The Board is not expected to deal with a large number of topics requiring decisions at its upcoming meeting on 9-10 May 2018 in Skopje, Macedonia, but some of the decision items it will tackle can be expected to generate a lot of discussion.
One of the most important topics on the agenda concerns the CCM Evolution Project. Which recommendations will the Board adopt? Will the Board approve additional funding for CCMs? How much? Where will the funds come from? We have prepared a separate article on this topic in this issue.
Equally important is the revised Eligibility Policy. We provided an indication of the major issues related to this policy that have been under discussion in an article in GFO 334. These include a reduction in the number of disease burden categories; availability of HIV prevalence data for key populations; provision of a second allocation of transition funding; and possible changes to the NGO Rule and the G-20 Rule.
Related to this, the Board is expected to discuss what the Global Fund approach should be to non-eligible countries in crisis. This was sparked, in part, by the situation in Venezuela. Although, technically, Venezuela does not meet the Fund’s eligibility requirements because it is an upper-middle-income country with a moderate disease burden, the country is going through an appalling health and economic crisis. In a paper presented to the Board at its meeting in November 2017, the Implementer Group called on the Global Fund “to continue exploring concrete mechanisms to support efforts to address this unprecedented health crisis, and to develop a more proactive and effective approach to countries in crisis.” (See GFO articles here, here, here and here).
The Board is also expected to approve a risk appetite framework. This issue has been under discussion in the Audit and Finance Committee. This has been a sensitive issue in the past because the Global Fund takes a “zero tolerance” approach to fraud and corruption and some Board members have difficulty with the notion that the Fund would adopt a policy that says it tolerates a certain amount of risk.
Finally, the Board is expected to discuss proposals for strengthening the Board leadership process. This refers mainly to the process for filling the Board chair and vice-chair positions. The terms of the current chair (Aida Kurtovic) and vice-chair (John Simon) expire in May 2019. A paper on options for future selection processes was presented at the Board meeting in November 2017 (see GFO article).
This will be the first Board meeting for the Global Fund’s new executive director, Peter Sands.
Aidspan will report on the outcomes of the Board meeting in its next issue on 11 May.
Note: The Board is also expected to vote electronically on the appointment of members of the Strategy Committee, Audit and Finance Committee and Ethics and Governance Committee for two-year terms starting after the May Board meeting.