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Amazing to be back in person with the wonderful NNN community for their annual hybrid conference in Kathmandu:  NTDs in health systems – innovate, integrate & empower! 

Credit: Nabin Baral

This was my 9th consecutive year as the MYT Programme Lead for the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network’s (NNN) annual conference.  After 2 years of successful virtual conferences it really was fantastic to welcome both in person and virtual attendees to Kathamandu – we brought together 300 in-person attendees, 150 virtual attendees and 100 speakers from more than 50 countries.

I absolutely loved working closely with the NNN Chair, Arielle Dolegui from World Vision, NNN Vice Chair, Girija Sankar from CBM and the NNN Conference Committee and facilitated the following:

  • Programme Shaping sessions to support the NNN Executive Committee’s decision-making on format (fully virtual, in person or hybrid) and location;  also the design of the agenda, timetable, individual session format and interactive elements.
  • Workshop Submission Review Process.  Working closely with a small committee, I set up the submission portal, collated data, reports on the blind submission process and eased the decision-making process to reach consensus on the 16 workshops and 12 Rapid Fire presentations.
  • Created Workshop Lead Guidance and ran an online Orientation session to talk through how the  interactive workshops would work and support provided;  this included recommendations for successful virtual & online breakouts with the hybrid audience.
  • Session Shaping and Guidance for the High-Level Plenary sessions which included significant additional support to plan for the President & Health Minister of Nepal speaking at the Opening Ceremony.
  • Also ran rehearsals and additional facilitation guidance calls with several of the parallel workshops to help workshop leads who were merging their sessions and collaborating on the session design and agreeing the format and outcomes for break-out conversations.  Also provided French facilitation with francophone speakers.

It was amazing to be back on stage and open with the welcome housekeeping and focus on the interaction and engagement of our hybrid audience as we awaited the arrival of our VIP guests at the Opening Ceremony.  I am always comfortable jumping on stage at any point to trouble-shoot, explain the next part of proceedings and generally ensure that our Chair, Co-Chair and all speakers and attendees feel supported and part of the event.

To find out more about the wonderful work and collaboration of the NNN Community please read the NNN Conference 2022 Report or visit the NNN website

We have already started our 2023 planning and I am excited to be working with Arielle, Girija and our new incoming Vice Chair.