The 37th Board Meeting of the Global Fund was held on the 3rd & 4th May in Kigali, Rwanda. The Communities Delegation was attended by a ten-Member Delegation that included the following:
- Mr Rico Gustav (Board Member), Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), Indonesia/Netherlands
- Ms Maurine Murenga (Alternate Board Member), Lean on Me Foundation, Kenya
- Ms Rachel Ong (Communications Focal Point), Communities Delegation, Singapore
- Mr Raoul Fransen (Member), International Civil Society Support (ICSS), Netherlands
- Ms Olivia Ngou Zangue (Member), Roll Back Malaria, Cameroon
- Ms Thokozile Phiri (Member), Facilitators of Community Transformation (FACT), Malawi
- Mr Nicholas Niwagaba (Member), Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS, Uganda
- Mr Abdulai Sesay (Member), Civil Society Movement Against Tuberculosis in Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone
- Ms Erika Castellanos (Member), Global Action for Trans Equality, Belize/Netherlands
- Mr Louis Da Gama (Member), Princess of Africa Foundation & Global Health Advocates, UK/Portugal
Prior to the Board Meeting, additional Communities Delegation Members also supported the ten-Member Delegation in developing positions of the Communities Delegation at the 37th Global Fund Board Meeting during the Delegation Pre-Meeting held on the 28th – 30th April. They were:
- Mr Charles Siwela (Member), Youth Engage, Zimbabwe
- Ms Angeline Chiwetani (Member), Widows Fountain of Life (WFoL), Zimbabwe
- Ms Uwase Nadege Munyaburanga, Kigali Hope Association, Rwanda
The 37th Board Meeting had over 20 documents for information/reading/decision-making, and made 14 decisions. The full list of Board Meeting documents, and Board decisions is available here.
The Communities Delegation shared its 37th Board Meeting Communities Delegation Constituency Statement upon request by the Office of Board Affairs on some key documents/issues prior to the Board Meeting. This was shared with all Members of the Global Fund Board prior to the Board Meeting.
At the 37th Board Meeting, the Communities Delegation had the following key issues/positions/concerns on the following agenda items:
1. Terms of Reference of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair (Decision Point GF/B37/DP03)
Leading up to the 37th Board Meeting, the Communities Delegation has constantly expressed concerns on the language that was proposed assuming that the Vice-Chair would observe during his/her tenure to gain an understanding of the responsibilities of the Chair.
As the Vice-Chair may, at the end of his/her regular term as Vice-Chair, be nominated by a Board constituency as a candidate for the position of Chair, the Vice-Chair should throughout his/her term as Vice-Chair observe and gain an understanding of the responsibilities of the Chair.
The Communities Delegation felt that this paragraph was redundant as well as uni-lateral, and advocated with several constituencies to remove this paragraph. The final Terms of Reference was adopted with the removal of this paragraph.
2. Chair and Vice-Chair of the Global Fund Board (Decision Point GF/B37/DP04)
At the 37th Board Meeting, a decision was presented for the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the Global Fund Board. The Chair and Vice-Chair nominations alternated between the Donor and Implementer Group, and have two year terms, and at this Board Meeting, the Implementer Group would nominate a candidate for the endorsement of the Board. Leading up to the Decision Point, an ad-hoc Board Chair Nominating Committee (BCNC) was formed by the Implementer Group. The BCNC was chaired by Ms Rachel Ong, Communications Focal Point from the Communities Delegation, and vice-chaired by Ms Alison Cupit, Fiji CCM Chair, nominated by Western Pacific Region. The other Members of the BCNC included Mr Mike Podmore, Alternate Board Member, Developed Country NGO Delegation, and Ms Elizabeth Belo, Communications Focal Point, South East Asia Region.
A process to determine a candidate for the Chair was agreed by all members of the Implementer Group, which included the BCNC:
- Scoring the application package of the candidates to shortlist 3 candidates – resulting with Ms Aida Kurtovic, Mr Allan Maleche, and Prof Isaac Adewole;
- Scoring interviews conducted with the three shortlisted candidates;
- recommendation of a preferred candidate – Mr Allan Maleche;
- an online voting processes resulting in Mr Allan Maleche with a lead;
- a consensus-building call that did not result in the Implementer Group agreeing on one candidate; and
- a final online voting process resulting in a tie between Ms Aida Kurtovic and Mr Allan Maleche. Prior to the final vote, Prof Isaac Adewole had withdrew from the process.
The Implementer Group met face-to-face during the Implementer Group Meeting prior to the 37th Board Meeting, and conducted a series of straw polls and final vote, which resulted in the recommendation of Ms Aida Kurtovic to the position of the Chair of the Global Fund Board.
During all decision-making processes the Communities Delegation participated in, the Communities Delegation expressed full support for Mr Allan Maleche, Alternate Board Member of the Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund, Implementer Group Chair of the Global Fund, and Executive Director of the Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN).
3. Health Situation in Venezuela (Decision Point GF/B37/DP11)
Venezuela has never been an eligible country for Global Fund grants, but due to the health situation in Venezuela, the Communities Delegation feels strongly that efforts should be made by the Global Fund Board in supporting Venezuela in securing health commodities for the three diseases for life-saving interventions for communities. Prior to the 37th Board Meeting, the Communities Delegation shared a background paper with all Board constituencies on the health situation in Venezuela to supplement the information in the GF/B37/21 provided by the Global Fund Secretariat.
During the Board Meeting, the majority of discussions that were held by the Board on Venezuela was held in Executive Sessions. Several donor constituencies were concerned about the original decision point proposed by which directed the Secretariat to pursue potential options for providing support to Venezuela, including obtaining additional necessary information, and develop a recommendation that can be presented to the Board for approval.
The final decision point adopted by the Board mandated the Strategy Committee to discuss exceptional circumstances in non-eligible countries as part of the ongoing review of the Eligibility Policy. The Communities Delegation has released a statement on the Delegation position and next steps in the discussions.
4. Administration Agreement with the World Bank (Decision Point GF/B37/DP07)
The Communities Delegation was concerned about the decision point which sets out “non-precedence” precedence for future investments with development partners or for existing relationship with partners. While the Communities Delegation fully support the intentions of alignment and closer collaborations with other technical partners, and that with the changing development landscape, that considerations need to be made regarding decreasing political willingness in committed and available resources.
However, the Communities Delegation felt that the Board has a mandate and responsibility in sending a consistent message to ensure that the OIG can fulfil its mandate, and that a strong framework be established to guide the Global Fund in future considerations of such investments. A final amended decision point was presented, of which the Communities Delegation abstained from the Decision Point.
5. Wambo.org: Progress Update and Steps for Advancement (Decision Point GF/B37/DP09)
The Communities Delegation is supportive of an initiative that leads to price reductions, and more affordable medicines, commodities and diagnostics. The Communities Delegation has been concerned that phases of wambo.org has been carried out without determining the previous success(es) of wambo.org to maximise the intended impacts. Furthermore, the Communities Delegation remains concerns that the next phase of wambo.org were proposed prior to the release of the OIG report on Wambo.org is made available.