Welcome to the website of the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI)

The Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) is a network of international partners dedicated to accelerating and expanding access to quality assured laboratory services in response to the diagnostic challenges of TB, notably HIV-associated and drug-resistant TB. The GLI provides a focus for TB within the framework of a multi-faceted yet integrated approach to laboratory capacity strengthening.

Organizationally, the GLI is one of seven main Working Groups of the Stop TB Partnership (TBP) with the GLI secretariat provided by WHO-HQ in Geneva. Functionally, the GLI serves as an independent, technical expert advisory group to WHO, the TBP, development agencies and countries. Structurally, the GLI consists of individuals with expertise in multiple disciplines, representing constituencies of stakeholders and/or institutions involved in global, regional and country-level laboratory strengthening.

Similar to other Working Groups, GLI activities are overseen by a Core Group of 10-14 members which acts as a steering committee to guide, evaluate, approve, support and facilitate GLI activities. The Secretariat provides strategic guidance, supports the governance of GLI, facilitates coordination of GLI priority projects, and serves as the focal point for TB laboratory strengthening activities at WHO-HQ. In doing so, the Secretariat works closely with national TB programmes, nongovernmental organizations, technical and funding agencies, WHO offices at country and regional levels, and other TBP Working Groups.


In November 2002, the DOTS Expansion Working Group (DEWG) of the Stop TB Partnership established a Subgroup on Laboratory Capacity Strengthening (SLCS), with the secretariat based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. The SLCS comprised mainly of the Directors of the TB Supranational Reference Laboratory Network (SRLN), heads of National TB Reference Laboratories (NRLs), technical agencies and Stop TB Partnership members.

In January 2007, the Subgroup on Laboratory Capacity Strengthening (SLCS) established a Core Group (CG) of international TB laboratory experts to accelerate activities and set the strategic direction for laboratory capacity strengthening.

During this process, consensus evolved among key stakeholders that a Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) was needed to guide and coordinate the huge effort required, integrating the SLCS and the SRLN and optimizing the network of partners involved in TB laboratory strengthening. The GLI was formally launched at the first Annual GLI Meeting co-convened by WHO TBP and Fondation Mérieux in May 2008, and was granted full Working Group status by the TBP Coordinating Board in October 2008.

GLI factsheet - 2014 Update [.pdf]