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Next week the Global Fund’s Board will hold its 50th meeting
GFO issue 440

Next week the Global Fund’s Board will hold its 50th meeting



Article Type:

Article Number: 2

We look at the final agenda

The tentative agenda for next week’s upcoming meeting of the Board has been released. Here we provide a brief summary of the discussion items for the Board’s 50th meeting to be held in Geneva from 14 to 16 November, with pre-Board virtual decisions to be made, pre-Board meetings and Constitency meetings held before the actual start of the meeting itself.


Following the committee meetings that took place in mid-October and reported on earlier in GFO 438 (Global Fund Committees are meeting this week), the Board has shared the draft agenda for its upcoming meeting next week in Geneva. This article summarizes the Board meeting agenda topics.


Proposed agenda for the 50th Board meeting


Pre-Board meetings will be held as follows:


Prior to the meeting itself, an electronic decision will be taken on the Privileges and Immunities Advisory Group Terms of Reference. Constituency Meetings and pre-Board sessions will be held on Sunday 12 and Monday 13 November.


Also on Monday, following Consitutency meetings, an in-person discussion will be held on Updates from the Technical Review Panel (TRP), based on a TRP report. The meeting will then discuss Governance and Committee Matters, covering: (i) a briefing on priority discussions at the 23rd Committee Meetings; and (ii) an overview of upcoming priorities at each Committee, including a focus on priority governance processes and initiatives, based on the Report of the Coordinating Group and Background Materials (Board and Committee Work Plans). The final session of the day will discuss an Update on Evaluation Matters based on the Board paper Evaluation Matters. That evening a welcome reception will take place at the Global Health Campus.


The Board meeting itself starts on Tuesday 14 November. Following Opening Remarks and Moment of Reflection (lighting of the candle) and Introductory remarks from Committee Chairs the agenda and rapporteur will be approved and Segment 1: Setting the Scene will be introduced by Peter Sands who will provide the Report of the Executive Director. This will be followed by Segment 2: Global Fund Strategy: Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7 (GC7). The topic of Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7 – Strategy: Primary Goal – HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria will encompass discussions on:

  • HIV: Discussion on progress and observations from grant-making (including Catalytic Investment (CI) funds), and key risks including in relation to human rights.
  • TB: Discussion on progress, observations from grant-making (including CI funds), reflections from the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) (we reported on this in GFO 437 and you can read the two articles here and here), and key risks.
  • Malaria: Discussion on progress and observations from grant- making; key risks; and a preview of the risk appetite decision on malaria program risk (and read this issue’s article 5 on malaria,
    Redefining strategies to address the multifaceted battle against malaria.
  • The session will draw on information from strategic performance reporting, TRP observations, country funding/CI updates, and risk reporting, all covered in the Committee meetings in October.


Reference documents include Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7, Strategic Performance Report (mid-2023) which we covered in the last GFO and you can read about it here, the Report of the Technical Review Panel  (see  article 3 in this GFO, Global Fund Technical Review Panel observations on funding requests from Windows 1, 2 and 3 which gives you a brief analysiss prior to the Board meeting), and the Risk Management Report, an important paper which is a key reference for many of the forthcoming Board sessions.


The second part of this segment, Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7 – Strategy: Mutually reinforcing contributory and evolving objectives, will be held that afternoon. It will cover issues such as:

  • Community, Rights and Gender: discussion on key themes arising from the Annual Report on CRG (noting human rights linkages to the HIV session above) covered in GFO 439 in our article Community Rights and Gender Annual Report.
  • Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health, Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and the Covid-19 Response Mechanism. Discussion on progress and observations from grant-making and CI preparations; key risks, linkages to C19RM, and an update on engagement with the Pandemic Fund (covered in GFO 439).
  • Health Financing.
  • Implementation of NextGen Market Shaping and an update on wambo.


