Bridges works with diverse partners who share our commitment to equitable, sustainable development and taking innovative approaches for better education and health to scale. Partners include (in alphabetical order):
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Seattle, WA, US
- Bruyère Research Institute – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Global Partner for Zero Leprosy – Decatur, GA, USA
- Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) – Abu Dhabi, UAE
- IS Global – Barcelona, Spain
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals – Beerse, Belgium
- Johns Hopkins University, International Vaccine Access Center – Baltimore, MD, US
- Maryhill and Rushanje Girls’ Schools – Mbarara, Uganda
- Mectizan Donation Program – Decatur, GA, USA
- Medicines Development for Global Health – Southbank VIC, Australia
- Merck Global Health – Darmstadt, Germany
- RBM Partnership to End Malaria – Geneva, Switzerland
- Sightsavers – Haywards Heath, UK
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited’s Global Corporate Social Responsibility Program – Tokyo, Japan
- Task Force for Global Health – Decatur, GA, USA
- The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) – Geneva, Switzerland
- Tupigachi Rural Municipality – Ecuador
- The Wellcome Trust – London, UK
- The World Health Organization – Geneva, Switzerland
- Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council – Geneva, Switzerland
Our collaborations reflect the importance we place on sharing insights across disciplines and areas of expertise:
The Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) Integration Group: FIG2021-Present
In early 2021, Bridges to Development and Frontline Aids initiated a discussion on Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) and the need to integrate it comprehensively within sexual and reproductive health, and community health policies, programs, and services. Since then, we engaged with several partners to raise FGS awareness, culminating in the emergence of a crosscutting, multisector group, the FGS Integration Group (FIG). FIG is an innovative coalition of organizations galvanizing joint action across the sectors of sexual and reproductive health and rights community, HIV, HPV/cervical cancer, neglected tropical disease and WASH to tackle the neglected issue of FGS, aiming to strengthen the public health response and universal access to healthcare for women and girls.
Female Genital Schistosomiasis or FGS is the most neglected sexual and reproductive health issue in sub-Sahara Africa. WHO estimates that as many as 56 million women and girls may be affected.
FGS mainly affects women and girls who are already marginalised, who lack access to safe clean water, good hygiene and sanitation facilities. If left untreated FGS leads to chronic inflammation, open lesions, and scarring of throughout the female genital tract and results in severe reproductive health complications including infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth. FGS is also associated with an increased vulnerability to HIV and HPV infection.
FGS is treatable and preventable, but it’s fallen through the cracks between the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) sectors.
You can read more about FIG on the Frontline Aids website here.
Designing operational aspects of the world’s immunization strategy (Immunization Agenda 2030)2020 - 2021
Since Jan 2020, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership, Bridges has been supporting the World Health Organization and its core immunization partners to finalize the Immunization Agenda 2030, the world’s immunization strategy for the coming decade, and put in place a broad consultative process to develop the operational tools needed to advance its implementation at country, regional and global levels.
Drawing on input across approximately 100 countries and diverse organizations, Bridges has helped partners align around operational approaches critical to ensure the international community can meet the ambitious 2030 targets.
Read more about IA2030 here.
Pacific Integrated NTD Elimination (PINE) Project2021 - Present
With funding support from Takeda Pharmaceuticals over the next three years, Bridges is leading a collaboration with national neglected tropical disease (NTD) programs, the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, Case Western University in Ohio, and the Kirby Institute in Australia to design integrated approaches for control and elimination of NTDs in hard-to-reach populations in remote islands of the Pacific.
The aim of the project is to eliminate three NTDs and control two more in the countries of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu with two rounds of interventions tailored to each country’s specific needs using and all-society approach.
Read more about NTDs in the Western Pacific here.
Innovative training programs to detect and treat female genital schistosomiasis (FGS)2020 – Present
Bridges is working to develop and deliver FGS-specific training to health professionals at all levels of the health system as part of a holistic FGS package of care in Ghana and Madagascar with funding support from Grand Challenges Canada and the Government of Canada and match funding provided by the NTD Support Center, Merck Global Health Institute, the SCI Foundation, and WHO ESPEN.
