TDR is the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty. It is hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO), and is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO.

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) at TDR

Building upon 40 years of research on infectious diseases of poverty, TDR launched its research initiative on Social Enterprise Innovation (SEI) in 2014. This research programme aims at identifying lessons learnt and best practices using several SSE principles, i.e., social innovation, social enterprise/business models and social entrepreneurship to address the prevention and control of infectious diseases of poverty. The goal is to help support and promote innovative models of social innovation in Research and Development and service delivery, and to integrate these models in operational research and practice. Specific objectives of the TDR SEI initiative are the following:

  1. Generate evidence of the value and application of social innovation models in the prevention and the control of infectious diseases of poverty and analyse lessons learnt;
  2. Contribute to global efforts, networks and capacity strengthening for social enterprise innovation, with a focus on low- and middle income economies;
  3. Integrate social enterprise models in implementation and intervention research, working in close collaboration with local stakeholders.

In order to achieve the above objectives TDR has the following plans:

  1. Assess the value of SEI models in the development and delivery of goods and services for infectious diseases of poverty through a landscape analysis
  2. Conduct case study research based on rigorous research and monitoring and evaluation frameworks
  3. Integrate SEI models in TDR-supported implementation and intervention research
  4. Strengthen business skills of health researchers and health practitioners involved in implementation and intervention research
  5. Establish a SEI forum or sub-forum to existing fora for the prevention and control of infectious diseases of poverty

For more information, please visit : or contact Dr Beatrice Halpaap (halpaapb[@] or Dr Johannes Sommerfeld (sommerfeldj[@], Managers of the SEI initiative at TDR.