Recognising the heightened global risk of African swine fever (ASF), and the significant impact of the disease on animal health, food security and national and global socio-economics, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), was asked to launch a global initiative to control ASF at the 87th General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE . The aim of the global initiative is to tackle the strategic challenges posed by ASF, promote partnerships, strengthen prevention and preparedness measures and minimise the adverse impacts of the disease. It was decided that GF–TADs(1) would be the ideal platform from which to do this, as it fosters regional alliances and also provides opportunities for synergies with existing control strategies for other transboundary animal diseases.
Theory of change
A theory of change(2) was developed for GF‑TADs and translated into a logical framework that describes indicators and outputs (Fig. 1), according to the following three objectives, around which various work plan activities are designed:
Objective 1. Improve the capability of countries to control (prevent, respond to, eradicate) ASF, using OIE standards and best practices that are based on the latest science
Objective 2. Establish an effective coordination and cooperation framework for the global control of ASF
Objective 3. Facilitate business continuity.
An operational plan was then formulated that defines the specific activities to be carried out.
Although ASF control is feasible, success requires regional and global coordination
The global initiative will effectively address the mandate given to the OIE and FAO by providing the structure through which to carry out the activities required to achieve the outputs and outcomes that will lead to the global control of ASF. This structure is based on the knowledge that control is feasible with current risk mitigation tools, but success will require strong national leadership, supported by regional and global coordination.
(1) The Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF‑TADs) is a joint initiative of the OIE and FAO that endeavours to empower global and regional alliances in the fight against Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs), to provide for capacity building and to assist in establishing programmes for the specific control of certain TADs based on global and regional priorities.
(2) A theory of change is a full description of how a desired change is expected to happen in a specific context. It identifies the conditions that must be in place for the proposed activities to achieve the desired goals, thus improving planning and evaluation.