Part Four - Taking action: essential steps for success
Chapter Two - The private sector, civil society and international organizations
Conflicts of interest. Spotlight: Carmen
Full disclosure of real or perceived conflicts of interest, both of individual staff and partner organizations, is required at the outset of partnership formation (it is not appropriate to work with some industries, such as tobacco and firearms).
Networks are groups of individuals or organizations sharing a common interest, and in regular communication with each other to do their individual work more effectively. Two examples of different types of networks are given below.
The CARMEN (Conjunto de Acciones para la Reducción Multifactorial de Enfermedades No transmisibles) initiative aims to improve health in the Americas by reducing risk factors for chronic diseases. The main focus has been primary prevention of risk factors such as tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity.
The CARMEN network began with five countries/territories but has expanded to 16 (Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay). Each has a national or sub-national action plan for chronic disease prevention and control, a focal point within the ministry of health to lead the activities, and usually a steering group to guide country-level activities. The network serves as a forum for advocacy, knowledge dissemination and management, and technical support and as an arena where directions, innovations and plans are made for continuous improvement of chronic disease prevention initiatives in the Americas. The WHO Regional Office for the Americas serves as the secretariat for the CARMEN network, which has facilitated intraregional information sharing and collaboration. Similar networks have been initiated or are under development in other WHO regions.
ProCOR is an ongoing, e-mail and Internet-based open exchange. It aims to create a dynamic international forum where healthcare providers, researchers, public health workers and the general public can share information and participate in raising awareness about the epidemic of cardiovascular diseases in low and middle income countries. Moderators screen incoming messages and post current research as well as clinical and public health information, thus ensuring the high scientific quality of the discussion (for more information see http://www.procor.org).