Global Fund Board discusses the lessons learned from the Seventh Replenishment and the action plan for the Eighth Replenishment.
Christian DjokoArticle Type:
Article Number: 5
At the 50th meeting of the Global Fund Board in November, one of the points of discussion was the update on resource mobilisation issues. It covered the results of the Seventh Replenishment, lessons learned and an action plan for the upcoming Eighth Replenishment.
The Global Fund’s Board meeting on 14-16 November 2023 was its 50th; and among the many issues for information was on resource mobilization. The Board document provided an update on the status of the conversion of pledges and the signing of donor agreements. In addition, it presented the results of the lessons learned from the Seventh Replenishment and sought feedback on the proposed actions leading up to the Eighth Replenishment. It also discussed ongoing resource mobilization, advocacy and communication efforts, as well as actions to mitigate funding and reputational risks.
The Global Fund partnership has secured commitments from 50 public and 27 private donors for a total of $15.67 billion for the 2023-2025 allocation period. This represents the highest amount ever pledged to the Global Fund, with a 12% increase over the previous replenishment period. After deductions for currency fluctuations and other adjustments, $13,128 billion is available for country allocations and $400 million for catalytic financing.
The Global Fund partnership has also begun to prepare for the next replenishment period and wants to strengthen its position by exploring links between its investments and other global issues.
It also continues to invest in supporting civil society and community advocacy networks which are essential to the success of future fundraising and replenishment efforts. It is crucial, the document says, to continue to mitigate fundraising risks and focus on the full and timely conversion of pledges. This includes maintaining strong donor relationships, engaging parliaments, a well-funded and committed advocacy network, a recognised and valued brand, clear and impactful communications, and innovative partnerships with the private sector.
Status of signing agreements with donors, converting pledges and current priorities
As of 30 June 2023, 93% of the adjusted pledges for the Sixth Replenishment had been received. This included private sector investments, with $52 million committed (2020-2022) and $51 million already disbursed. All 13 non-financial partnerships with the private sector have signed contribution agreements and are on track, with 83% of their work plans implemented.
The Secretariat signed 36 contribution agreements totalling $1.277 billion during the Seventh Replenishment. These agreements were split between the public (23) and the private (13) sectors. Progress in signing agreements and converting pledges is similar to the previous replenishment cycle.
Despite the economic and geopolitical difficulties, measures have been taken to strengthen controls and reduce late payments or failures to convert pledges.
Under the Seventh Replenishment, the Global Fund has increased its bilateral reserves by almost 40% to approximately $700 million. The Fund is working to coordinate donor commitments with its new strategy and the country strategies supported by the grants. The Strategy Committee (SC) is reviewing the operationalisation of set-asides related to Grant Cycle 7 (GC7), improving transparency and minimising transaction costs. The Secretariat is working with donors to limit the introduction of additional conditionalities and restrictions on technical assistance.
The Global Fund wants to mobilise funds to meet identified needs and take advantage of the United States’ matching pledge. It continues to seek uncommitted or partially committed public donors for the period 2023-2025, as well as monitoring budget processes to identify potential contributions. The Global Fund partnership must continue to exploit new opportunities in a competitive and challenging environment.
Private sector efforts focus on leveraging the existing portfolio of donors and partners
As well as leveraging existing donor and partner portfolios, the Secretariat is expanding fundraising from high-net-worth individuals and private foundations. Current initiatives focus on the role of the private sector in providing catalytic capital, particularly in the areas of digital health, innovation and access to products, frontline health workers and climate-resilient health systems.
The Global Fund is also looking into increasing innovative financing such as blended financing and debt for health. It also wants to attract funding from other sources. The Secretariat participates in global discussions on development and health financing to be in a position to attract any additional funding that becomes available. The Fund stressed the importance of working closely with its partners and stakeholders to ensure its visibility in such global health discussions. This year, several high-level United Nations meetings as well as other international events (G7, G20, COP28, etc.) have presented opportunities for the Global Fund to raise its profile. It is also working to develop messages about its role and added value in achieving global health priorities.
