“This independent review, commissioned by the Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) Department at the Global Fund Secretariat, shares findings, conclusions, and recommendations for enhancing the meaningful engagement of communities in all phases of Global Fund grants, with an emphasis on grant making and grant implementation.”

The review available here (published by the Community Leadership and Action Collaborative (CLAC)) contains five recommendations with strategic actions that aim to secure more meaningful engagement of communities in Global Fund processes. The five recommendations are to:

  1. Adopt and mainstream the definition and principles of meaningful community engagement
  2. Define, enforce, and support community roles in governance and decision-making structures
  3. Mainstream community engagement in quality improvement mechanisms
  4. Standardise accountability and communications channels between communities and the Global Fund
  5. Improve the quality, relevancy, and reach of community information tools

The report reflects the voices from communities engaged in HIV, TB and malaria. In addition to its focus on key and vulnerable population groups it also addresses important crosscutting thematic issues such as gender, young people, women and girls and human rights.

One issue raised is around collecting data and evidence: “Some respondents acknowledge significant capacity gaps in terms of knowing how to gather, interpret, and effectively use evidence. Communities want to engage in more than just epidemiological, behavioral, and size estimation exercises, and as more than just advisors or respondents. Examples of activities where evidence development and use are being supported show monumental results. “It allowed us to work together and approach the government and support our advocacy agendas, and our demands were met. This made a huge difference on the ground” (interview respondent). Community members desire data collection systems that are proactive, not reactive. As one community member notes, “We need routine, not reactive, data systems.” Another concurs: “We need a better roadmap so we are prepared. We need help anticipating data needs, and the roadmap can help us plan and gather evidence ahead of time.” Communities can be, should be, and often want to be partners in the production of evidence on human rights violations, gender-based violence, key population issues, and emerging disease trends, among others.”

Many of the report recommendations and strategic actions align with those released by W4GF in October 2016 through a W4GF advocacy brief: Meaningful engagement of women in the Global Fund’s funding model: recommendations from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe