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RCZI is a young initiative that was set up in March 2009 with its focus and ideology rooted in the ‘One World One Health’ concept. The initiative approaches strengthening intersectoral collaboration by bringing together core sectors (human, veterinary and wildlife health) around collaborative research, capacity building and advocacy/ health promotion on zoonoses.

By fostering a transparent and non-threatening academic/ research collaboration around these functional areas, RCZI aims to build confidence, demonstrate value, stimulate need and influence policy makers and programme implementers to allow joint action for zoonoses prevention and control. It also hopes to develop a vision of intersectoral collaboration for prevention and control of zoonoses and other Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs).

Strategic Focus Areas

Multisectoral collaboration
  Joint capacity building
  Collaborative research
  Collaborative health promotion and advocacy

Guiding Principles

Follow a multisectoral approach
  Have a risk-based approach that steps back from a largely pathogen-based focus thus improving preparedness
  Steer a response that is aligned with national priorities.

Formation of a Joint Working Group

The multisectoral Joint Working Group (JWG) that was formed in March 2009.draws active technical support of 13 national and international, government and non-government organisations (NGO) which have research and programme implementation mandates. The group meets every six months to advise on RCZI’s activities (provide link to Projects) and discusses ways of fostering national and international collaborations for the initiative.

Having a member-secretary of the National Standing Committee who is also the co-chairperson of RCZI ensures that the functioning of RCZI not only feeds into mainstream efforts but is also informed by the needs of the mainstream. Membership of the two initiatives is essentially the same. However, the RCZI platform allows free exchange of ideas and opinions besides bringing on board international academia and research organisations as well as private sector (as co-opted members) to allow wider perspectives in zoonoses prevention and control, which is not readily possible in the formal mechanism of standing committee due to obvious administrative barriers. 

The effectiveness and urgent need for such a mechanism is reflected in achievements of this model of intersectoral collaboration.

Next Steps

RCZI plans to operationalise the strategic plans and outputs that it carried out in year 1 (2009-10)
  Capacity building initiatives will be given impetus through short-term trainings; greater access will be created through distance learning and e-platforms for practitioners and academic institutions
  Advocacy and health promotion efforts will be scaled-up in partnership with stakeholders, including considering a potential national 'One World One Health' conference
  Research agenda will be forwarded with focus on burden assessment in the next 2-3 years followed by operational research projects to explore different models for grassroots level intersectoral collaboration, including risk-based approaches in different populations and commodities. These research projects will be popularised as post graduate level dissertation projects among graduates of medical, veterinary, public health and wildlife health institutions allowing multi-institutional field work and coordination at RCZI's level
  In addition to continuing its contribution to national endeavours, RCZI will shift focus to sub-national level in order to build understanding and expand knowledge base on situation-specific determinants of zoonoses emergence, persistence and spread and their solutions.
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