THE GLOBAL FUND’S 44TH BOARD MEETING WILL DISCUSS ITS NEXT STRATEGY AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY AMID COVID-19
Djesika AmendahArticle Type:
Article Number: 6
The Global Fund’s upcoming Board meeting will be its second by video conference
ABSTRACT The Global Fund’s Board will conduct its statutory biannual meeting virtually for the second time in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the draft meeting agenda, the meeting is scheduled to last two days preceded by two days of pre-board meetings on 9 and 10 November.
The Global Fund will hold its second statutory biannual Board meeting on 11 and 12 November by video conference. The meeting comprises two sessions of about four hours each day. While it will be afternoon in Geneva, the starting time will correspond to early evening in South-East Asia but morning in the Americas. The meeting will be preceded by two days of pre-board meetings on 9 and 10 November.
The Board members will discuss many priorities that were on the 43rd Board meeting agenda as well: the appointment of the new Inspector General, which is a governance-related priority, updates from the Global Fund’s Executive Director and the Office of the Inspector General, the COVID-19 situation and response, and updates on the development of the next Global Fund Strategy. This Board meeting will also discuss the 2021 corporate work plan and the budget for operating expenses, which is usually discussed in the November meeting.
The Global Fund Secretariat shared its Indicative Agenda for the meeting. The draft lists three deliverables: decisions – in-session and electronic: routine reporting for information – in-session and electronic: and scheduled updates for information based on key priorities, past Board decisions, and discussions.
Issues for decisions
The Board members have already voted electronically on the extension of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) and Operational Flexibilities for COVID-19. Electronic voting on whether to expand the Global Fund procurement platform, Wambo.org, for COVID-19 products and whether to provide the exceptional funding to Venezuela for the third time, considering that the ongoing health crisis in that country, is still in progress. (Venezuela was a high-income country and was not eligible for Global Fund grants. It has since been classified a middle-income country amid a political and economic crisis.) The meeting will vote on the appointment of the Inspector General, a matter that the Inspector General Nomination Committee has been handling since its formation in May 2020. The Board will also vote on target setting and adjustments to indicators, which the Strategy Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee, respectively, discussed and approved during their September 2020 meetings.
Some of the Board sessions, such as the Executive Director’s report, will be conducted live. Others will be pre-recorded with constituencies having sent written inputs. Three reports will feature among the pre-recorded sessions: The Strategic Performance Report – 2020 mid-year results by the Strategic Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee; the Technical Review Panel Report and an update from the Technical Evaluation Reference Group presented by the Strategic Committee.
The risk management report and the update on resource mobilization will be pre-recorded. The Executive Director will later highlight some of the content in those reports.
Scheduled updates and priority discussion topics
Two updates and priority discussions about COVID-19 and business continuity, and the development of the next Global Fund strategy will occur live.
The COVID-19 and business continuity update will focus on the Global Fund’s response, including reporting flexibilities and exceptional decisions. This topic will also touch on the risk management report, COVID-19 risk assessment, and resource mobilization. For the next strategy, participants will discuss three overarching topics: Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH)/Universal Health Coverage (UHC), global health security, and the partnership model. The Global Fund aims to hold the Partnership Forums in the first quarter of 2021 and to have an approved framework in summer (June to August) 2021.
The other two updates and priority discussions will take place during the pre-board sessions. The Ethics and Governance Committee will offer a report on governance performance assessment and interactive training on ethics, culture, and the governance officials’ code of conduct.
The GFO will give a full report on the Global Fund Board Meeting in the next edition of the GFO, which will be published after the Board meeting concludes on 12 November 2020.