impacted the ability to carry out planned activities, TBEC has successfully overcome these challenges and adapted, carrying out a number of successful projects. The annual board meeting allows the organisation to reflect on the year, to identify any upcoming challenges, and to plan for the upcoming period. 

TBEC’s secretariat has grown notably this year, from six (5 in Kyiv, and 1 based in London) to ten (7 based in Kyiv, 3 in London and 1 in Tallinn)reflecting the increase in new projects TBEC has acquired over the last 12 months. Thus, in addition to ten Board members, all ten staff were present at the beginning of the meeting and the opportunity was used for Board and staff members to get to know each other. 

The meeting lasted a bit over 3 hours and split into 4 main topics: TBEC finances, summary of achievements in 2020, development of new TBEC strategy, and discussing the timeline for the election of the new Board in 2021. 

The Board was pleased with the accomplishments TBEC has made in the last year, especially given all the challenges. We have successfully coordinated several webinars as well as 3 national dialogues (Ukraine, Armenia and Tajikistan) and 4 coaching visits (Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan). TBEC has been key in developing several policy and strategic documents on civil society engagement, the impact of COVID-19 on achieving the UN High-Level Meeting targets, and human rights-approaches to care, among other important papers. Additionally, WHO/Euro recognized TBEC as a partner in the MAF-TB implementation. We have a new updated website which is much more user friendly and is more effective for disseminating news and updates. We have also strengthened our strategic presence in the region through collaboration with national and region organizations. This includes becoming members of the Coordination Team of the European Civil Society Forum on HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis. Additionally, TBEC has been approved as a technical assistant provider by the Global Fund, to CSOs in the region.  

The Secretariat is now working on five different grants that are in operation, at least 3 of which will continue into 2021.  

The period of our current Strategy ends next month. Thus, this Board meeting was used for a brainstorming on themes which might feature in a new Strategy for 2021-23. The intention is that the current Board will adopt a draft of the new strategy at its meeting in February; and that will then be reviewed by the new Board, to be elected over the period February – April 2021, at its first meeting. 

At this meeting, the Board also committed to the TB33% Global Campaign on the split of funds allocated by the Global Fund to its different diseases 

TBEC would not exist without its members and we are extremely grateful to all of you! We hope that despite the strain COVID-19 has placed on our work, we can continue to work together to end TB. 

Participants:

Board:  

  • Paul Sommerfeld, UK, Chair of TBEC Board  
  • Jonathan Stillo, USA, Co-Chair of TBEC Board  
  • Stefan Radut, Romania, Vice-Chair of TBEC Board and Treasurer 
  • Olya Klymenko, Ukraine, Vice-Chair of TBEC Board  
  • Cristina Enache, Romania  
  • Elchin Mukhtarli, Azerbaijan  
  • Safarali Naimov, Tajikistan  
  • Oxana Rucsineanu, Moldova  
  • Ksenia Shchenina, Russia  
  • Sharonann Lynch, USA 

Secretariat:  

  • Yuliia Kalancha, TBEC Acting Director 
  • Anna Katasonova, TBEC Financial Manager  
  • Anna Medvedenko, TBEC Administrative Officer  
  • Khrystyna Vilyura, TBEC Program Manager 
  • Olha Tsviliy, TBEC Program Manager 
  • Ave Talu, TBEC Program Manager 
  • Aleksandra Vasylenko, TBEC PR Manager 
  • Serian Carlyle, EU Project Officer 
  • Louise Cliff, TBEC Officer 
  • Caroline Anena, TBEC Coordinator 
Part-time Program Manager and part-time Finance Manager