A webinar was organised and hosted by W4GF on October 29, 2015 for W4GF advocates and partners to have an update on the new Global Fund Strategic Framework 2017 – 2022. 12 participants, including three Global Fund Secretariat staff attended the webinar, which covered the following:

  • Global Fund Strategy 2017 – 2021
    • Updates from the Global Fund Secretariat on the new Global Fund Strategy 2017 – 2021 – what is different!
    • Highlights on key focuses on gender equality and women and girls
    • FAQ on presentation
  • Discussions to identify further opportunities for improvement within the framework
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) endorsement and what does it mean to operationalise the framework
  • Next steps and actions.

Discussion

1.    Process to develop the new Global Fund Strategy

The process to develop the new Global Fund Strategy (2017 – 2022) began in Nov 2014 with analytical work and consultations with technical partners. This was followed by broad based inputs and consultations some of which included:

  • Gender Experts Meeting, February 2015
  • Human Rights Reference Group Meeting, March 2015
  • IWHC Gender Consultation – online survey and consultation – New York, March 2015
  • ICASO/ICSS Strategy Consultation Meeting – Amsterdam, April 2015
  • OSF Strategy Consultation – Barcelona, April 2015
  • Addis Ababa Partnership Forum and Community and CS pre-meeting, May 2015
  • W4GF Advocacy Brief
  • GFAN Asia Pacific Strategy Consultation Meeting, May 2015
  • MSM Global Forum Strategy Meeting, May 2015
  • Bangkok Partnership Forum and Community and CS pre-meeting, June 2015
  • Communities Del and EHRN EECA Community and Civil Society Meeting – Moldova, July 2015
  • Global ICASO/ICSS Strategy Consultation – Online at sub-regional level x 8
  • EECA Strategy Consultation Meeting – Istanbul, July 2015
  • LAC Partnership Forum and Community and CS pre-meeting
  • Key Populations Expert Meeting – Mid-August 2015
  • Youth Experts Meeting – October 2015
  • The Global Fund Secretariats primary platforms for consultation were the three Partnership Forums.
  • At the upcoming Global Fund Board meeting the Board will approve the high-level goals, strategic objectives and sub objectives of the new Framework. The full substantive Global Fund Strategy will not be approved until April 2016.Summary: Key priority areas from civil society on gender

2.     Summary: Key priority areas from civil society on gender

  • Invest in interventions to address structural and rights issues such as gender-based violence and property and inheritance rights
  • Invest in building the capacity of community organizations of women and girls to more effectively engage in country dialogues, concept note development and Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs).
  • Strengthen country collection of gender and age disaggregated data and ensure gender-specific indicators (from technical partners) into the Global Fund’s core list of indicators.
  • Ensure that the Global Fund institutional understanding of gender extends beyond women and girls, and that all related Key performance indicators (KPIs) and policy and implementation actions include considerations for male, female, and transgender members of key populations.
  • Promote and fund HIV, TB, and malaria programming with strong links to sexual and reproductive health services and advocacy, including all four pillars of PMTCT interventions.
  • Provide peer-led technical support and capacity development to community organisations and networks led by women and adolescents on gender transformative approaches to addressing the three diseases.
  • Increase the visibility of gender equality and women and girls in Global Fund’s communications, advocacy materials, presentations, and speeches by senior members of the Secretariat and Board Members.
  • Community Systems Strengthening (CSS)
    • A cross cutting recommendation on CSS was to expand focused interventions on addressing human rights and gender equality, capacity development programs for community and civil society to access Global Fund resources for women from key populations.
  • Human rights
    • Scale up programs to address stigma and discrimination at health care settings, police abuse and violence as well as gender-based violence against key and vulnerable populations; increase access to justice through legal literacy campaigns, legal aid and services. Recognise and support the critical nature of programs, which work to advocate against harmful socio-cultural practices, and norms that exacerbate vulnerability to the three diseases.
    • Ensure Global Fund work on human rights encompasses not only key populations but also others facing rights violations that increase vulnerability to the three diseases, especially women and girls.
  • Key populations
    • Disaggregate all data by sex, age, and gender identity and by key population and ensure separation of data on MSM and transgender populations.
    • Ensure that human rights and ethical considerations are central to all data collection processes and systems.
  • Access to treatment
    • Identify and address rights-related and practical barriers to equitable access to treatment and services such as discrimination in health facilities; parental or spousal consent requirements; mobility-related barriers; and lack of affordable, accessible, and quality sexual and reproductive health services.

3.    Draft Strategic Framework

The draft Strategic Framework “Investing to End Epidemics” will be presented to the Board for discussion and approval outlines four objectives with sub objectives (those in red have gender dimensions that need to be considered)

3. 1 Maximize Impact through Tailored Investments

Innovative approaches to meet diverse country needs are essential to accelerate the end of the epidemics

  1. Scale-up evidence-based interventions for the highest burden countries with the lowest economic capacity and for key and vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the three diseases
  2. Evolve the allocation model and processes for greater impact, including innovative approaches tailored to country needs
  3. Support grant implementation success based on impact, effectiveness, risk analysis and value-for-money
  4. Improve effectiveness in challenging operating environments through innovation, increased flexibility and partnerships
  5. Support sustainable responses for epidemic control and successful transitions

3.2  Build Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health

Strengthening systems for health is critical for global health progress and to accelerate the end of the epidemics

  1. Strengthen community responses and systems
  2. Support maternal, child, reproductive, and adolescent health and platforms for integrated service delivery
  3. Strengthen procurement, global and in-country supply chain systems
  4. Leverage critical investments in human resources for health
  5. Strengthen country capacity for data collection, analysis, and use to support program quality, efficiency, evidence and rights-based programming

