Global Fund implementers meeting: opportunities and challenges

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Global Fund implementers meeting: opportunities and challenges

17 November 2011

(L to R): The Vice-Chair of the Global Fund Policy and Strategy Committee, Todd Summers, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Minister of Health of Eritrea, Amina Nurthussein Abdelkadir and Minister of Health of Ghana, Joseph Yieleh Chireh.

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has initiated a number of actions and processes to strengthen its oversight and accountability mechanisms. These new processes will be discussed at the upcoming 25th Global Fund Board meeting that will take place in Accra, Ghana from 21 – 22 November 2011.

Ahead of the Board meeting, UNAIDS, in collaboration with WHO and Stop TB Partnership, convened a two day consultation with implementers of Global Fund programmes in Nairobi, Kenya from 3 - 4 November. This consultation was called to create a platform for implementers to discuss the changes taking place within the Global Fund, to help shape this transformation and contribute to the increased ownership and effective implementation of the reforms.

In his opening speech, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé stressed the need for a strong and vibrant Global Fund. “We live times of what can be considered turbulent change, but with change comes the opportunity,” said Mr Sidibé. “The opportunity to refine grant architecture, improve governance structures and prioritise activities to improve and accelerate results.”

During the meeting, participants considered the Global Fund 2012-2015 Strategy as well as the Consolidated Transformation Plan (CTP), which is a concrete set of actions developed from the High Level Panel report. Discussions and debates focused on how to input into these documents in order to maximize the Global Fund´s efficiency, enhance country ownership and establish effective systems for mutual accountability.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the implementers to develop an informed voice to influence processes as they move forward as well as to actively participate and contribute to the discussions around: Defining ownership; Simplifying the Global Fund’s architecture; Addressing prioritisation; and Improving accountability and effectiveness.

“Defining country ownership is key,” said Kandasi Walton-Levermore, Chair of the Jamaican Country Coordinating Mechanism. “It means owning all aspects of the national AIDS response, not just owning a Global Fund grant."

One of the outcomes of the meeting was a document capturing the common positions of the implementers, including recommendations on how to go forward.  This document will be used as the unifying voice of all implementing partners during the upcoming Global Fund Board meeting.