A look at decision items planned for the 15–16 May Global Fund Board meeting
At its meeting on 15–16 May 2019, the Global Fund Board is expected to adopt a methodology for use in determining the 2020–2022 allocations. The Board is also expected to adopt measures designed to strengthen the process of selecting members for the Board’s standing committees.
The agenda for the Board meeting has not been made public. The Board, in recent years, has been making fewer decisions than previously as more and more decision-making has been delegated to its three standing committees: the Strategy Committee (SC), the Audit and Finance Committee (AFC), and the Ethics and Governance Committee (EGC).
The allocation methodology for 2020–2022 that the Board is expected to adopt is likely to be similar to the methodologies used for the last two allocation periods: 2017–2019 and 2014–2016. As we reported in GFO 346, the Technical Evaluation Reference Group, the Technical Review Panel and the Secretariat jointly concluded that the allocation methodology used for 2017–2019 “is effectively delivering on its objectives by increasing funds to countries of higher burden and lower economic capacity while accounting for populations disproportionately affected by the three diseases.”
One element of the methodology –– the technical parameters for the allocation formula –– was scheduled to be approved by the SC at its March 2019 meeting. Aidspan is not aware of the outcomes of the SC’s March meeting.
At its meeting in May, the Board will also decide on the priorities for catalytic funding, including the size of the catalytic funding envelope. This step is happening six months earlier in this funding cycle compared to the 2017–2019 cycle. There have been challenges in operationalizing the 2017–2019 catalytic investments, in particular the matching funds, in large part because the catalytic priorities were approved just one month prior to the allocations being announced.
However, moving the decision on catalytic funding up by six months means that the decision will come before the outcomes of the Sixth Replenishment campaign are known. Consequently, the decision is expected to outline five different scenarios for catalytic funding depending on how much will become available for country allocations. The scenarios for how much will be available for country allocations range from about $8.0 billion to about $12.0 billion.
For 2017–2019, when $10.3 billion was available for country allocations, the size of the catalytic funding envelope was $800.0 million.
Committee selection process
The Board, in May 2018, instructed the EGC to undertake a review of the existing committee selection process and to make recommendations on (a) principles and concrete actions to underpin and guide the selection processes; (b) standards and processes for due diligence; and (c) the size and composition of the EGC. (See article in GFO 346.) The EGC currently has six members, making it the smallest of the Board committees.
The EGC set up an informal working group in June 2018 to assist in reviewing the observations of existing advisory reviews, inputs from Board constituencies and comparisons with partner organizations. The working group is composed of four members of the EGC plus a representative of civil society.
The working group’s schedule called for consultations to be undertaken between November 2018 and February 2019; for a draft paper with recommendations to be prepared by March 2019; and for the EGC to discuss the recommendations at its 9th meeting in March 2019. Aidspan is not aware of the outcomes of the EGC’s March meeting.
The Board is expected to take several decisions by electronic voting prior to the Board meeting. Chief among them is the selection of the next chair and vice-chair of the Board for a two-year term. The terms of the current chair and vice-chair, Aida Kurtovic and John Simon, respectively, expire at the end of the upcoming Board meeting.
For a description of the process for selecting the Board chair and vice-chair, see article in GFO 336 (May 2018).