Developing Countries’ NGOs Heard, at 34th Board Meeting

Geneva, November 2015

The 34th Board Meeting opened on the heels of one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, France – where over 100 people died. The Board acknowledged the lives lost and impacted by the act of violence. In addition, The Eastern and Central Africa Delegation led the Board in remembering the lives of those affected and impacted by AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – the reason for our convening.

Joint 3CS leadership and members meeting

The leadership of the CS and Communities Delegations of the Board, met in its usual coalition to find common ground and areas in which to support decision-making at the 34th Board Meeting. The Delegations identified their key issues for advocacy at the Board; The enhanced governance structure and Strategy committee size (Communities), The Global Fund Replenishment and Absorption Capacity (Developed), Market Shaping Strategy, Transitioning (Developing). The Delegation discussed ways in which the Delegations could strategically plan its meetings and future retreats. Ton Coenen, Board Member of the Developed Country NGO Delegation, reminded colleagues of his departure and he was extended with well wishes.

Implementer Group (ImG) Meeting

Aida Kurtovic, Vice Chair, encouraged the Board to send in documents for feedback to the Board in between board meetings and to comment on documents before board meeting starts. She also challenged the Board to be persistent in following up on issues, and to use the Board retreats for providing stronger discussion and giving direction to the Secretariat.

Allan Maleche, ImG Chair, led the Implementers in his first meeting as Chair. As the Vice Chair was unable to attend the meeting, he chaired the meeting alone. The Strategic Framework and allocation methodology were discussed first. The members of the ImG indicated support for the Framework, and an overall agreement to not pursue additional changes due to the fear of opening up the framework for discussion and risk losing key elements, especially for human rights. The Allocation methodology was for discussions only. The Delegation flagged the need for the Allocation methodology to reject World Bank country income classifications – as it is damaging to countries. It was reiterated that the results of the Equitable Access Initiative must be taken into account for the Allocation Methodology as well as the Strategy.

Later, Christoph Benn (External Relations) presented The Global Fund’s replenishment case to the Implementers. The Developed Country NGO Delegation proposed a decision point on replenishment that would signal increased engagement of Board members in replenishment processes.

The Transitional Governance Committee’s recommendation for the enhanced governance structure received mixed reception from Implementers. The Delegation pushed for the 20-member Strategy Committee, along with the Civil Society and Communities’ Delegations.

The Developing Country NGO Delegation presented a case for resource mobilization for the ImG itself. The working group set up to develop the proposal continued to develop the proposal, which would have TB HIV care Association serving as fiscal agent for this expense.

Allan ended the meeting, after chairing for 4 consecutive hours. The ImG meeting ended with the Delegates forming small working groups to work on the Market Shaping Strategy, the Replenishment Decision Point, and the advocacy around the Transitional Governance Committee’s Recommendations.

Key Pre-Meeting Session with TERG and TRP

The Delegation and Board applauded the decline in HIV incidence and AIDS related mortality, worldwide. Edona Deva raised the issue that targets must be set against ending the epidemics not only on our own targets. Jorge Saavedra reiterated the stance that the Allocation model needs reviewing and the World Bank income classification should not be a part of the revised methodology. The TERG report supported the idea of a revised methodology, with nuanced indicators. Delegation colleagues intervened for The Global Fund to operationalize suitability and transition mechanisms throughout grants – not just part of a one-time transitioning plan.

The TERG raised the recommendation that TGF should move towards country-owned strategic plans being the primary basis for funding with less emphasis on the tedious concept note. On that point, Jae Nelson highlighted that, while this is a good idea, Country Strategic plans do not always align with TGF. And so, TGF should invest in providing supporting for building sound strategic plans, TGF has a responsibility to invest in this and use its leverage to make it happen.

Latin American and Caribbean Delegation to The Board

The LAC members from our Delegation were invited to attend the meetings of The LAC Constituency. The engagement sought to present an opportunity for sharing priority issues as well as build concensus for the enhanced governance structure.

The LAC Delegation also highlighted the need and opportunities to strengthen regional advocacy around resource mobilization for The Global Fund both domestically and via high-net-worth individuals, including several noted celebrities as well as onboard ministers of finance in the response.

The Office of the Inspector General

The DCNGO requested audience with the OIG, to discuss recent country level audit reports and the opportunities they may pose for us to educate NGOs on their rights and responsibilities in the investigation processes as well as minimizing risks associated with global fund grants. Other Board Colleagues were invited to the session due to increased interest in OIG matters – stimulated from a charged Board table presentation of Mr. Diagne.

The Delegation sought to discuss conflict of interest issues related to the reporting relationship of CCM members who may be governance officials. We presented he case that the ability of governance officials to oversee the Secretariat and its leadership creates a conflict in itselfwhen the Secretariat oversees the officials during country processes, ex. CCMs.

The OIG made the following points:

  • The nature of the Global fund is a public Private partnership
  • Such a partnership, with all stakeholders involved, increases the potential for conflict
  • The model of The Global Fund is inherent for conflicts of interest
  • The Board and its officials need not be afraid of these conflicts
  • We cannot solve all of them. We should work at mitigating conflicts where they exist and being more open to discussing them.
  • The IG can assist by providing or adding to the list of potential conflicts of interest
  • What risks and trade offs are we willing to take?

