Women4GF virtual session: the Gender Equality Strategy Action Plan

The virtual session

Women4GF welcomes you to our virtual conversation about ‘‘The Gender Equality Strategy Action Plan’  We are pleased to welcome women in all their diversity, and men who support gender equality, to join in the discussion about how to move ahead.

This virtual discussion event will take place on Tuesday 25th March at 8.30am UK, 9.30am CET, 10.30am Johannesburg/Vilnius, 2pm Delhi, 3.30pm Bangkok, 4.30am New York

The Gender Equality Strategy [See our earlier post What is the Gender Equality Strategy?]

In 2008, the Board of the Global Fund adopted the Gender Equality Strategy.  This strategy that has the following 4 objectives was never fully implemented:

  1. Ensure that the Global Fund’s policies, procedures and structures effectively support programs that address gender inequalities
  2. Establish and strengthen partnerships for effectively support development and implementation of programs addressing gender inequalities and reduce women’s and girls’ vulnerabilities
  3. Robust communications and advocacy strategy to promote the GES
  4. Provide leadership to support and advance the GES

In line with the Global Fund Strategy 2012-2016: Investing for Impact, the new Gender Equality Strategy Action Plan will focus on achieving strategic, high-impact, gender-responsive investments that will save lives and prevent new cases of HIV in women in all their diversity. This Action Plan presents the actions that the Global Fund intends to take in order to achieve the ambitious goals set in its Gender Equality Strategy in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. The action plan follows the structure of the strategy’s four objectives, and proposes a number of sub-objectives and actions. For each action, key internal and external partners are identified, a time frame is set and measures of success are proposed.

The virtual session agenda

  • Overview and Update from the Global Fund Secretariat on the 4 objectives of the GES Action plan: (Motoko Seko and Kate Thomson)
    1.     Ensure that the Global Fund’s policies, procedures and structures effectively support programs that address gender inequalities
    2.     Establish and strengthen partnerships that effectively support the development and implementation of programs that address gender inequalities and reduce women’s and girls’ vulnerabilities, provide quality technical assistance, and build the capacity of groups who are not currently participating in Global Fund processes but should be.
    3.     Develop a robust communications and advocacy strategy that promotes the GES and encourages programming for women and girls and men and boys.
    4.     Provide leadership, internally and externally, by supporting, advancing and giving voice to the GES
  • How can we as civil society support the GFS to ensure that the GES Action plan is implemented? (Tendai Mhaka and other members of Women4GF TBC)
  • How can gender equality advocates play a watchdog roll to ensure that the GES Action plan happens effectively? (Angela Kageni)

The session will last for 90 minutes. If you have items you would like to add to the agenda, please email them to info@women4gf.org or post them in the comments below.

Discussion sparkers

Ahead of the discussion please look at the Report 31st Board meeting of the Global Fund where  Women4GF to facilitated a workshop for all delegations to the Board [click here to look at the report].   Kate Thomson, Head of the Community, Rights and Gender Department at the Global Fund Secretariat, described the many ways in which the GES-AP is committed to concrete action over the next 3 years, you can view a PDF of the presentation here.

Angela Kageni (angela.kageni@aidspan.org) will be speaking to:
How can we enhance our roles as watchdogs?

Introducing Africa Health Watch 

  1. A community of practice (CoP) – a circle of peers (non-implementers), advisers and backers (including donors) who have come together to form a regional (East and Southern Africa) platform where information will be shared on organisations focused on watching the Global Fund, their work, their outcomes, challenges faced and gaps identified.
  2. All parties to this CoP are interested in gaining new insights into work by others, innovative strategies and the diversity of approaches available to those who seek to promote greater accountability in the use of Global Fund resources in various contexts.
  3. Will address key issues affecting the efficacy of Global Fund processes or systems; help define problems faced by country level actors as the funding model (not so new) rolls out; identify options and solutions to these problems; track the implementation of Global Fund policies and gauge the impact of such policies.
  4. All members also wish to maximise their own work and enhance their skills in analysing, researching, evaluating and reporting on progress as the Global Fund rolls out its funding model, and evaluates the impact of changes and work on the ground.
  5. We are 35 organisations. There is no specific gender-focused partner among us.

