Tuberculosis (TB)

Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI)

Mission and strategic priorities

Coordinated by the GLI Core Group with support from the Secretariat provided by the WHO Global TB Programme, the mission of the GLI and its network of international partners is to serve as a collaborative platform for the development and uptake of practical guidance and tools for building and sustaining high-quality TB diagnostic networks, in the areas of:

  • Implementation of WHO policy guidance on TB diagnostics and laboratory strengthening
  • Health system solutions and innovations for ensuring rapid, accurate testing and linkage to appropriate patient management
  • Continuous quality improvement (CQI) at all levels of the laboratory network
  • Integration of laboratory diagnostic networks
  • Human resource capacity development
  • Advocacy and resource mobilization

GLI priorities for 2016-2017

  • Develop standardized template for national TB diagnostic network planning
  • Update the GLI TB Microscopy Network Accreditation assessment tool to incorporate additional WHO-approved diagnostic tests
  • Collaborate with WHO to develop and monitor laboratory strengthening indicators and targets to complement the End TB Strategy
  • Adapt available GLI tools to facilitate rapid national implementation new TB diagnostic tools and methods
  • Conduct landscape analysis of connectivity solutions and laboratory information management systems for TB diagnostics
  • Endorse and disseminate web-based training to accompany the 2015 GLI Guide for Providing Technical Support to TB Laboratories
  • Develop actionable guidance on quality indicators and corrective actions to optimize performance of TB laboratories
  • Introduce practical guidance on laboratory design, layout, and ergonomics for TB culture and DST laboratories
  • Provide TB laboratories with practical guidance on preparing for prevalence and drug resistance surveys
  • Assess the uptake of existing GLI tools for informed modification and for further strategic promotion


The GLI provides a focus for TB within the framework of a multi-faceted, integrated approach to laboratory capacity strengthening through a network of international partners.

Organizationally, GLI is one of the seven Working Groups of the Stop TB Partnership. Functionally, it serves as an independent, technical expert advisory group to WHO, the Stop TB Partnership, development and funding agencies, and countries. Structurally, the GLI consists of individuals with expertise in multiple disciplines, representing constituencies of stakeholders and/or institutions involved in global and country-level laboratory strengthening.

The GLI core group has representation from key constituencies including national and supranational reference laboratories, high TB and MDR-TB burden country programmes, technical partners, donors and civil society.