On 14-15 May 2020, the Global Fund Board held its 43rd meeting virtually, via video conference, over two afternoon sessions. These sessions, combined, were much shorter than previous Board meetings, which were usually held over two days, after a full ‘pre-day’ during which selected topics were discussed in a less formal setting. The final agenda for the meeting added two ‘pre’-sessions: on 12 May, a virtual session focused on Community, Rights and Gender, and on 13 May, a virtual panel discussion was held with the theme, ‘Rapid survey of COVID-19 impact on the Global Fund partnership’.
The Global Fund Observer was present at the Board meeting, with observer status. We summarize the three main decisions taken at the meeting, and four decisions taken by electronic voting in advance of the meeting.
(For precise wording of what the Board agreed, see the decision points documents now available at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/decisions/.Background documentation will also, usually within two weeks of the Board decisions, be posted on the Global Fund website.)
Decision Points confirmed at the 43rd Board Meeting
The Board tabled only three decision points that had associated virtual sessions, including the pro-forma Approval of the Rapporteur and Approval of the Agenda, and the Inspector General Selection process. The Board approved four additional decision points in advance of the meeting by electronic voting. We summarize all of them below.
Approval of the Rapporteur and Approval of Agenda. The Rapporteur for this Board meeting was France’s Ambassador for Global Health, Stéphanie Seydoux, from the French constituency. The Agenda was approved with no objections.
Inspector General Selection Process 2020. This decision point was based on a paper submitted to the Board (GF/B43/12 – Revision 1) that laid out the high-level process and steps in preparation for the launch of the next Inspector General (IG) selection process.
The current IG, Mouhamadou Diagne, was scheduled to leave at the end of his term in March 2021, but the Board learned that he is leaving at the end of August 2020 to take up the position of Vice-President of Integrity at the World Bank. (See the interview in this GFO with Mr Diagne.) Board Vice-Chair Lady Roslyn Morauta said that the Board needed to move “very quickly” with the selection process so that they could appoint a new IG “as swiftly as possible”. The Board now aims to launch the search in early June 2020, with a view to the Inspector General Nomination Committee (IGNC) recommending a final candidate to the Board for approval at the end of July or early August.
Acknowledging that this was an “ambitious timetable”, Lady Morauta stressed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the selection process, especially regarding due diligence. The Board Leadership recommended the formation of a seven-member IGNC comprising voting and non-voting constituencies as well as independent members. Following the Board’s adoption of the terms of reference for the Nomination Committee, the Board will be asked to nominate and appoint its members. The Secretariat is already searching for a firm, through a competitive process.
The decision point outlines Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Nomination Committee (set out in Annex 1 to GF/B43/12 – Revision 1) and revised Terms of Reference of the Inspector General (set out in Annex 2 to GF/B43/12 – Revision 1). It also requests the Board Leadership to submit a Chair, a Vice-Chair and the membership of the nomination committee to the Board for approval. A ‘friendly amendment’ to the decision point regarding the TORs of the IG was proposed and accepted: to include in the TORs of the IG a reference to the prevention and response to sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment and bullying, under the heading ‘knowledge and experience’.
The “guiding principles and key considerations” agreed upon for the selection process were that it will be merit-based, competitive and apolitical; broad and open outreach will be done to maximize the candidate pool; effective governance will be assured by delegation to a highly skilled and experienced nomination committee; the process will balance strict confidentiality regarding candidates and the committee’s deliberations, with transparency about the steps and progress of the selection process. Finally, due diligence of candidates will be conducted in line with best practice.
Constituency input into this paper (and this decision point) was sought and received prior to the March meeting of the Ethics and Governance Committee (EGC).
Electronic decision points confirmed before the 43rd Board meeting
Prior to its in-person meeting in Geneva, the Board approved four decisions through electronic voting that we describe here, following decisions made at the 42nd Board Meeting. They are:
Partnership Forum Dates and Locations. Based on the recommendation of the Strategy Committee (from document GF/B42/ER10) this decision point was approved on 4 May 2020. The first part of the decision point approves the locations and dates for the 2020 Partnership Forums for the development of the next Global Fund strategy. These are: (i) Kyiv, Ukraine, 8-10 September 2020; (ii) Johannesburg, South Africa, 13-15 October 2020; and (iii) Bangkok, Thailand, 3-5 November 2020.
