This Charter outlines the purpose, criteria for membership and legal framework of the African Network for Influenza Surveillance and Epidemiology (ANISE). In addition, it describes the purpose, composition and responsibilities of the ANISE Executive Committee (the “Executive Committee”).
1. Statement of purpose for ANISE
ANISE works to strengthen the capacity for surveillance and research related to influenza and other respiratory viruses on the African region in order to improve the prevention, detection, case management and control of influenza and other respiratory viruses in Africa.
ANISE aims to do this through:
• Providing fora for the exchange and dissemination of information regarding the epidemiology and virology of influenza and other respiratory viruses in Africa
• Facilitating the interaction of scientists, public health specialists and policy-makers
• Sharing and promoting the use of standardized protocols for surveillance and research
• Promoting collaborative efforts for surveillance and research
• Promote the building of capacity to strengthen global health security in the area of respiratory viruses
• Facilitate laboratory and epidemiologic support amongst members for the surveillance of seasonal influenza and for the detection of pandemic strains.
• Promote the development of skills in relevant areas (e.g. laboratory methods, data management, data analysis, manuscript writing, grant writing) amongst African scientists, public health specialists and policy-makers
• Increase the awareness of the importance of influenza and respiratory viruses in Africa through supporting the dissemination of surveillance and research findings.
2. Criteria for membership of ANISE
ANISE membership is open to scientists, public health specialists and policy makers with an interest in or working on influenza or respiratory virus-related projects in Africa. The process for joining the network involves completing an application form including information on your name, qualifications, organization, country and a brief summary of relevant interests. At this stage membership is free, although this may be reviewed at a later stage.
3. Legal framework of ANISE
The African Network for Influenza Surveillance and Epidemiology (ANISE) was founded in 2009 aiming to help scientists share and standardize influenza surveillance methods in Africa. The network had no legal standing as a separate entity. It is a grouping of scientists, public health specialists and policy-makers who share a common interest. The ANISE Network derives substantial technical and financial support from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes supporting the ANISE webpage and Listserv. In future ANISE may seek to obtain status as a separate legal entity but this is not actively being pursued currently.
4. The ANISE Executive Committee
4.1. Purpose of the Executive Committee
The purpose of the executive committee is to direct and move forward the objectives of ANISE through organizing and promoting activities described under the ANISE purpose.
4.2. Composition of the Executive Committee
The executive committee shall be composed of at least 5 to a maximum of 11 members. Committee members will serve initially for a period of 2-3 years and may be re-elected. Initially membership duration will be randomly staggered by one year to avoid having the whole board be due for election in the same year. Only half of the board is renewed every 3 years. All ANISE members are eligible for appointment to the board. The board composition should be structured as follows:
• At least 50% of board members should be permanently resident on the African region
• At least 50% of board members should work in a public health institute
• No more than 10% of members should be representatives of industry
• Board members should represent different organizations and no more than 2 members should come from any single organization • The board should strive for diversity in terms of countries represented, technical expertise (e.g virology, epidemiology), areas of interest (e.g. influenza vs other respiratory viruses), researchers vs public health workers and balance in terms of gender.
4.3. Procedures for appointment to the executive committee
Members will be elected by a vote of the ANISE membership. This will either be electronically or at an in-person meeting.
4.4. Requirements for the Executive Committee
The executive committee should meet by teleconference at least every quarter (i.e. 4 times per year). The executive committee should strive to have at least one in-person meeting per year. More frequent meetings may be organized on an ad-hoc basis by the Executive Committee chair. The executive committee should be answerable to full membership at an annual meeting. The executive committee is required to report back to the membership on activities annually
The members of the Advisory Board will nominate and elect the following officers from the membership:
• Chair - Chairs the Executive Committee meetings, and oversees the committee’s activities and Commitments to advance the Network. The Chair shall be responsible for leadership of the Committee, including preparing the agenda, presiding over Committee meetings, making Committee assignments and reporting on the Committee’s activities to the membership.
• Secretary/Treasurer – Compiles and reviews meeting minutes with the secretariat staff. Works with the Chair and appropriate secretariat to prepare an annual report of the Network’s revenue and expenditures. Serves in the absence of the Chair and becomes the Chair the following term.