Programme theme: Sustainable development and the environment


Participants at Organising for change: how can higher education meet the changing needs of employment? explored the opportunities and challenges facing the higher education sector in terms of meeting the changing needs of employment in today’s uncertain job market – with 75% of young people in developing countries either in irregular work or unemployed. Partners included DFID, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, the University of Pretoria and the National Research Foundation, South Africa.

Convened in association with DFID, the Global Schools Forum and Ark, with additional financial support from UBS Optimus Foundation, No child left behind: what is the complementary role of non-state actors in the delivery of quality basic education in low resource environments? was an evidence-based discussion on the role that non-state education can play in delivering quality education in developing countries.

Maximising the power of tertiary education: strengthening partnerships for global impact drew from a wide range of existing and new programmes, encouraging countries to share best practice and building a network of experts and policymakers for development strategy on an international scale.

Promoting the improvement of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) policy and implementation in Asia, and encouraging increased cross-institutional and regional collaboration as well as an opportunity to explore and develop future strategies were addressed at Skills for jobs: maximising potential in Asia. The event was held in partnership with the British High Commission in Malaysia as part of Education is GREAT, the British Embassy in Bangkok, and with support from DIT.


The Wilton Park Global Health series has continued apace this year addressing a range of issues from Tuberculosis (TB) the world’s oldest epidemic, to building digital health technologies.

In collaboration with the Meningitis Research Foundation, we held A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there, setting a new agenda spanning scientific and medical approaches with a country’s abilities to deliver through its health systems. The conference was co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc. and Sanofi Pasteur, and linked efforts to tackle meningitis holistically across southern and northern stakeholders, public and private sector. It provided advocacy language to put more emphasis on prevention, promotion, testing and treatment as part of integrated healthcare services, particularly important as malaria treatment protocols have moved away from presumptive treatment.

Johnson & Johnson co-sponsored Time to end Tuberculosis with key participation from TB affected countries, for global public health to take a fresh look at the challenge posed by the disease. The Global TB Caucus has fed back that the meeting is frequently referenced, while the path to defeating TB has been widely agreed, it has stagnated more recently, and having an external Wilton Park forum has been invaluable to advance the issue.

The Wilton Park USA hub convened No more missed opportunities: advancing public-private partnerships to achieve the global nutrition goals, which demonstrated eagerness from private sector, non-profit institutions and governments to collaborate across the spectrum of global nutrition concerns and to be guided by Principles of Engagement which were discussed during the dialogue. It was co-funded by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the USCIB Foundation, the educational arm of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child movement.

The inaugural Digital health in Africa dialogue focussed on accelerating the use of scalable digital technologies in healthcare delivery, and the coordination and leadership needed to support it. The conference enabled stakeholders to ‘speak directly’ with ministries of health from many countries, as well as donors and others who can contribute to the success of the African Alliance which was launched at the event. This has ignited significant interest in the Alliance’s potential to build digital health capacity across the region, with Alliance Board members agreeing on concrete next steps in 2018. Two further coordination meetings have been held in the US, helping to secure funding for the next stage of the East Africa Community digital roadmap (‘Digital REACH’).

We convened The importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) to reach HIV fast-track goals and Universal Health Coverage for women and girls following a suggestion from the World Health Organisation (WHO) at our previous HIV Prevention meeting in Namibia. The meeting was held in association with WHO and the Human Reproduction Programme, where participants discussed how countries can develop sustainable approaches to advance sexual and reproductive health which include HIV interventions, with a focus on vulnerable women and girls. It culminated in the development of a Position Statement to enable follow-up action as a collective in addition to the individual actions that emerged.

Slowing the HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics among people who inject drugs (PWID) was part of our global health series linking previous meetings on drugs policy, and continuing partnership with the Global Health Group, UCSF and Gilead Sciences. We brought key stakeholders together to identify how to work better together to prevent HIV/HCV amongst PWID, and how to care better for those already living with HIV/HCV.

Sustainable Development Goals                                 

The Future of Philanthropy was held in association with the Charities Aid Foundation, and brought together a mixture of international stakeholders from the giving sector, including high net worth individuals, foundations and government departments. Participants discussed opportunities for stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and joint action with the aim of assisting the fulfilment of the SDGs as well as teasing out current hindrances for this action.

Achieving the SDGs was held in association with the University of Sussex, Sustainability Research Programme and the British Council, to provide input to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (the UN Forum) in July 2018, focusing on the SDGs interlinkages and interactions as well as understanding how science and policy can connect and cooperate to achieve the SDGs.