Global Fund Strategy Committee prepares for November’s Board meeting
Article Number: 1
This issue of the Global Fund Observer comes only a week after the last one to bring you the latest updated information on last week’s Strategy and other Committee meetings. We also look at the report of the Global Health Initiatives research and an Office of the Inspector General audit of grants in Namibia.
Last week we summarized the Strategy and other Committee agendas for you and this week we report on some of the discussions on key issues which took place, and give you a flavour of some of the stakeholder feedback on these discussions.
At last week’s Strategy Committee the Secretariat presented the Global Fund’s mid-year 2023 performance based on selected key performance indicators for the Strategy period 2017 to 2022 (Article 2 on Global Fund Strategic Performance up to mid-2023). This tells us that there is still progress to be achieved in key performance indicators (KPIs) related to generating and using country data. And targets from both Global Fund and domestic funding of interventions aimed at key populations and human rights programming show divergence. However, KPIs for which the Global Fund has high accountability are on track.
Reimagining the future of GHIs, our third article, looks at the Global Health Initiatives project reported on in GFO 434 which you can read about here. It is a study report by five universities. It is evidently written from recipient countries’ perspectives and we feel it shows a lack of understanding of the rationale for GHI policies and procedures and what actually happens in reality. The report’s recommendations are weak on: (a) what needs to be done at national level to permit changes at the GHI level; and (b) the inherent dangers of the proposals. But read it and see what you think! One thing is for sure, it is a contentious report which will divide opinion and generate discussion – and, after all, isn’t that one of the points of research?
Going back to the SC, Article 4, Global Fund Strategy Committee recommends Quality Assurance Policy Updates to the Board is an important topic as it explains the merging of two existing policies into one, updated to take account of what will need to be done to ensure we meet the goals of the new Strategy. And the next article also covers an important topic for moving into the new grant cycle 7 (GC7) implementation phase, that of evaluation (Strategy Committee discusses an update on evaluation matters and the 2024 work plan).
We then move on to the latest report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), on Global Fund Grants to the Republic of Namibia. It’s good news about Namibia’s progress in fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria and the increasingly effective role of community interventions (although much still remains to be done). However, OIG expresses concern about the unreliability of reported information – an issue relevant to what we have to say about the study report on Global Health Initiatives above – and OIG notes that gains from the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Strategic Initiative have not been sustained – an issue relevant to our article last week on the OIG audit of CCMs.
Next, we discuss the Global Fund’s efforts in strengthening global pandemic preparedness through Pandemic Fund partnership. We have published several articles relating to the Global Fun’s engagement with the relatively new Pandemic Fund, a collaboration that is proving to be far from simple but the Global Fund is nonetheless persisting, as the stakes are high. The Secretariat presented insights gained from the Global Fund’s participation in the Pandemic Fund’s First Call for Proposals. Additionally, a suggestion was made to consider a pilot program for the Global Fund’s collaboration with the Pandemic Fund during its Second Call for Proposals.
Our article on climate and health (Global Fund Strategy Committee report highlights the detrimental effects of the climate crisis on the fight against disease) describes an important unprecedented thematic discussion which took place on the links between climate and health. This was based on the Secretariat’s report highlighting an overview of the climate emergency, its impact on human health and on the Global Fund’s mission, as well as the various actions undertaken by the Global Fund to address it.
Finally, we end with a brief summary of the Community, Rights and Gender Annual Report which describes how the CRG department is working to operationalize the CRG priorities of the Global Fund Strategy, especially through community-led monitoring. These priorities are crucial not only for addressing the challenges posed by disease but also for countering the growing threats from anti-rights and anti-gender movements targeting vulnerable populations globally. This article explores the critical CRG aspects of the Global Fund’s Strategy, emphasizing its initiatives to empower communities, remove barriers, and advance inclusive health programs.
This is a bumper issue of the GFO and we hope you enjoy it. If you do, and find the GFO relevant to your work, please encourage your colleagues to subscribe!
Don’t forget: if you are aware of an interesting development relevant to disease programmes or health systems and that you feel is worthy of global discussion, do let us know together with the name of a person prepared to write about this (or we might even do it ourselves if you ask us nicely!). Suggestions and comments can be sent to us, Ida Hakizinka or Arlette Campbell White in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
The Aidspan Editorial Team