HomeAdvertorialA local home for a global dream: The Aurum Institute houses HIV,...

A local home for a global dream: The Aurum Institute houses HIV, TB & malaria coalition

The Aurum Institute has been selected as the new host for the South African Health Technologies Advocacy Coalition (SAHTAC) — a coalition of civil society organisations that supports evidence-based policy change and implementation and improved coordination of health research and development funding.


Research and development (R&D) is critical to ensuring that high-impact, affordable health technologies reach the people who need them most. In low- and middle-income countries, a policy and regulatory environment that encourages innovation can lead to enhanced economic growth and better social outcomes. Moreover, domestic investment in health R&D guarantees that solutions reflect a country’s priority health needs.

Against this backdrop, the South African Health Technologies Advocacy Coalition (SAHTAC) — a group of civil society organisations, has been leveraging the experience of its members and use of advocacy to impact South Africa’s innovation system. 

In order to effectively achieve its objective of increasing access to lifesaving technologies in South Africa across the health spectrum — from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis through to maternal, newborn and child health and other disease areas — SAHTAC has completed a process of transitioning the secretariat function from PATH to a local organisation. This is in line with the coalition’s objectives of building local health research and development advocacy capacity. The transition process began in 2019 and the goal of finalising the transition by the end of 2020 has materialised, with the coalition’s elected transition committee leading the process in collaboration with PATH.

PATH and the SAHTAC transition committee followed a transparent and consultative approach by setting up the vetting process and developed a selection criteria. Independent evaluators were assigned the responsibility of evaluating the expression of interest applications. Through monthly reports and quarterly meetings, the secretariat kept coalition members engaged and updated on the progress of the transition. After a rigorous selection process, The Aurum Institute was selected as the new host.

“It is exciting to see a local, competent and experienced organisation like The Aurum Institute take up the responsibility of hosting [the] SAHTAC secretariat. We are confident that the coalition will thrive under their leadership and achieve its objectives of promoting evidence-based policy change and implementation, improved coordination of health R&D funding mechanisms, and a coordinated advocacy approach.” Yolanda Moyo (SAHTAC Steering Committee).

PATH is delighted to announce to all stakeholders the transitioning of the coalition’s secretariat to The Aurum Institute — a proudly African, health impact organisation dedicated to researching, supporting and implementing innovative, integrated approaches to global health. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will continue to support the work of SAHTAC, while PATH will continue to be a member of the coalition and will provide technical support to the coalition under the secretariat of The Aurum Institute to ensure continuity and a seamless handover. The official handover will take place at the coalition’s annual general meeting (AGM) in February 2021.

 “The Aurum Institute is honoured to take on this new role. We are looking forward to build on the existing strengths of the Coalition and develop the Secretariat in a direction that will ensure the future sustainability and success of SAHTAC,” said Dr. Dave Clark, Regional Chief Executive Officer of The Aurum Institute.

As the world undertakes efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, it must also redouble efforts to ensure uninterrupted supplies of essential commodities and technologies for HIV and other global health priorities. The work of SAHTAC is critical and The Aurum Institute is fully committed to supporting the coalition to achieve its strategic goals.

For more information contact: Sakhile Khaweka, Policy and Advocacy Officer, PATH.
Tel: +27 83 212 1693, Email: [email protected].

Sibusiso Hlatjwako is the advocacy and partnerships manager at PATH. Follow him on Twitter @tibusis.

Kanya Ndaki is the Aurum Institute’s communications director. Follow her on Twitter @KanyaNdaki.