Twelve civil society organisations (CSOs), most of them from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, have submitted a joint position paper on the development of a new funding model for the Global Fund. The paper was submitted to the Global Fund Board’s Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee (SIIC) which is meeting in Geneva from 29–31 August to discuss the new funding model.The paper was endorsed by a group of 26 African CSOs (see below).
The 12 CSOs said they are opposed to the introduction of country-specific envelopes in the new funding model because they would quash expressions of country demand and undermine the implementation of the Global Fund Strategy.
In addition, the CSOs said that the 55% rule not should become part of the new funding model because it limits funding for middle-income countries and because it negatively impacts programmes targeting most-at-risk populations (MARPs). This rule, adopted by the Board in November 2011, says that each year 55% of all funding must go to low income countries.
(In February 2012, a few months after the Board adopted the 55% rule, the Board Chair announced that for countries classified as lower-middle-income and above, funding for each grant renewal would be limited to 75% of what had originally been approved, as one means of achieving the 55% objective. At its meeting in May 2012, the Global Fund Board determined that further analysis of the 55% rule was required, and decided to freeze implementation of the 75% ceiling.)
The CSOs stated that under the new funding model eligibility and access should be simplified and encouraged for countries where:
- the Global Fund currently provides the majority of resources for harm reduction;
- few other reasonable sources of funding are available;
- governments are unable or unwilling to support harm reduction and other targeted activities for drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men; and
- NGOs rely on Global Fund support to sustain and scale up services for persons living with HIV, TB and malaria, and other vulnerable populations.
As well, the CSOs argued that the “NGO rule” should be retained in the new funding model. Under the Global Fund’s current Eligibility, Counterpart Financing and Prioritization Policy, CCMs in upper-middle-income countries not listed on the OECD’s DAC list of official development assistance recipients are not eligible to apply for funding for HIV, although NGOs in these countries can submit Non-CCM proposals (this is the “NGO rule”).
(The OECD-DAC is the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.)
In their position paper, the CSOs state that, ideally, not being on the OECD’s DAC list should not be a barrier to applying for funding – but, if that is not possible, at least the NGO rule should be kept.
Further, the CSOs stated that a mechanism similar to the existing targeted pool for MARPs should be part of the new funding model, as should the opportunity to submit regional and Non-CCM proposals.
Finally, the CSOs said that dual-track financing (i.e. having principal recipients from both the government and non-government sectors) should be the norm under the new funding model; and that there must be meaningful involvement of non-government sector representatives at all stages of the proposal development process.
The 12 CSOs that submitted the position paper are: Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (Lithuania), Civil Society Action Team (CSAT) Initiative, International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine, Southern African AIDS Trust, Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM), Non-Profit Partnership ESVERO (Russia), Community of PLHIV in Uzbekistan, Association “Harm Reduction Network” (Kyrgyz Republic), Association “Positive initiative” (Moldova), Regional Centre for Community Policies (Moldova), NGO New Life (Moldova) and NGO Mothers for Life (Moldova).
Press release from African CSOs
The positions articulated in the joint position paper were endorsed by a group of 26 African CSOs. In a press release issued on 31 August 2012, the African CSOs said that there is a danger that the new funding model will “unravel all the hard-earned gains of the past.”
The CSOs added that because the consultations process on the new funding model has been “fast-paced,” it has been hard for civil society “to make substantive inputs.” The CSOs urged the SIIC and the Global Fund Secretariat “to go back to the drawing board and develop a more robust and inclusive process of communication and consultation.”
The 26 CSOs that issued the press release were AfriCASO, ARASA, BONELA, CEDEP, Children Education Society (CHESO), Coalition 15%, Development for Peace Education, EANNASO Civil Society Action Team – East Africa Hub, KeNAAM, Ladder for Rural Development, LEGABIBO, MATRAM, MULEIDE, PATAM, Positive Generation, Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME) Burkina Faso, SAfAIDS, Southern African AIDS Trust, SWAPOL, TALC, Tanzania AIDS Forum, The Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi (COWLHA), TRANSBANTU-Zambia, Treatment Access Watch, 3SH and World AIDS Campaign.
Meanwhile, AfriCASO and the World AIDS Campaign are circulating a questionnaire designed to assess the extent to which countries and CSOs understand the process for the development of the new funding model and what options are being discussed. In an email accompanying the questionnaire, the two organisations said that the consultation on the new funding model has been “less than adequate” and that “the risk of ending up with a product that would be detrimental to programmes is high.”
The questionnaire asks respondents questions such as “Have you heard about the process for deciding a new funding model?” and “What do you know about the proposed funding model options?”
The questionnaire has been distributed to all national and regional networks of CSOs in Africa working on health financing and the three diseases. A notice about the questionnaire has been posted on the email forum of the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN). A French-language version is being prepared.
The results of the survey will be used to strengthen advocacy on this issue.
To obtain a copy of the questionnaire being circulated by AfriCASO and the World AIDS Campaign, or the press release issued by the 26 African CSOs, contact Rukia Cornelius of the World AIDS Campaign (email). A notice about the position paper submitted by the 12 CSOs was posted on GFAN by Ivan Varentsov, CSAT Regional Coordinator (email).
[This article was first posted in GFO Live on 30 August 2012. It was revised on 31 August 2012 to incorporate information from a press release issued by 26 African CSOs.]