On the Role of NGOs
[The following statement on "Strengthening Partnerships" was made at the January Board meeting by Milly Katana, board member representing South-NGOs, on behalf of the two NGO delegations and the Communities Living with HIV/TB/Malaria delegation.]
The issue of partnership has been raised here at the meeting on numerous occasions. And for good reason. It is at the core of our credo of "doing business differently".
The Global Fund's Framework itself clearly states that "the Fund will work with a country coordination and partnership mechanism that should include broad representation from governments, NGOs, civil society, multilateral and bilateral agencies and the private sector" (Framework Document Section VI.B.1). It also states that NGOs are eligible to apply directly.
We feel it necessary again to make our position very clear to everyone here - partnership is a principle, and this principle needs to be operationalized, particularly at the CCM level and with NGOs directly. This is primarily about composition and inclusion. We will continue to promote and work for this principle, in very real terms, directly with the Board, its committee structures and its Secretariat - as long as it takes - because it is a new way of doing business. There are some clear priority actions that we believe can help drive this process forward.
- Partnerships with the NGO sector: The Fund needs to broaden its partnerships beyond the UN agencies and bi-laterals to include the NGO sector. This has been acknowledged in the documentation and we look to the Fund to work with us to identify how this can be operationalized. This includes a review of how NGO proposals are assessed and ensure that they are not unnecessarily screened out prior to the review by the TRP.
- Leading practice: We welcome the recommendation to capture leading examples of genuine partnership models. This can serve to promote the benefits of real partnerships in our collective response.
- Guidelines: We continue to believe that clear guidelines are a key to our efforts. Without them, CCMs are sailing into an open sea without the benefit of a compass. We believe that the Round 3 Call for Proposals desperately require guidelines that address CCM composition and inclusion. Although the Governance and Partnership's Committee recommendations require fine-tuning, we remain inspired by many of the new and innovative suggestions for such clarity.
- Capacity building: It is clear to us that building the capacity of NGOs and other civil society organizations to fully participate in the CCM is an essential element. NGOs themselves need to take a lead, particularly by facilitating learning from those who are now working in partnership within CCMs. However, this will require an investment. We can not expect that this will happen on its own. We look to work with the Secretariat, the multilateral and bilateral agencies to assist us in these efforts.
- CCM monitoring: Transparency and effectiveness of CCMs is a priority. Ensuring that the monitoring mechanisms include an element of monitoring the evolving partnership models will be a challenge, but we are convinced that the commitments to partnerships at the country level need to be verified. We believe that this will serve to strengthen the implementation of the country-coordinated response.
It is now time to act with an unequivocal determination that things will be different. That the Fund really does mean what it says when we talk about partnership. We will continue to refer to the Fund's Framework Document as we work with the Fund's structures to provide guidance on how to achieve true partnership on the issues we have raised today. Simply put, we can not afford to delay any longer.