The purpose of GARD is to initiate a comprehensive approach to fight chronic respiratory diseases. This involves four strategic objectives:
Core strategic objectives:
- Advocacy – To raise the recognition of the importance of chronic respiratory diseases at global and country levels, and to advocate the integration of prevention and control of such diseases into policies across all government departments.
- Partnership – To promote partnering for the prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases.
GARD strategic objectives to support WHO technical work:
- National plans on prevention & control – To support WHO in assisting countries to establish and strengthen national policies and plans for the prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases using WHO endorsed approaches and methods.
- Surveillance – To support WHO in monitoring chronic respiratory diseases and their determinants and evaluate progress at country, regional and global levels.
GARD is an alliance which provides the participants the opportunity to discuss non-normative matters. Any agreement on GARD activities involving GARD participants is made by consensus and is addressed to the GARD participants.
GARD is not a legal entity and, therefore, cannot undertake any action in its own name.
The World Health Organization has a dual role in the Alliance: it provides technical leadership and secretariat support.
GARD promotes an integrated approach that capitalizes upon synergies of chronic respiratory diseases with other chronic diseases. The focus is specifically on the needs of low- and middle-income countries and vulnerable populations, and fosters country-specific initiatives that are tailored to local needs.
According to the Terms of Reference, the governance components are the General Meeting, the Planning Group, the Executive Committee, and the secretariat as well as the Country-Focus Group and Working Groups.
GARD provides a network through which collaborating parties can combine their strengths and knowledge, thereby achieving results that no single partner could attain alone. GARD also improves coordination between existing governmental and nongovernmental programmes, which avoids duplication of efforts and wasting of resources.