Key lessons learned from the Seventh Replenishment
The Update described a review carried out by the Global Fund Secretariat following the replenishment campaign. Its purpose was to identify success factors of the campaign, as well as areas for improvement.
- The review assessed the overall recovery strategy, performance against targets, decision-making roles and responsibilities, and factors and trends for resource allocation. It focused on coordination with host countries, the investment case, the use of events and platforms, and stakeholder engagement. Feedback was sought from a wide range of stakeholders and a cross-functional working group was set up to review results and advise on actions for improvement.
- The Seventh Replenishment Conference took place in a challenging environment, with increasing political volatility and limited development resources. Despite this, Global Fund donors showed unprecedented commitment. The Eighth Replenishment will also take place against a backdrop of continued volatility and multiple replenishments by other global health and development agencies. An in-depth analysis of trends and risks has been carried out in preparation for this.
- The Global Fund needs to change its replenishment approach by prioritising innovation and adaptability, positioning itself firmly on priority emerging themes, mobilising the whole partnership, planning earlier and placing greater emphasis on risk management. Strengthening host ownership and political leadership, mobilising multi-stakeholder support and optimising cross-sectoral synergies are also necessary. landscape.
Preparation for the Eighth Replenishment
The High Level Action Plan 2024-2026 will maximise the success of the Eighth Replenishment Pledging Conference since the pledges obtained will represent the bulk of donor contributions for the period 2026-28 and finance national allocations for the implementation period 2027-29.
In concrete terms, the document submitted to the Board of Directors addressed issues such as:
- The need for strong hosting arrangements;
- Early development of an Investment Case coordinating with other global health partners who are also developing their own investment cases;
- Strategies for securing solid pledges by adapting to the volatile environment, mobilising multi-stakeholder support, leveraging multilateral and political platforms, engaging emerging donors, strengthening advocacy networks and taking advantage of public-private synergies;
- Tailored strategies to mobilise financial and non-financial contributions from private sector partners and diversifying private sector engagement platforms;
- An advocacy roadmap to strengthen and expand the advocacy ecosystem, as well as a global strategy to engage political champions with an integrated communications and media engagement plan;
- A communications campaign on replenishment, aligned between the Investment Case and resource mobilisation campaigns; and
- Maximizing the visibility and engagement of the Global Fund at high-level replenishment events.
In Q3 2023, the Secretariat launched its internal planning and coordination for the next replenishment campaign in three key areas: hosting and resource mobilization strategies; Investment Case development; and refreshing its messaging and early thinking on the replenishment campaign
Despite the difficulties, Global Fund donor confidence was maintained during the Seventh Replenishment. Most donors maintained or increased their support. However, it is important to continue to mitigate fundraising risks, including maintaining good donor relations, ensuring strong bipartisan/multi-partisan engagement in parliaments, having sufficient resources, having an effective advocacy network, maintaining a recognisable brand and creating innovative and non-traditional partnerships with the private sector.
The Secretariat stressed the importance of mobilising additional funds for its current cycle. It emphasised the need to formalise contribution agreements with donors and to make the Global Fund case to decision-makers.
The Secretariat also stressed the importance of taking advantage of other international events to constantly reaffirm the Global Fund’s role in the fight against infectious diseases, equity and access to universal public health, as well as pandemic preparedness. Finally, it stressed the importance of support and advocacy from Board members, committees and partners to ensure the timely conversion of pledges and support new and emerging opportunities.
Stakeholders commended the Global Fund Secretariat’s unwavering commitment and efforts in resource mobilization. They recognized that these efforts are vital in ensuring the availability of funds necessary to combat HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria
As they looked ahead towards the Eighth Replenishment, people reiterated their commitment to supporting the Secretariat in its mission to secure the resources needed to effectively address the region’s health challenges.
Stakeholders from the Africa Region noted their recent engagement targeting African Ministers of Health during the WHO/AFRO Regional Committee meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, in partnership with the Global Fund and others, as an example of their dedication to identifying and raising resources for replenishment.
Board paper GF/B50/22, Update on Resource Mobilization: Outcomes of the Seventh Replenishment Lessons Learned and Action Plan toward the Eighth Replenishment, will shortly be available on the Global Fund website.