Guidelines for Partner Collaborations
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is a federally-sponsored initiative that involves public and private partners in efforts to improve diabetes management and outcomes, promote early diagnoses, and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in the United States and its territories. The goal of the Program is to reduce the burden of diabetes and prediabetes by facilitating the adoption of proven approaches to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications.
NDEP is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health and the Division of Diabetes Translation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the support of more than 200 partner organizations. NDEP works by engaging and supporting a wide range of partners, helping them strengthen their diabetes prevention and control efforts by providing evidence-and audience-based resources, technical assistance, and national communications activities. This unique and powerful collaboration with partners helps the NDEP extend its reach to its many target audiences: the general public, people with diabetes and their families, health care professionals, payers and purchasers of health care, and policy makers.
NDEP encourages partners to take advantage of all the support, resources, tools, and expertise the NDEP offers. NDEP provides partners with:
- Accurate, evidence-based messages, and culturally and linguistically appropriate messages and materials that facilitate partner outreach and interaction with health care professionals of all disciplines, people with diabetes, people at risk for diabetes, and social and community groups.
- NDEP materials are copyright-free, low- or no-cost, and support people seeking to make behavior changes needed to improve diabetes health outcomes.
- Training and technical assistance to help increase capacity to develop interventions that meet partner and NDEP needs and contribute to behavior, social, policy, and environmental change.
- A community for networking, exchanging ideas, and learning from a diverse group of organizations, including community, business, clinical, and governmental groups.
- Opportunities for each partner organization to expand its activities and have a greater impact by combining efforts and resources with NDEP and other partner organizations.
- The opportunity to give input to the direction and approaches of NDEP initiatives and participate in these initiatives.
The following guidelines provide direction and guidance for partners and the NDEP to work collaboratively to reach NDEP goals and objectives. These guidelines seek to ensure that all NDEP products and activities are:
- Beneficial to people with diabetes, those at risk for diabetes, and to the public at large;
- Scientifically accurate and reliable;
- Independent and free of commercial bias.
Roles and Responsibilities of NDEP and Partners
The NDEP shall use its best effort to:
- Provide partners with access to NDEP resources (e.g., print, audio, and video educational materials; scientific and statistical data), allow them to adopt and adapt NDEP messages/materials, and reproduce and distribute them in their own campaigns and program materials;
- Develop, implement and evaluate new NDEP program activities and materials;
- Inform partners about NDEP strategic planning matters through NDEP communications channels including NDEP’s monthly e-newsletter, News & Notes, email correspondence, as well as updates to NDEP’s What’s New feature.
- Work collaboratively, seeking partners and opportunities to communicate diabetes information to the public through the NDEP Partnership Network;
Partners shall use their best efforts to participate in the NDEP to:
- Incorporate NDEP messages and strategies into their own organization’s diabetes education activities, materials and supporting interventions;
- Cooperate with the dissemination and evaluation of NDEP educational activities and supporting interventions;
- Enhance the reach of NDEP messages and materials to address target audiences by reproducing and distributing NDEP programs and materials through use of the media and other distribution channels.
- As appropriate, share information about effective diabetes materials and activities with the NDEP and other partners in the Partnership Network;
- Participate in appropriate national and local NDEP meetings and events;
- Provide the NDEP with copies of materials produced and distributed by the organization and/or report on NDEP-related activities for evaluation purposes.
NDEP Criteria for Partnership Collaborations
- The potential collaboration must fit within the NDEP overall mission, facilitate activities of NDEP’s strategic plan and must advance the goals and objectives of the NDEP.
- The mission of the collaborating organization, the health services and products it provides, and its behavior in conducting business must be consistent with the NDEP’s mission and must not compromise the NDEP’s mission, image, integrity or credibility.
- Any messages or information conveyed as a result of the collaboration must be consistent with the NDEP’s standards.
- The collaborating organization agrees to provide the NDEP with general information about the organization’s activities related to NDEP.
- The NDEP will not endorse, directly or through implied endorsement, specific products, services, educational programs or enterprises.
- The NDEP will offer all appropriate and interested partners the opportunity to collaborate on NDEP activities. The NDEP will maintain a process of openness and fairness in developing collaborations with partners on similar projects or projects with similar intent. As such, the NDEP retains the right to fully disclose any potential collaboration.