A second element of the decision point deals with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, as a result of which the decision delegates to the Secretariat (a) the flexibility to postpone any of the Partnership Forums and (b) delegates to the Strategy Committee the authority to approve, on an expedited basis, any changes to the Partnership Forum dates and locations. The background document states that the evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak means that it is challenging to predict when in-person meetings will next be possible, and that meeting feasibility will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. The paper acknowledges the usefulness of preparations that will be made on the basis of this decision, even if one or more of the Partnership Forums may need to be postponed.
[Decision Point GF/B42/EDP12]
EGC Chair Appointment. The Board approved two decision points regarding committees, after reports were submitted electronically to the Board by the Board Chair and Vice-Chair on 30 April 2020 (GF/B42/ER11). The first decision point appoints the new Chair of the Ethics and Governance Committee (EGC) for the 2020-2022 term, Magda Robalo Correia e Silva, of the West and Central Africa constituency. Her term will begin on 16 May 2020 and she will serve for two years or until the appointment of her successor.
[Decision Point GF/B42/EDP13]
Committee Membership and Independent Member Appointments. The second Committee-related decision point by the Board appoints the Members of the Standing Committees of the Global Fund Board, based on a report from the Board Chair and Vice-Chair. The Board approves the appointment of the new membership of the Audit and Finance Committee (AFC), the Ethics and Governance Committee (EGC), and the Strategy Committee (SC), as well as the appointment of non-voting members for the AFC and the SC. Each individual will begin his/her term on 16 May 2020 and will serve for two years or until the appointment of his/her successor. A total of 37 individuals were appointed. This decision was approved on 30 April 2020.
The Board approved the appointment of the following voting members (except where specified; each name is followed by the name of the member’s Board constituency):
Audit and Finance Committee: Arun Thangaraj (Canada, Switzerland and Australia); Maurine Murenga (Communities); Revanta Dharmarajah (Developed Country NGO); Sara Mohammed (Eastern Mediterranean Region); Malefia Dereje (Eastern and Southern Africa); Pasqualino Procacci (European Commission, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain); Gilles Angles (France); Guillermo Birmingham (Latin America and the Caribbean); Greg Ferrante (Private Foundations); Sherwin Charles (Private Sector); Bharati Das (South East Asia); and Chris Taylor (United Kingdom).
The Board also appointed two non-voting members of the AFC: Heesun Shin (Additional Public Donors) and Alexandru Chitic Patapievici (World Bank).
Ethics and Governance Committee: Alexander Schulze (Canada, Switzerland and Australia); Berry Nigobora (Developing Country NGO); Mohamed Chakroun (Eastern Mediterranean Region); Rudolph Maziya (Eastern and Southern Africa); Anders Nordström (Point Seven); Renuka Gadde (Private Sector); Sandra Thurman (United States); and Pascal Niamba (West and Central Africa).
Strategy Committee: J. Carolyn Gomes (Developing Country NGO); Nataliya Nizova (Eastern Europe and Central Asia); Nduku Kilonzo (Eastern and Southern Africa); Stéphanie Seydoux (France); Birgit Pickel (Germany); Naoki Akahane (Japan); Marja Esveld (Point Seven); Kieran Daly (Private Foundations); Suriyawong Kongkathep (South East Asia); Mamadi Yilla (United States); Oumar Djalo Boukou (West and Central Africa); and Jim Tulloch (Western Pacific Region).
Noting that the Chairs of the Technical Review Panel and the Technical Evaluation Reference Group serve as non-voting members of the Strategy Committee, the Board also appointed as non-voting members of the SC Lucica Ditiu (Partners, Stop TB), Victor Bampoe (UNAIDS), and Mubashar Sheikh (World Health Organization).
[Decision Point GF/B42/EDP14]
Annual Financial Report 2019 & Statutory Financial Statements 2019. The Board authorized the issuance of, and approved, the Global Fund’s 2019 Annual Financial Report, including the 2019 Consolidated Financial Statements which were audited by KPMG (see GF/B42/ER07, Annex 1). This decision point was approved on 9 April 2020. The Board also authorized the issuance of, and approved, the 2019 Statutory Financial Statements, which were audited by KPMG (see GF/B42/ER07, Annex 2). This decision point was also approved on 9 April 2020.
(See Board Document GF/B43-EDP07.)
Editor’s note: This article was uploaded into our automated system and published on 16 May, the day following the Board meeting. This respects our agreement with the Global Fund concerning when we publish articles that are based on the content of the Board papers.