(L-R: Tracy Staines, Head of Audit, OIG; Maurine Murenga, Vice Chair, Implementer Group, Global Fund Board; Allan Maleche, Board Member; Mouhamadou Diagne, Inspector General, The Global Fund; Joseph Chiu, Independent Consultant, Strategy, Policy & Governance)
April 16, 2018
NAIROBI – “We hope you are not here to tick the box that you met civil society in Kenya. We want to know when your draft audit report will be ready and if you can share it with us to ensure that what has been raised at this meeting has been captured. We want meaningful engagement for civil society and communities in Global Fund processes.”
These were the sentiments expressed by Grace Kamau Chairperson of Kenya key populations consortium during a civil society consultation in Nairobi between representatives of the Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria. The meeting that was organized by KELIN in partnership with the Developing Countries NGO Constituency to the Global Fund Board (DCNGO) was attended by over 30 civil society and community representatives.
Mr. Mouhamadou Diagne, the Global Fund’s Inspector General (IG), led a senior team of four during his first visit to Kenya for a country audit that is scheduled for 2018. In his response to the concern raised by Ms. Kamau Mr. Diagne responded:
“My office and team are not here to just tick the box, we value input from civil society and communities and have taken note of your concerns some of which are well within our mandate. We will share the draft audit report with the Kenyan Country Coordinating mechanism and through your CCM representatives you will have a chance to interrogate the document. We are open to having another dialogue when the team is back in May to share the findings.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the OIG to explain the mandate of his office, the Global Fund’s human rights complaints mechanism, and how Kenyan civil society can engage with the OIG more broadly and during the upcoming country audit. The OIG team also noted it welcomed the opportunity to listen and collect inputs that could inform the work ahead for its planned audit.
The meeting created a safe space for civil society to provide specific insights on the challenges they face in respect to the Global Fund grants, and suggestions to address the challenges. Some of the issues raised by the participants included:
i. Minimal investment of Global Fund grant money for advocacy by community-based organizations
ii. Tensions created by funding human rights and gender advocacy through government sub-recipients as opposed to civil society and community-based organizations, particularly when government agencies perpetuate human rights and gender challenges or inequities
iii. The attempt to use biometrics to collect key population data without putting in place the necessary safeguards
iv. The closing of civic space for civil society organizations broadly and those working in the HIV sector
v. The need for the OIG to consider partnerships with institutions such the HIV & AIDS Equity Tribunal and CSOs working on accountability & governance in the health sector to help in following up recommendations.
At the end of the meeting, Allan Maleche, Board Member DCNGO shared:
“We are pleased to have facilitated this meeting. It is in line with our six priorities that we set out early this year. We are committed to ensuring that community and civil society perspectives are heard by the top Secretariat officials of the Global Fund. We will continue to facilitate this kind of meeting and of course follow up to ensure that action points are deliberated and implemented. We encourage the Inspector General and Executive Director of the Global Fund, and their respective teams, to hold such consultations whenever they visit countries.”
By Allan Maleche
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