W4GF shares the final workshop report available here from the W4GF workshop held on “Strengthening Capacity of Women’s and Gender Equality Advocates to Effectively Participate in Global Fund Country Processes under the New Strategy” in Johannesburg, South Africa from 12 -14 December 2016.

The workshop took place at a critical and opportune time – just before the Global Fund notified countries of base allocation amounts for the 2017–2019 funding cycle. This funding cycle is the first to be rolled out under the new Global Fund 2017–2022 Strategy, which includes the top-level Strategic Objective “Promote and Protect Human Rights and Gender Equality”.

Some of the key challenges identified by W4GF advocates on day one of the workshop included:

  • Difficulty women’s networks face in accessing global funding and how women in all our diversity, are not able to access the Global Fund;
  • In many contexts community voices are not strong or recognised and not coordinated enough – Although some CCM members advocate for gender and human rights, there is not yet enough overall support to make sure these priorities are reflected in national documents or funding requests;
  • Youth do not have a voice and their involvement and representation on CCMs and most other Global Fund and disease-response structures is minimal;
  • Global Fund templates are not friendly to community groups and systems. They are one-size-fits-all, and we are diverse and different;
  • Governments continue to marginalise key populations and seek to remove them from all frameworks related to the disease responses. This is part of overall efforts to deal more harshly with people from key populations socially, legally and economically. With Global Fund processes, for example, health ministries say they work with key populations, but in reality they do not—which means little or no money is made available for their needs;
  • Governments have limited understanding of what the Global Fund is. This is a key reason it does not prioritise the most effective interventions or comply with important policies and procedures;
  • HIV is prioritised far more than TB or malaria, including among Civil Society Organisations. This makes it difficult for TB constituencies (for example) to find the space and influence to obtain financial support from the Global Fund and other funding options;
  • Global Fund recipients have rarely changed in the country over the years, as the principal recipient (PR) always gives money to the same groups.

This report provides a basic summary of presentations, discussions and other inputs over the workshop’s three full days and refers to some of the main observations and priorities noted, with particular attention given to new and emerging concerns and priorities highlighted by workshop participants.

This workshop was organised by the W4GF Secretariat with support from ViiV Healthcare and was hosted by Access Chapter 2

W4GF thanks ViiV Healthcare for supporting this initiative and special thanks to all participants and co-facilitators for their participation and support.