A BUSY WEEK FOR GLOBAL FUND COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Article Number: 2
First look at the topics on the upcoming Committees’ agendas
ABSTRACT The Global Fund is preparing to hold meetings of the three Committees ¾Strategy, Audit & Finance and Ethics & Governance. In this article we provide you with a flavour of the upcoming agenda topics and indicate which ones we will explore in more depth in the pre-Board issue of the Global Fund Observer.
It’s that time of year again! Global Fund Board members will assemble for the Board’s 48th meeting to be held between 15 and 17 November. So, between 10 and 14 October the Secretariat will host the 20th series of Committee meetings in preparation for that Board meeting, bringing Committee members together to discuss and recommend, as needed, decisions to be endorsed by the Board. The Strategy Committee (SC) will meet between 10 to 12 October and the Ethics & Governance Committee (EGC) on 10/11 October, followed by the Audit & Finance Committee (AFC) on 13/14 October.
Strategy Committee topics
Virtual, pre-meeting items
The meetings were launched online on 4 October this week with Pre-Calls on two recommendation items: (i) a discussion on the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework (including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the Multi-year Evaluation Calendar); and (ii) NextGen Market Shaping: Non-Global Fund financed procurement through wambo.org. This was followed by a Pre-Call on two items to go to the Board for a decision: (i) the annual budget and work plan for the Evaluation Structure; and (ii) the annual budget and work plan for the Technical Review Panel (TRP). Both budgets will be included in Operating Expenses (OpEx) through the AFC.
At some stage there will have been a joint SC/AFC Pre-call: an Update on the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) Implementation although at the time of writing it was not known when (if) this meeting had taken place. It is of particular interest given the apparent poor performance of the C19RM grants with low drawdowns and expenditure rates; but as usual, there is a story behind this and it is not as simple as it seems We’ll bring you an article on this specific topic in the next GFO.
In-person meeting agenda items
Below is a snapshot of the meeting’s main topics to be discussed:
For recommendation: There are two items for recommendation, the aforementioned M&E Framework and the NextGen Market Shaping.
For decision: The two decision items are the two budgets for the new Evaluation Structure and the TRP.
For input: There are several interesting items for discussion by SC members.
As the Global Fund’s current evaluation mechanism, the Technical Reference Evaluation Group (TERG) prepares to close its doors before the new structure is launched, the SC will discuss TERG matters: in particular, its two Final Evaluations, one on Challenging Operating Environments (COEs) and the other on Accelerating Equitable Deployment and Access to Innovation. Article 3 in this special pre-Committee issue of the GFO is an in-depth look into the COE evaluation recommendations and the Secretariat’s response (The Global Fund Challenging Operating Environment Policy could do much better: but is the Secretariat taking the easy way out ?).
Still on TERG, there will be an update on “continuing TERG workstreams” which presumably will be completed under the new evaluation structure: an Evaluation of Data Driven Decision Making, one on Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH) Mapping and, of especial note, the Country-steered Review of the Global Fund. This should make for some interesting reading and we’ll try to provide more information on it once the report has been published.
As well as some time devoted to the aforementioned item requiring financial decision-making (annual budget and work plan for the Evaluation Structure), there will be discussion on the Strategic Performance Report 2017-2022, preparations for Board Thematic Discussions (on Gender and Communities) and an Update on Pandemic Preparedness Objective and Establishment of the PPR Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) at the World Bank. We have already brought you two articles on the FIF in June (The Financial Intermediary Fund: A New Model That Duplicates the Global Fund) and in our last issue in September, GFO 419, Who Is the New Kid on the Block in the Global Health Ecology? So we await this update, which is probably a report on the Board meeting held early in September, with interest.
For information: In addition to the aforementioned topics, the SC will review the Update on allocations and operationalization of Catalytic Investments 2023- 2025, the Recruitment of TRP Members, Country Funding, Portfolio Optimization and update on Strategic Initiatives (current cycle) and the Bi-annual report on wambo.org non grant financed pilot. Our next pre-Board issue of the GFO will bring you more in-depth articles on Catalytic Investments, and Country Funding, Portfolio Optimization and Strategic Initiatives.
Audit & Finance Committee topics
A Pre-Call Executive Session meeting will be held jointly with the EGC.
However, before that on 1, 2 and 27 September, Optional Virtual Onboarding sessions were held on: Treasury and Forex Management and Grant Financial Management: Accounting and Financial Statements, Corporate Planning and Forecasting, and AFC dashboards; and the Onboarding of the Local Fund Agents (LFAs) role/model.
In-person meeting agenda items
The AFC agenda is a tightly packed one.
For recommendation: Members will consider: (i) the 2023 OpEx budget (including the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) budget)/Strategy costing with three-year cap and corporate work plan); (ii) the 2023-2025 Allocation Period: Sources of Funds; and (iii) the definition of financial management KPIs and targets. We hope to bring you a separate article on item (ii) in our next pre-Board GFO.
For decision: Members will have to reach a conclusion on: (i) the approval of available sources of funds for portfolio optimization and financing unfunded quality demand for the 2020-2022 allocation period; (ii) the approval of available sources of funds for C19RM; (iii) approval of available sources of funds for portfolio optimization and financing unfunded demand for the C19RM; (iv) the 2023 OIG work plan, KPIs and budget; and (v) the establishment of the interestingly named Remuneration Group. Our pre-Board meeting GFO will carry an article on portfolio optimization and also on catalytic investments.
For input: Members will provide their thoughts on the Semi-annual Risk Management Report, with inputs by the SC/EGC on risks related to their respective mandates for the holistic Global Fund risk profile. The Secretariat will provide an Update on the OIG Operational Progress Report and there will be discussions on the Strategic Performance Report 2017-2022 and on Human Resources matters – People and Organizational Strategy 2023-2028 and Future of Work.
For information: There is a lot of background reading for AFC members covering a multitude of topics; an update on the M&E Framework based on the SC’s recommendation to the Board from earlier in the week; a general update on Resource Mobilization and Seventh Replenishment; updates on LFAs and Agreed Management Actions (AMAs); the OIG Risk Assessment and an overview of Financial Performance, the Recoveries Report (Written Input) and, finally, the IT Strategy 2023-2025.
Ethics & Governance Committee topics
On 13 September EFC members were briefed on the Board Leadership Nomination Committee (BLNC) and other relevant matters ahead of the EGC 20th Meeting.
In-person meeting agenda items
For recommendation: The RFC will make a recommendation to the Board concerning the Honorarium Framework.
For decision: The Committee will have to take a decision on (i) the overall funding ceiling for constituency funding (in an Executive session) and (ii) the Ethics Function 2023 work plan and budget.
For input: The AFC will consider the Semi-Annual Risk Management Report, the Culture of Trust, Collaboration and Accountability, the Sanctions Panel Annual Report and an update on Privileges & Immunities.
For information: Other issues to be discussed include: an update on the BLNC; the EGC work plan; a progress update on GAP 2.0; the Constituency Funding Annual Report; lessons learned from recruiting the Ethics Officer; and an Ethics Progress update.
Once again we end this article on the Committees’ agendas by asking why there is such mystery surrounding the Committees’ meetings, why the related documents cannot be published on the Global Fund website for all to see, and why observers to the meetings’ proceedings are so few. We ask – but we never receive a reply!