The major contributions of the DSN Initiative to global health were found to be the fostering of the new fields of One Health and Global Health Diplomacy; use of informal networks in surveillance; and transnational collaboration and governance.
Stakeholders at global, regional and national levels validated the relevance of a networked approach to disease surveillance, and supported the concept, rational and logic underlying the DSN Initiative. The DSN Initiative was seen by stakeholders and influential leaders as an effective way of building trust among partners in historically unstable regions, and contributed to increases in capacity through training, tools, and technical support.
The evaluation found that grantees at the global level are showing good signs of sustainability by leveraging the funds of the Foundation to attract other donors. While the data indicates that many of the DSN Initiative activities and concepts are taking root globally and regionally, there is a risk that winding down support to the emerging fields of One Health and Global Health Diplomacy may leave them without much needed support at this stage of their development.
A major dimension of sustainability is the ability to achieve and sustain the profile of new ideas and practice. The evaluation noted that the DSN Initiative grantees in Asia and Africa do not write and publish their work as much as would be expected and needed to maintain and grow a new field. The Global Evaluation Team encourages the Foundation to emphasize the need for grantees to publish their work in peer-reviewed literature to enhance the work’s influence in health and policy fields.