THE GLOBAL FUND’S 45TH BOARD MEETING TO MEET VIRTUALLY FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE THE PANDEMIC STARTED: IS THE TIME ADEQUATE ENOUGH FOR THE LEVEL OF DEBATE REQUIRED?
Aidspan teamArticle Type:
Article Number: 7
Will a virtual meeting format and packed agenda really allow enough time for discussion of some fundamentally important issues?
ABSTRACT As the Global Fund Board meets virtually for the third time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there are several key areas of interest up for discussion that indicate that it may not all be plain sailing. These include the outcomes of the Partnership Forums and their inputs into the new Strategy’s development, as well as discussion on the new Health Financing unit, and the Global Fund framework for sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment. But can these issues receive the attention they deserve in such limited circumstances?
On 11 and 12 May, for the third time in its history, the Global Fund Board will meet virtually for discussions, with the pre-Board meeting taking place on Monday 10 May followed by two afternoons of the Board meeting itself. Meetings are scheduled to take place over four and a half hours in the afternoon, Geneva time; this corresponds with later evening in South-East Asia but early morning in the Americas. If it has achieved little else, the pandemic has succeeded in cutting down the amount of time for discussion and streamlining has meant that members really need to focus to ensure their contributions are meaningful, given the short time for debate. But is the time allowed really sufficient, given the magnitude of some of the items to be discussed?
The Pre-Board meeting includes a ‘spotlight’ on health financing and a session on COVID-19 and Business Continuity; followed by the Community, Rights and gender (CRG) Annual Report, the second version of the Governance Performance Assessment and Governance Action Plan, and the Development of M&E and key performance indicators (KPI) frameworks: Focus on Independent Evaluation.
Board discussion topics by day, therefore, are divided up as follows:
Day 1 sessions cover the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) 2020 Annual Report and Annual Opinion on Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control; the Risk Management Report and Annual Opinion of the Chief Risk Officer, including an update on the review of the Risk Appetite Framework; and the Annual Report and Opinion of the Ethics Officer which covers an update on the Review of the Ethics and Integrity Framework, including the sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) framework.
Day 2 starts with the Operating Expenses Cap 2022. Thereafter, most of the remainder of the afternoon is devoted to the new Strategy Development, including the outcomes of the Partnership Forums, the inputs on the draft Strategy framework, including a range of strategy topics, and relevant inputs from the Technical Evaluation and Research Group (the TERG). This is followed by shorter sessions on the M&E and KPI frameworks: and governance matters.
The GFO will give a full report on the Global Fund Board Meeting in an extra edition of the GFO, which will be published after the Board meeting concludes, on 12 May 2021. This will be preceded by a Special Edition of the GFO to be published on 5 May 2021, with articles of interest relating to some of the topics that will be discussed at the Board meeting.