The Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism evolution project prepares consultants at Casablanca workshop
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Article Number: 2
Technical assistance consultants will support 18 selected countries in the pilot phase
ABSTRACT At the dawn of the CCM evolution project’s in-country activities, the Global Fund's CCM hub organized a workshop in Morocco where consultants, who will support countries participating in the pilot, were oriented on the project’s objectives, approaches as well as roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders.
The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) hub of the Global Fund Secretariat organized a workshop in Casablanca, Morocco, from September 17 to 21, 2018, aimed to orient consultants who have been selected to support the 18 countries included in the pilot phase of the Global Fund’s CCM evolution project.
The group of more than 100 participants included consultants from the Global Fund’s four contracted technical assistance partners – the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Palladium, Chemonics, and Euro Health Group – as well as representatives of GIZ’s BACKUP Health Initiative, the French 5% Initiative, and others. The CCM evolution project itself has funded 15 of the 18 countries, and the German Cooperation GIZ BACKUP Health initiative has funded the other three countries. (See GFO article in this edition on GIZ technical assistance.)
The Secretariat/CCM hub opened the meeting by updating consultants on the key messages of the CCM evolution project and CCM-related policies. Those messages include:
- Positioning CCMs to achieve the 2017-2022 Global Fund Strategy
- CCM evolution rolled out using a phased approach
- The main purpose of the CCM evolution pilot phase (until December 2019) is to building an investment case for the Board meeting of November 2019
René-Frederic Plain, the CCM hub Manager, stated that the CCM evolution project brings “a broader ‘strategic’ perspective, beyond mere compliance, and a differentiated approach that considers contexts and maturity levels”. He added that this project requires “a shift of the mindset of stakeholders” involved in the Global Fund grants, particularly the Secretariat, CCMs, and providers of technical assistance. During the course of their work in-country, consultants should identify key influencers who will be ‘game changers’ – individuals working to make or facilitate rapid change at country level. Also, Plain affirmed that those involved in this project “recognize where change and innovation are needed […] and they are catalysts in this process.”
The workshop provided participants an opportunity to obtain detailed information on the content and implementation approach of the CCM evolution project, as well as on innovations it would bring to the countries. Participants were trained in relevant Global Fund policies and guidelines, including:
- The Board-approved CCM policy (formerly known as CCM guidelines and requirements), and the code of ethical conduct for CCM members as well as the funding of its implementation
- Updated CCM assessment tools and frameworks
- Challenging Operating Environment guidance note
- Sustainability, Transition and Co-financing guidance note
- Ethics – Code of Conduct
The training involved exercises, based on a country case study, to ensure participants understand and can respond to the needs of the countries they will support during the CCM evolution project. These exercises reinforce the need for the consultants to be creative and innovative.
During the workshop, participants received training on the four priority performance areas of CCM evolution. Those areas are CCM Functioning (including Oversight CCM Secretariat), Oversight, Linkages, and Engagement.
Below we provide some the detail on each of these four areas.
Four priority performance areas within CCM evolution
“CCM Functioning” (including Oversight CCM Secretariat) systematizes activities which have been demonstrated to improve CCM functioning, including:
- Offering each CCM a leadership training for its Executive committee members.
- Ensuring the Global Fund Secretariat (Country team and/or CCM Hub) participates in at least one CCM plenary meeting and 2 oversight committee meetings per year.
- Assessing and updating CCM Composition to include new stakeholders, including Ministry of Finance/Planning/Budget, etc. who can support sustainability of the national response.
- Training each CCM Secretariat on supporting functions and relevant processes and tools (especially for Transition Preparedness CCMs).
“Oversight” professionalizes the oversight function to maximize impact on grant performance by integrating the function with portfolio management. This performance area consists of:
- Funding an ‘Oversight Officer’ position within each CCM Secretariat (if this is not already the case); the officer’s role will be to support the oversight operations and risk management plan follow-up
- Funding a consultant to guide the CCM Oversight Committee in its process and dynamics
- Enabling the CCM/oversight committee to use strategic data for decision-making, in order to improve GF and national programs through, thorough “in-country review and dialogue”
- Equipping each CCM to follow up on a risk assurance plan
- Providing the opportunity to access technical support to support the transition (for Transition Preparedness CCMs).
The focus area “Linkages” maximizes the collaboration and coordination between the CCM and the other forums. On a case by case basis, the consultant together with the CCM will evaluate opportunities to integrate CCMs into national structures. Linkages activities consist of:
- Supporting each CCM to conduct an analysis of the existing coordinating platforms; such platforms can be health sector working groups
- Facilitating the first annual meeting of the CCM and the other platforms in order to agree upon a set of deliverables for the year
- Supporting each CCM to design the streamlining of CCM functions and Global Fund principles in a future coordination platform. In particular, for Transition Preparedness CCMs, it will be important to design how Civil Society can play a role in coordination and oversight after transitioning out of Global Fund funding.
The focus area “Engagement” facilitates the emergence of a strong and committed CCM leadership by ensuring better communication between CCM members and their constituency members, and includes:
- South-to-south exchanges
- Engagement with existing credible Community-based Monitoring models in different GF processes such as oversight, program reviews, CSOs’ engagement, funding requests, etc.
It is important to stress that the CCM evolution project offers those 18 CCMs involved in the pilot phase the opportunity and the responsibility to weigh in on the future of the CCMs and the Global Fund’s effectiveness. Future CCM strategy and policies will be decided upon by the Global Fund Board in November 2019.
The role of civil society in CCM evolution
The engagement of civil society is pivotal to the CCM evolution project. In the current CCMs, civil society and others mostly discuss the three diseases: HIV, TB and malaria. In the future, when CCMs have more linkages and greater engagement with existing platforms such as health sector working groups or development partners’ groups, there is a risk that the voice of civil society may be drowned. This could be avoided with a strong and meaningful civil society representation that, on the one hand, regularly seeks inputs and provides feedback to their constituencies, and on the other, can clearly articulate their constituencies’ issues and follow up on them; it is clear that there is a need for a stronger, more engaged and unified civil society.
Within the pilot group of 18 countries, there is an obvious focus on sub-Saharan African countries (they make up 11 of the 18 pilot countries), where more than 70% of Global Fund monies are invested. Those 11 countries are Burkina Faso, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda.
CCM evolution project key milestones
The following dates show windows of time for the implementation of major project milestones:
- June – Sept 2018: Finalizing materials and training of consultants for deployment
- September – December 2018: Baseline assessment and deployment of activities on the ground
- February – March 2019: Mid-term measurement of performance and reporting results to SC
- September 2019: Final performance measurement and compiling results to inform Global Fund Committees and Board
- October-November 2019: Committee and Board deliberations around funding priorities for next funding cycle
- 2020: Deployment of recommended options for the way forward for CCMs, to be confirmed by the Board in November 2019.
For further information, see the CCM evolution project pages on the Global Fund website. For other recent GFO articles on CCM evolution, see:
- Global Fund Board approves CCM evolution initiative (12 May 2018)
- Global Fund Board adopts a CCM policy and a new CCM Code of Conduct (12 May 2018)
- Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism aspires to become best-practice model for Global Fund’s CCM evolution initiative (2 October 2018)