Elimination through collaboration: success factors in a global consortium.
The Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP) is the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken. With 60 partners, 2.6 million people were examined across 29 countries for the blinding neglected tropical disease (NTD) trachoma, establishing the prevalence of the disease globally. Such an achievement was only made possible by building a diverse worldwide consortium. This article examines that public-private consortium and attempts to highlight key factors in the success of its development and operation. Two critical factors in the project's success were the establishment of an evidence-based common approach and urgency around a shared goal. The common approach (the GTMP methodologies, tools and training approach) and the goal (GET2020 through the SAFE strategy) are thoroughly detailed in this article. Transparency at all levels; clear roles for committees, partners, agencies and ministries of health and shared funding played important roles and are explored here. It is hoped that by examining and sharing the positive factors leading to the establishment and work of this specific consortium, other similar initiatives-for NTDs, for health more broadly and for other development areas-will be able to adopt such an approach for effective collaboration.