3.3 Promote and Protect Human Rights and Gender Equality

Promoting and protecting human rights and gender equality is required to accelerate the end of the epidemics

  1. Scale-up programs to support women and girls
  2. Invest to reduce gender- and age-related disparities in health
  3. Introduce and scale-up programs that remove human rights barriers to accessing HIV, TB and malaria services
  4. Integrate human rights considerations throughout the grant cycle and in policies and policy-making processes
  5. Support meaningful engagement of key and vulnerable populations and networks in Global Fund-related processes

3.4  Mobilize Increased Resources

Increased programmatic and financial resources from diverse sources are needed to accelerate the end of the epidemics

  1. Attract additional financial and programmatic resources for health from current and new public and private sources
  2. Support countries to increase domestic resource mobilization
  3. Implement and partner on market shaping efforts that increase access to affordable, quality-assured key medicines and technologies
  4. Support efforts to stimulate innovation and facilitate the rapid introduction and scale-up of cost-effective health technologies and implementation models.

Discussion on the Framework

  • This is the first time that any Global Fund Strategy has elevated gender equality to a strategic objective.
  • The challenge will be how this Framework becomes operational and how it impacts peoples lives in country.
  • In Section 2b there was a language change from the previous version which now reads “Support maternal, child, reproductive, and adolescent health and platforms for integrated service delivery”. There was advocacy around keeping adolescents in the Strategic Framework – and a growing focus on how the Global Fund supports adolescents (separated out from children) as deaths in this group are increasing. The Strategy also tries to align the language with the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in the previous versions the language was more concentrated on PMTCT and now it has expanded to include reproductive, and adolescent health integrated service delivery.
  • Some felt that ‘maternal health’ should be ‘women’s health’ and it will be interesting to see if the Board approves this.  The Nordics and Point 7 Delegations as well as the US government lobbied to expand the focus, as everyone deserves to have comprehensive access to sexual and reproductive health services. It is important to look at where this sits in the Framework, which is about building resilient and sustainable systems for health and platforms for innovative service delivery.
  • Whilst we are advocating gender equality the Global Fund is supposed to focus on HIV, TB and malaria and this Framework really provides the direction for where investments will be made for women and girls.

4.     Operalisation of the Strategic Framework

Once adopted the Global Fund will start to focus on Strategy operalisation through the following – all under way in the next six months:

  • Designing indicators on gender equity and scale-up of programs for women and girls, and setting base line
  • Review data collection and analysis systems to ensure sex and age disaggregated data is available in a differentiated approach
  • Strengthening partnerships with UNAIDS, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women to provide technical support at country level on specific interventions to address gender-related barriers to services; and UNAIDS and Stop TB Partnership to facilitate undertaking of gender assessments to inform the National Strategic Plan (NSP) development processes
  • Review existing performance framework to integrate approaches to address gender-related risk and barriers to services, and align organisational policies and information tools – the information notes will be updated and aligned to the new Strategy.  This also includes revising the modular framework around the concept note submission to reflect priorities in the new Strategy.

Discussion

  • The Global Fund has been working with the Karolinska Institute to do this in line with existing indicators and technical partner goals to address what countries can produce realistically. This briefing paper will be available in the next month and then a webinar will follow to discuss the indicators, which will also guide investments. We have to have a realistic – KPIs are not going to fix everything unless we have strong buy in from civil society and country partners. How could civil society support the KPI collection in country?
  • The Framework – only going to the Board for approval in three weeks so it is not clear how this will actually change on the ground and how resources will be allocated. This will happen in the next six months to a year following approval. The perspectives of Women4GlobalFund advocates will be critical in all of this.
  • Community Delegations made an important recommendation on the potential to develop guidance and parameters on an effective country dialogue process and really understanding what is working and what is not – Part of rolling out the new Strategy will be to undertake an assessment of what is working/not working in countries dialogues and then moving towards better supporting community engagement.
  • Another example would be around simplifying access to funding for community organisations – associated internally with differentiation and what the Global Fund can do to make sure resources are more accessible to conduct advocacy or provide services – the next 15 months will be focused on operalisation.
  • The timeline does not go beyond the Board approval – the Strategy Framework does not provide anything around the operalisation – this will be seen with the KPI Framework. The Board needs to approve the strategy before the KPI discussion can begin. In April next year there will be draft KPIs and the final approval of corporate and operational KPIs will be made in November 2016.
  • The Strategy starts in 2017 and so 2016 will be reserved for planning for operalisation.

5.    Next Steps

  • If anything is missing and key please do raise this through the Board Delegations and constituencies as the Board approves the strategy and not the secretariat. This is just the strategic framework and the next phase will bring life and substance to this framework. 

The webinar was hosted by the W4GF Secretariat – Ms Rachel Ong (Global Coordinator) and Ms Sophie Dilmitis (Programme Coordinator); and attended by 12 participants: Elisa Canqui, Bolivia; Tyler Crone, Athena; Mr Martin-Mary Falana (Kids & Teens Resource Centre, Nigeria); Ebony Johnson, Athena; Sakunthala Mapa, IPPF; Alex Murphy, Athena; Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service; Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga, REDBOL; Rachel Yassky, Athena; and Resource people from the Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) department from the Global Fund Secretariat included Heather Doyle, Senior Technical Advisor on gender, Ms Motoko Seko (Gender Advisor) and Mr David Traynor (Advisor to the CRG Department).