The United States and Private Sector

The meetings focused on Sustainability and transitioning, replenishment, KPIs, The allocation methodology and the governance structure recommendations by the transitional governance committee. While the United States government has supported a strategy composition of the Board (20), the spirit and appetite of the Donor Bloc did not reflect their sentiments. There was also not enough for a blocking minority in either Bloc. The USA sought to identify compromises, including the inclusion of observes to committee meetings. Private Sector was open to a 20-member Strategy Committee. They also lacked the support.

Both delegations agreed that sustainability and transitioning policies were needed, but felt sufficient work had started and encouraged CS Delegations to request the statistics from The Secretariat to support the realities on the ground.

 

Major Votes and Decisions Taken and Delegation’s Position

Update from the Executive Director and Board Chairs with Key Achievements

The Delegation presented its feedback to the Executive Director via email correspondence to the full Board. We commented on Mark’s focus on Civil Society and women and girls. The Director acknowledged our input at the table. The focus on women and girls as well as youth and adolescent health was supported by several Delegations at the table. EMRO region raised awareness to the challenging operating environments in which they work and the impact of violence and terrorism on women and girls.

The French Delegation used the opportunity to express its commitment to The Global Fund, saying, “We should be proud of being part of the family of The Global Fund.”

European Commission called for the Board Chairs define the roles of the Board Chair and Vice Chair. The Board Chairs expressed however that their responsibilities are best worked as a team and not split responsibility. Otherwise, their jobs would not be feasible as volunteers.

Approval of 2016 KPI Targets

After consultations with Board colleagues and reviewing the 2016 performance targets, the DCNGO supported the opposition by The United States Government, and other donors, to object the approval of 2016 KPI Targets. Clearer and more specific targets were requested to supplement the decision. The Delegation insisted that KPI 12 related to human rights also be clearer, with measurable targets and more comprehensive markers with which to measure human rights breaches as well as progress. This information will be shared with the Board in December for approval by January 6. However the updated KPI 12 information will be shared with the Board at the 35th Board Meeting.

Market Shaping Strategy

The Delegation played a key role in prioritizing the Market Shaping Strategy (MSS) for the Implementer Group and coordinated introducing Decision Point changes thus ensuring that MSS is clear in articulating support for using TRIPS flexibilities. Following the concerns expressed by several constituencies of the Implementer Group, Andriy Klepikov was assigned on behalf of Developing Country NGO Delegation to develop alternative wording. A small working group was formed, which also included Asia Russel, Kerstin Akerfeldt and others. Informal consultations were conducted with other Delegations.

The group developed a friendly amendment, after several consultations with Implementers and Donors and an “informal” meeting of the SIIC meeting. Negotiations continued till the very last moment. The MMS was even pushed forward on the agenda. The result of the persistent position of the Delegation, helped introduced critical changes in the wording of the Market Shaping Strategy (attached).

Governance Structure

It was a challenging discussion point for the entire Board. The Delegation raised the concern of the reporting chain between CCM members who are Board governance officials and the Secretariat. The Delegation also fought for a 20-member strategy committee – one that is representative of the Board. The Board did not have an appetite for a Strategy Committee of 20 members. The arguments against, spoke to an unmanageable committee size and structure and the impact to the OPEX budget.

The Board conceded that observers are be a viable option, but was unable to come to terms on the conditions in which observers were to be permitted to committee meetings. The delegation provided input into the exceptional circumstances making this permissible. The Delegation supported the observer status, highlighting still our support for full representation on the Committee. This is the least possible way to full engagement and input to this committee with key role and responsibility.

 

 

Strategy Framework

The delegation expressed its appreciation for the thorough consultations employed by the Secretariat, in developing the framework for The Global Fund’s new Strategy. Despite this progress and effort, the Delegation expressed its hope for an even greater and targeted human rights emphasis. The Board supported this thought. The decision was made as well, that the Delegation would place great care and emphasis in advancing the narrative that would accompany the Framework.

Closing

In closing, the Board leadership acknowledged the work of the members and their openness to have challenging and frank discussions, despite tough disagreements. Aida Kurtovic, Vice Chair invited Hristijan to lead the board in remembering Ria Grant and her contributions to the Board and the Global fight against the three diseases. With her image projected against the canvas screens of the Boardroom, Hristijan, supported by Allan, recalled our colleague and friend – the sentiment was warmly received.

Participating Members at the 34th Board Meeting

  1. Mr. Hristijan Jankuloski, Board Member, Finance and Operational Performance Committee Member

Executive Director, HOPS (Healthy Options Project Skopje), Macedonia

  1. Mr. Allan Maleche, Alternate Board Member, & Implementer Group Chair

Executive Director, KELIN, Kenya

  1. Mr. Jomain McKenzie

Communications Focal Point

  1. Dr. Jorge Saavedra, Transitional Governance Committee Member

Global Ambassador, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Mexico

  1. Ms. Loretta Wong, Board Member & Implementer Bloc Vice Chair

Senior Director of Advocacy and Partnerships, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Hong Kong

  1. Mr. Jae Nelson

Policy and Advocacy Manager, JFLAG, Jamaica

  1. Dr. Edona Deva

The Global Fund HIV Program Manager, Community Development Fund, Kosovo

  1. Mr. Pavel Aksenov

Director, Non-Profit Partnership “ESVERO” Russian Harm Reduction Network

  1. Dr. Andriy Klepikov

Executive Director HIV/AIDS Alliance, Ukraine

 

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