Background documents for this session, which you can find online after the Board meeting, are Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7, Strategic Performance Report (mid-2023), Report of the Technical Review Panel, the Risk Management Report, the Annual Report on Community, Rights and Gender and the C19RM Monthly Update (Oct 2023).


The day ends with the final session in this Segment, Looking ahead to Grant Cycle 7 – Future oriented closing discussion.


On Wednesday 15 November, the day starts with Segment 3: Risk Oversight and Assurance.


The OIG Mid-2023 Progress Report will be discussed For Information based on reference documents OIG Progress Report (Mid-2023) and the Agreed Management Actions Progress Report. The next session covers Risk Management and Risk Appetite Statements: the Risk Management Report (For Information) including an update on approach to risk management at enterprise level; and an Amendment to the Risk Appetite Statements (Malaria Program Risk) which is For Decision and based on the following reference documents: the Risk Management Report and the Amendment to the Risk Appetite Statements.


Before the lunch break the Board will discuss the Updated Global Fund Approach to Blended Financing which is For Decision, based on the paper of the same title.


This is followed by two lunches – an ‘ordinary’ Lunch and an interestingly named Francophone Lunch (hopefully the difference will be explained!) as well as who is invited to which lunch and why! And they’ll have to be careful not to eat too much as the afternoon sessions will require some concentration as it is all about continuing with decision-making. Launching Segment 4: Financial Oversight, and still on items For Decision, the post-lunch session covers the 2024 Corporate Work Plan and Operating Expenses Budget, based on the paper of the same name. This is followed by the remaining For Decision item on Supply Operations. The Board will discuss an Update to Quality Assurance Policies based on two documents, the Revisions to Quality Assurance Policies and the Risk Management Report. Readers who want to know more about this should read our article in GFO 439 , Global Fund Strategy Committee recommends Quality Assurance Policy Updates to the Board which provides a good summary of the importance of the proposed changes to the two policies and their combination into one sole policy.


The day’s final session, For Information, is on Co-Financing when the Secretariat will update the Board on the strategic objectives of co-financing approaches; experiences of implementation in Grant Cycles 5 and 6 (data governance, incentives, policy visibility, policy implementation and roles and responsibilities, available data); improvements introduced for GC7 and emerging data. The background paper, an Update on Co-Financing, will be reviewed in next week’s Board issue of the GFO.


The final day of the Board meeting, Thursday 16 November, starts with Segment 5: Strategy Oversight Matters and a For Information session on Climate and Health. Delegates will discuss a summary of the climate crisis, the human health impact of climate change and its impact on the Global Fund mission; and an update on Global Fund actions and the way forward. There will also be linkages to the Malaria discussion on Day 1 of the Board meeting. The two reference documents are Climate and Health and the Risk Management Report. For more details, see our article in GFO 439 Global Fund’s Strategy Committee discusses the detrimental effects of the climate crisis on the fight against disease.


This will be followed by a session on Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs). For more on this, see our article in GFO 438 on the OIG audit of Country Coordinating Mechanisms, which covers many of the topics to be discussed at the Board. Delegates will listen to: an update on how CCMs are supporting the Strategy’s implementation; progress on the CCM Evolution Strategic Initiative (SI) and approach to continuing the Evolution process beyond the end of the SI at the end of 2023; Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit outcomes and how these are being addressed; readout from the informal CCM Working Group and the next steps. Discussion will be based on two reports, Country Coordinating Mechanisms  and the aforementioned Risk Management Report.


The final session is Segment 6: Resource Mobilization and Partnerships. An Update on Resource Mobilization for the purposes of information will cover lessons from the Seventh Replenishment campaign and, finally, an update on the ongoing resource mobilization strategy based on the background document Update on Resource Mobilization.


The Closing Session of the Board Meeting will be held before lunch and will focus on Governance priorities and Acknowledgements.


The GFO will provide a full report on the Global Fund Board Meeting in its post-Board special edition, which will be published after the Board meeting concludes on 16 November 2023.


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