The Communities Delegation shares the Strategic Review Report of the Communities Delegation 2011 – 2016 Strategy conducted by an independent consultant of the Strategic Review of the Communities Delegation Strategy 2011 – 2016. This report shares findings, conclusions, key questions, and potential directions for the Communities Delegation in the future.

The Review took place between May and June 106, and aims to review the implementation of the Communities Delegation Strategic Plan for 2011 – 2016, in terms of the key results, challenges and lessons; and develop a Strategic Plan for 2017 – 2022, providing a strong framework for the Delegation’s annual priority setting and work planning.

The review was a 360° process, involving representatives of key stakeholder groups for the Communities Delegation. It was based on an Enquiry Framework conducted through three methods: (1) Literature review of 20 resources; (2) Interviews with 23 internal and external stakeholders; and (3) Delegation Members survey, with 22 responses from past and present members.

 

Strategic Messages from the Strategic Review

Strategic Message 1: The Communities Delegation plays a unique and essential role in the governance and accountability of the Global Fund. It provides a ‘reality check’ – bringing the voices of those living with and affected by the three diseases to the Board’s deliberations and championing communities’ needs, principles, and priorities.

Strategic Message 2: The Communities Delegation has made a major contribution to critical discussions, decisions and policies by the Global Fund Board. Within these efforts, it has championed the issues that matter most to communities, such as: human rights; meaningful engagement; community systems strengthening (CSS); eligibility and allocation; sustainability and transition; and funding for Regional Programmes and the Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) Special Initiative.

Strategic message 3: The Communities Delegation has played a central role in ensuring the high profile of communities’ issues within the core frameworks that guide the Global Fund, notably the (new) Funding Model and the Global Fund Strategies for 2012-16 and 2017-22.

Strategic message 4: The Communities Delegation’s Strategic Plan, based on five Strategic Areas, provided a useful framework to plan and report on its work in 2011-16. However, some of the Plan’s wording became out- dated, while the document was not widely owned or used by the Delegation as a whole.

Strategic message 5: The Communities Delegation has made important efforts to strengthen its internal processes, such as through the clarification of terms of reference (ToRs) and the development of transparent policies. However, it remains vulnerable – with high dependence on a small number of individuals and with some key procedures requiring further attention.

Strategic message 6: In 2017-22, a strong Communities Delegation will be more important than ever – for keeping the Global Fund global, rights-based and responsive to the real needs of communities. This will require a Delegation that has its own vision and is driven by a clear and prioritised strategic agenda.

Strategic message 7: To fulfil its Strategy for 2017-22, the Communities Delegation will need to be fit for purpose. This will involve implementing its existing internal processes, while further strengthening key areas such as its: representation across the three diseases; active engagement of members in developing positions; and expansion of partnerships beyond the ‘usual suspects’.

 

The Strategic Review concluded that the Communities Delegation has continued to play a unique role in the governance and policy-making of the Global Fund. In 2011-16, it achieved many results, influencing policies and processes that, ultimately, bring multiple benefits to engagement, programmes and investments for communities living with HIV, and affected by TB and Malaria.

As an entity, the Delegation has made significant progress in putting in place the policies and systems necessary to ensure its quality and accountability. However, it has struggled with the challenge of representing a global community of diverse stakeholders – plus working within a complex and ever- changing global health institution – while having a modest level of financial resources and human capacity.

The Communities Delegation faces its next era – that of 2017-22 – with a strong reputation and significant respect from its peers. It has unprecedented opportunities – notably with a new Global Fund Strategy that gives its core issues (such as of human rights, gender equality and community systems) an unprecedented profile. However, the Delegation also faces uncertainties and threats. Within an increasingly tense and complex environment, it will need to hold firm to its principles, while also identifying strategic priorities and ‘smart’ ways of working. It will also need to ensure that the Delegation itself is fit for purpose – as a strong, representative and well-informed group.

The report ends by recommending that, as next steps to inform and develop its work for 2017-22, the Communities Delegation should:

  1. Develop a clear and strong Strategic Plan, in line with the timeframe of the Global Fund’s Strategy 2017-22. This should: outline the Communities Delegation’s priorities; include a theory of change; and provide a monitoring and accountability framework. It should be the subject of a review after approx. two years.
  2. Identify a limited number of strategic priorities for 2017-22 that reflect both: what matters most to communities living with HIV and affected by TB and Malaria; and where the Communities Delegation can, as part of the governance of the Global Fund, bring the greatest influence and added-value.
  3. To achieve its identified priorities, further develop the Communities Delegation’s strategic partnerships, with attention to both: strengthening the effectiveness of its work with existing key partners (notably other constituencies on the Board of the Global Fund); and exploring new partnerships (to address the changing environment and emerging issues).
  4. Within its Strategic Plan for 2017-22, be mindful of continuing to achieve an effective balance between external-facing advocacy work and the internal-facing development, sustainability and accountability of the Communities Delegation itself.
  5. Among the Delegation and with external partners, identify and debate key strategic questions that will shape the future work of the Communities Delegation within the context of the evolving response to the three diseases, health and financing architecture and role of the Global Fund.
  6. Use the opportunity of developing and publishing the Strategic Plan 2017-22 for a ‘communications drive’ to clearly articulate to key stakeholders: what the Delegation is (and is not); how it works; and what issues it champions.

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The full report is available here.