Why should AHW and Women4GF collaborate?

The AHW platform will help improve knowledge raising, awareness, showcase activities to limit overlap and duplication, enhance visibility, brainstorming, a critique of ideas and a way of receiving feedback on an organisation’s own work from like-minded partners. The following are other needs also precipitated the community’s formation:

  1. Need for better communication and knowledge management: How to effectively communicate about Global Fund data and information, using the lessons from various experts to translate or visualise discussions to increased awareness. Creating partnerships with new and diverse partners such as Trade Unions, media, activists, and working directly with other major donors like PEPFAR.
  2. Need for more advanced results-based watching of the Fund: How to capture various methods used in countries to produce the best or most tangible results; Have peers offer constructive criticism especially in cases where necessary relationships with government or other Global Fund focused officials are at risk.
  3. Need to obtain better country level data: How to generate and/or access data on Fund grants without passing through government controlled CCMs; triangulate different sources of information; verify implementation level data and reporting being done to the Fund. How do we better utilise regular Global Fund data and information on monitoring and accountability?
  4. Need to enhance collaboration and partnerships: How non-state actors (including non-implementing agencies) can contribute knowledgeably and constructively to Global Fund focused dialogue in their countries? How to work together despite having different mandates?
  5. Need for clarity on who is watching who, and why: How to increase transparency and accountability within Fund systems in-country, especially in ESA region; ensure that watchers too are credible as they monitor the use of Global Fund resources; How to get the results of this tracking onto the policy-making table in-country. Need to understand and define the scope of the term “Watchdog”, and to refer to it via tangible concepts of self-accountability (Who watches the watchdog?); in whose interest is watchdog work done? How do we institutionalize this interest and obtain the necessary skills and tools to play an effective watchdog role?
  6. Need for insights and replicable strategies on Global Fund accountability: Need donors to obtain applicable and relevant insights on accountability issues and proposed strategies. More and better work is possible with more coordinated support.
  7. Need to enhance effectiveness and efficiency within Global Fund: Need more efficiency and effectiveness, incorporate skills-building with information-sharing, enhance professionalism/legitimacy and apply strategies that are more rewarding for both individuals and organisations.
  8. Need to enhance donor roles, coordination and experiences: How to share experiences about other similar work and have various types of donors be part of the community of practice (COP) as peers exploring how to enhance the roles they could play.
  9. Need to learn how to ensure the participation of key populations and people living with diseases: How to ensure participation of people is not lost under the new Global Fund systems

Tendai has also shared her experience:

“Since joining Women4GF and attending the Women4GF workshop in July 2013 I have been exposed to more local and global opportunities to take our advocacy agenda to the next level.

From the July meeting l learnt about the Developing Country NGO Delegation and that they were looking for new members. I applied sharing my own Zimbabwean experience in the New Funding Model and was accepted to become a part of the delegation.

I have been leveraging my experience in the NFM to share with other countries on what where our major challenges and strengthens and what they can do better in their own country process. I also participated in the 31st Global Fund Board meeting in Jakarta and again had some great discussions with folks around our early experience in the NFM. I have been sharing all the calls so that respective countries can be aware and start preparing for these kinds of opportunities.”

If you have items you would like to be discussed, please email them to info@women4gf.org or post them in the comments below.

Ground rules

  • There will be no introductions – just one name call at the start to see who is on the call.
  • Each person to introduce themselves before they speak.
Please assume we can hear you when you enter the call – Do not say ‘hello hello hello’.
  • Please mute your phone if you are not talking by pressing *1 – *1 to unmute yourself.
  • Please do not put us on hold and take another call otherwise we hear the music and cannot continue the call.

Join the discussion

In addition to being a place to comment now, the comment section below will be used live on March 25th during the conference call. You can also post on the Facebook event page.

Discussion Notes

View the Note for Record here

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