- Individual partners interested in initiating an activity with the NDEP may make
a formal written proposal to the NDEP. The NDEP Executive Committee will review
and assess the proposal, judging all proposals by the same criteria outlined in
this document and in conformance with Federal policies and procedures. Upon approval
of the collaboration, the NDEP shall prepare a letter of agreement that specifically
- purpose of the collaboration,
- goal and intended benefits,
- roles and responsibilities of each partner,
- resources each partner commits to the project,
- rights to any property, goods, services, or other components of the project,
- individuals acting as lead for each partner,
- commitment of support, and
- production timelines.
- The NDEP is a federal program. Products developed by the NDEP or in collaboration with the NDEP are in the public domain and are not subject to copyright restrictions.
- NDEP products may be reproduced without permission; however, reproduction and use of NDEP products imply agreement with NDEP Criteria for Partnership Collaborations. Partners may reproduce and disseminate NDEP products, adding a tagline such as “Printing support provided through an educational grant by XYZ company.” Partners that reproduce and distribute NDEP materials with other marketing materials must include a cover letter that states that the NDEP, as a federal program, does not endorse any organization’s products or services.
- Partners that provide support for NDEP activities and/or educational materials may be acknowledged on all materials, without reference to or endorsement of commercial products. Verbal acknowledgement and signage that recognize sponsors are appropriate. Support will be clearly acknowledged, as deemed appropriate. Read the NDEP Program and Campaign Logo Use Policy.
Examples of NDEP Partnership Collaborations
A collaboration is defined as an interaction between the NDEP and one or more public or private sector organizations in which all parties work together to carry out a common mission. The interaction is voluntary and the basis for the interaction is not found in statutory authority or other law. Collaborations between the NDEP and public and private sector organizations typically involve:
Public education activities such as public and patient awareness campaigns, production and dissemination of educational materials, and direct client or patient intervention programs.
Example #1: A partner is developing an A1C advertising campaign. The partner wants to include the following language in their messages: “The NDEP recommends A1C testing as part of a diabetes care plan.”
Suggested Approach: The partner may use language that states NDEP’s written position on diabetes care, but may not use language that implies product endorsement. The NDEP logo may not be used without prior approval by the NDEP Executive Committee. The final version of the advertising copy should be reviewed by the NDEP.
Example #2: NDEP has developed an educational tool on glycemic control for health care providers and printed 5,000 kits. A sponsor has offered to reproduce and distribute 25,000 kits.
Suggested Approach: The sponsor would reprint the kits and would be allowed to add the tagline “Printing support provided through an educational grant by XYZ company.”
Example #3: A diabetes organization wants to develop a publication in collaboration with the NDEP. The organization and NDEP would share the production and printing costs and the publication would be available through the organization and the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
Suggested Approach: The organization would draft a proposal outlining the collaboration and submit it to the Executive Committee. Once approved, the organization would work with NDEP staff and appropriate Stakeholder or Task Groups, if needed, to develop the product and obtain all appropriate approvals (NIH, CDC, HHS), to review the publication for technical accuracy and cultural appropriateness, and for consistency with the NDEP messages. If approved, the publication would carry logos from both organizations. The publication becomes public domain, offered free of charge through the NDEP, and is free of all copyright restrictions.
Professional education activities such as participation in meetings, conferences, webinars, and development and dissemination of educational materials.
Example #1: A sponsor requests a member of the NDEP Executive Committee – or other NDEP volunteer – to speak on behalf of the NDEP at a corporate-sponsored event. The sponsor wants to include the NDEP name and logo in the program materials.
Suggested Approach: The sponsor would submit a complete description of the event or program to the NDEP Executive Committee. If approved, all program materials that use the NDEP name or logo must carry the statement “The US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the support of more than 200 partner organizations. The goal of the NDEP is to reduce the burden of diabetes and prediabetes by facilitating the adoption of proven approaches to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications. The NDEP does not endorse any commercial products, services, educational programs or enterprises.”
Other Speaking Engagements: If a member of the NDEP Executive Committee – or other NDEP volunteer – is invited to speak in a setting where they do not represent NDEP, the program materials should not identify the speaker in their NDEP role. The NDEP role may be noted in biographical information, but the agenda should NOT say, “John Smith, Chair NDEP xyz Task Group.”
Evaluation activities such as assessment of the effectiveness of NDEP products and materials, and collection of data to measure knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of NDEP target audiences.
Example #1: A partner periodically assesses its members on diabetes-related topics and offers to add some questions related to use of NDEP products and materials.
Suggested Approach: Partner prepares questions and shares with NDEP for input. Partner implements survey and shares results with NDEP to guide and inform future efforts on topic.