To start this effort, Bridges planned and facilitated a workshop that brought together health professionals from many backgrounds and endemic countries to establish training competencies for FGS in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The final list of competencies will be the basis for the development of novel, online training packages targeted at health workers at all levels of the health system in endemic countries. Together with the Geneva Learning Foundation, Bridges will pilot in Ghana and Madagascar this innovative training platform as part of an integrated project FGS Accelerating Progress Together (FAST) package in partnership with Bruyère Research Institute and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Ghana.
Design of key operational components to build a new Sanitation and Hygiene Fund2020
Bridges has helped to design an efficient and effective funding mechanism to accelerate progress and sustainable impact for sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health around the globe.
Drawing on models and expertise from other successful funds, Bridges has advanced early implementation of the SHF strategic vision, including developing a suite of Board-approved strategic policies, an application package for countries, and a draft Operations Manual providing key information on the SHF grant-making and grant implementation processes.
Once operating at scale, the SHF aims to invest in national sanitation and hygiene programs, targeting those most left behind, including in health facilities and schools. This brings innovative solutions to the sector, as well as ensures that everyone has the means to maintain their menstrual health and dignity.
Read more about the launch of the SHF here.
Strategy development for the RBM Partnership to End Malaria2020
Bridges tailored a broad consultative process to design a five-year strategy for the world’s largest multi-stakeholder platform of malaria partners. The partners coordinate an inclusive, multi-sectoral response to control, eliminate and ultimately eradicate malaria.
The Board-approved Strategic Plan aligns investments by partners at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels towards ending malaria and contributing to achieving universal health coverage, global health security, and reducing poverty and inequalities.
Read more about the RBM Partnership to End Malaria here.
Accelerating progress towards disease elimination2020 – Present
Bridges has a strategic partnership with the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) working to build the knowledge base on drivers for successful disease elimination to formulate and pilot innovative solutions to accelerate progress.
Through this work we have developed a framework and review tool to help evaluate disease program progress and challenges. You can find the case study from the pilot of the GEAR framework on Onchocerciasis here. In addition, the team developed and piloted an integration tool that aims to find win-win scenarios for disease programs with the goal of promoting successful cross-program collaboration.
The Bridges and GLIDE partnership champions bold innovations in pursuit of accelerating disease elimination. Read more about GLIDE’s mission here.
COVID-19 response and recovery of immunization and primary health care services2020 – Present
Through a strategic partnership with The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), Bridges is contributing to support for front-line health workers in communities, governments, and partners to respond to COVID-19. TGLF connects thousands of health workers to systematically share lessons and innovation during implementation of strategies to maintain and progressively recover immunization and other health services during COVID-19.
Bridges contributed to the organizational operations and partnership developments of TGLF, as well as understanding the learnings from frontline health workers at a time when such information is invaluable to coping with the challenges of a global pandemic.
Learn more about TGLF’s innovative approach here.
Twin Schools – Ecuador and Uganda2018 - Present
Since 2018, Bridges has partnered with a private Swiss Foundation to provide tailored investments and support to allow community leaders to promote the educational development of teachers and students from “resource” schools to strengthen neighboring “partner” schools.
This project advances local, yet novel solutions for communities in Uganda and Ecuador to improve secondary school enrolment, outcomes, and capacity to deliver future improvements across the twinned schools and their communities into the future.
In Uganda, enrolment in an all-girls partner school increased by about 60% after a resource school helped to add practical programs into the partner school’s academic curriculum. In Ecuador’s first phase, the resource school worked with a local university to efficiently tailor a diploma program in math and language training to partner school context. Teachers from the resource and 3 partner schools jointly completed diplomas. Bridges worked with the local teams in both countries to adapt support to the emerging context and needs of the COVID period while still advancing project objectives.
Watch a 4-minute video developed by the collaborators in Uganda here.