Global Fund Observer Editorial
Article Number: 1
In the immortal words of Cole Porter, ‘there may be trouble ahead’
ABSTRACT Our editorial team’s summary of what you can expect from this issue of the Global Fund Observer in the lead up to the first of 2022’s Global Fund Board meetings.
One has to feel sorry for the Global Fund Secretariat: all that immensely hard work on the plans to implement the Global Fund’s forthcoming Strategy 2023-2028 and still there are cries of dissatisfaction. But let’s be honest — no one would expect less, given the Strategy’s protracted labour and very painful birth. It is a Strategy unlike any before in the history of the institution, conceived in a time unlike any before when the world was in the grips of an unprecedented pandemic and all work was conducted remotely. And the same passion and fervour of its stakeholders that result in constructive criticisms (yes, they are constructive) about the proposed ‘how’ to implement the Strategy are the Global Fund’s strongest advocates for the excellent work it does.
Moreover, to be fair to the Secretariat, it has been extremely responsive to stakeholder requests for more debate on this important topic. A letter from the Board Chair and Vice-Chair on 20 April announced changes to the agenda to reflect the views of the stakeholders. Read article 2 on what to expect from the forthcoming Board meeting (First look: the upcoming Global Fund Board meeting agenda).
Article 3 (President Biden pledges for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment) looks at what President Biden’s pledge means for the Seventh Replenishment and if the 30% more that is requested of both donors and implementers can really be achieved in the current financial climate. Following on from this, our ‘From The Field’ article reports on the regional meeting of 19 sub-Saharan African countries and their regional approach to preparing their countries to support the Seventh Replenishment (Forging a common regional approach to the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment).
Then hold on to your hats because this is where things become more complicated. The next two articles describe the Secretariat’s plans for the new Strategy’s implementation (Getting to grips with the “How” of the forthcoming Global Fund Strategy implementation) and a summary, in article 6, of stakeholders’ views on the draft plans (Diverging views on plans for operationalizing the forthcoming Global Fund Strategy). The second has to be read in the light of the first — and you can see how complicated the first was that resulted in the views expressed in the second. Just as it was impossible to give you all the details of the implementation plans, as there were so many details, it was likewise impossible to cover all viewpoints. We hope we have done justice to most of them, and one area in which there was no divergence was the need for more discussion on the topic — to which the Board responded positively.
Our penultimate article summarizes the recent report from the Office of the Inspector General on an audit of Global Fund grants in Nigeria.
Finally, we end with a discussion of the role of the fiscal agents employed by the Global Fund in countries where grants’ financial activities require extra scrutiny (Is the Global Fund fiscal agent’s model fit for purpose or ready for a review?). This is such a difficult and emotive topic to report on, but one thing is clear: the time is ripe for the model to be reviewed. What do you think?
And to look forward to…
The Board will meet in early May. As is our custom, Aidspan will bring you a Special Edition of the GFO immediately following the closure of the meeting on 12 May covering the most important papers and all the decision points. BUT as there are so many important papers, too many to cover in one issue, we have decided to spoil you by publishing a Second Special Edition of GFO the week following the Board Meeting, on 19 May
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