Backed by a movement of more than 6 million members, the ONE Campaign mobilizes people and resources to hold world leaders accountable for the commitments they've made to fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa. Cofounded by U2’s lead singer and internationally known humanitarian, Bono, The Sheridan Group (TSG) has helped provide the winning legislative and political strategies that have earned ONE its reputation as an international change-maker in the areas of hunger, disease and poverty.
Africa has struggled due to a triple threat crisis that has kept its people poor and its nations weak: the burden of debt that has drained the financial resources necessary for health care and education; the epidemic of AIDS that has taken the lives of an entire generation; and the unfair trade policies that have kept Africans from being able to sell their products at world market prices to earn their own way out of poverty. Before ONE began its work, 70% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa lived on less than $2 a day while 200 million men, women and children went hungry. Every year, millions of mostly African children died of malaria and AIDS. This global crisis had little political organization, focus or leadership. That is, until the ONE Campaign stepped in.
In the early days of ONE, when it was known as the DATA Foundation, TSG designed the first advocacy campaigns that fully leveraged the celebrity status of Bono to raise awareness on the issues of Africa debt, AIDS and unfair trade practices. For close to 15 years, TSG has provided the strategic legislative counsel, targeted congressional and Executive Branch outreach, and political knowledge and firepower to build support for ONE’s mission. The results have been truly transformational.
TSG is incredibly proud of the results produced by its work with ONE. In 2003, after significant advocacy and support from ONE, Congress passed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). As a result, today nearly 9 million Africans have access to life-saving AIDS medication, up from only 50,000 people in 2002. Malaria has been cut by 75% in eight African countries and 54 million more sub-Saharan children are now going to primary school.
In 2010, TSG partnered with ONE to help ensure the Cardin-Lugar Extractive Industries Transparency Amendment was included in the Financial Reform Act of 2010. In August 2012, the SEC issued a ruling on the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, mandating that all companies registered with the SEC disclose what they pay to the U.S. and to foreign governments for extracting oil, gas and mining. This ruling increases transparency in resource-rich countries abroad and aims to decrease the corruption and conflict often associated with energy and mineral wealth.
More recently, TSG worked with ONE to gain support for the “Electrify Africa Act,” legislation which promotes private sector investment and government collaboration to increase access to electricity in some of Africa’s poorest countries. After a multi-year advocacy campaign, this vital legislation passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law in February 2016. Today, 589 million people lack access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa which results in poor healthcare, stifled economic growth, limited education and a critical lack of safety for African women and girls. As enacted, the Electrify Africa Act will promote affordable and reliable energy to provide electricity for at least 50 million people by 2020. Going forward, the ONE Campaign will continue to focus on ways of leveraging the public sector to promote private sector solutions to our world’s biggest challenges.