A successful hybrid 47th Global Fund Board Meeting; and its main Decision Points

14 May 2022
In spite of confusion regarding the various scenarios for the Catalytic Investments and demands for more discussion on the Strategy implementation

Hot off the press, this special edition of the Global Fund Observer brings you all the latest from the pre-Board meetings of 5 and 8 May and the Board meetings held on 10, 11 and 12 May and its main decisions points, and which concluded yesterday afternoon. We have split the Special Issue into two to be able to provide you with articles on the most important background papers in a more digestible manner instead of all at once — today, 13 May, and next week on 19 May. This editorial also outlines the main Decision Points that were taken; you can read the background to these in the more detailed articles.

This was the first Board meeting for two years that was held face-to-face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although some of  the Delegations members, Observers and others attended virtually. The Secretariat now has several years’ experience in organizing ‘virtual’ meetings and this new hybrid format worked very well with small challenges. Nonetheless, Board members really appreciated being back together in person, not just for meetings but the kind of networking that cannot so easily take place online.

As customary, Board members and their alternates, Delegations and others rose to the challenge of several days of intense discussions on a wide-ranging number of topics compressed into five half-days. Stakeholder feedback on the Strategy Committee papers meant that two topics required further discussion during the  Pre board and Board meetings: one, Catalytic Investments, and two, the forthcoming Global Fund Strategy’s implementation. Regarding Catalytic Investments, constituency controversy had resulted in the Strategy Committee holding an extra meeting to discuss and revise its proposals to the Board, and additional Board discussion time was allowed for this on 5 May. On the Strategy’s implementation, the background paper generated significant feedback and a demand that time be set aside to discuss the background paper, which had not been previously catered for in the actual Board meeting itself (originally, the background paper had been designated for information purposes only). As a result, an informal Pre-Board Discussion on Strategy Implementation was held on Sunday 8 May.

The Board agreed on six Decision Points; the Decision Points are outlined below for ease of reference, but this Special Issue also has articles on each item for you to better understand what was asked and on what basis.

47th Board Decision Points

According to Global Fund Board procedures, the 1st and 2nd Board decision points (GF/B47/DP01 and GF/B47/DP02)  were to  designate the Board rapporteur. and approve the agenda. The rapporteur was Miso Pejkovic from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Constituency; the rapporteur and the agenda were approved unanimously.

It should be noted that an amendment on Decision Points 03 and DP04 was proposed that they be presented as one Decision Point but this was rejected by some stakeholders in favour of keeping them as two separate points. See the article for a more detailed description of the discussion on this.

Decision Point GF/B47/DP03: Approval of the Revised Eligibility Policy

1. Based on the recommendation of the Strategy Committee, the Board approves the revised Eligibility Policy, as set forth in Annex 1 to GF/B47/02 (the “Revised Eligibility Policy”).

2. Accordingly, the Board:

  1. Acknowledges that this decision point and the Revised Eligibility Policy supersede the decision point GF/B39/DP03, and the previous Eligibility Policy as set forth in Annex 1 to GF/B39/02 (the “Previous Eligibility Policy”); and
  2. Notes that, notwithstanding paragraph 2.i of this decision point, the Previous Eligibility Policy remains applicable to grant programs originating from the 2020- 2022 allocation period.

Budgetary implications: None.

Decision Point GF/B47/DP04: Approval of the Eligibility of the 2020-2022 Transition Funding Components for an Additional Allocation

Based on the recommendation of the Strategy Committee, the Board approves the eligibility of the six (6) Transition Funding components from the 2020-2022 allocation period for an additional allocation of Transition Funding for the 2023-2025 allocation period.

Budgetary implications: None.

Decision Point GF/B47/DP05: Allocation Methodology 2023-2025

The Board notes:

a. Its decision in May 2019 (GF/B41/DP03) that (i) established the allocation methodology for the 2020 - 2022 allocation period; and (ii) acknowledged the technical parameters for the 2020 - 2022 allocation period; and

b. The decision by the Strategy Committee (the “SC”) in March 2022 GF/SC18/DP05, under authority delegated by the Board, to establish technical parameters for the 2023 – 2025 allocation period (the “Technical Parameters”).

2. Accordingly, based on the recommendations of the SC, as presented in GF/B47/X03 the Board:

a. Approves the allocation methodology presented in Annex 1 to GF/B47/03 (the “Allocation Methodology”);

b. Acknowledges the Technical Parameters for the 2023 – 2025 allocation period, as presented in Annex 2 to GF/B47/03; and

c. Approves that no more than 7.5% of the total sources of funds available for country allocations be used to ensure scale-up, impact and paced reductions, as described in paragraph 4.c of the Allocation Methodology; and

3. Accordingly, the Board:

a. Requests the SC to review and approve, at its July 2022 meeting, the method by which the Secretariat will apply and report on the qualitative adjustment process; and

b. Acknowledges that the Allocation Methodology and Technical Parameters shall apply for the 2023– 2025 allocation period and supersede the 2020 – 2022 allocation methodology and technical parameters presented in GF/B41/02.

Budgetary implications (included in, or additional to, the operating expenses (OPEX) budget): None.

Decision Point GF/B47/DP06: Catalytic investments for the Global Fund’s 2023-2025 allocation period

Based on the recommendation of the Strategy Committee, as presented in GF/B47/04_Rev 1, the Board:

  1. Acknowledges that the total amount of sources of funds for allocation for the 2023- 2025 allocation period will be decided by the Board in November 2022, based on the recommendation of the Audit and Finance Committee following announced replenishment results from the Seventh Replenishment.
  2. Approves that the total amount of funding for catalytic investments in the 2023-2025 allocation period (“Catalytic Investments”) will be determined by the total amount of sources of funds for allocation for the 2023-2025 allocation period.
  3. Approves Catalytic Investments for the 2023 –2025 allocation period, based on the total amount of sources of funds for allocation, as set forth in Table 1 of GF/B47/DP06.
  4. Agrees that in the event that sources of funds for allocation for the 2023-2025 allocation period are above the midpoint of the funding range specified for any scenario in Table 1 of GF/B47/DP06, the Secretariat may recommend to the Board to approve additional amounts for Catalytic Investments (up to 50% of the difference in total catalytic funding for the applicable scenario and the next higher funding scenario) to be invested in the priority areas for the next higher funding scenario in Table 1 of GF/B47/DP06.
  5. Acknowledging that additional refinements may be required to the catalytic investment amounts for the priorities under the “RSSH/Cross-Cutting” section of Table 1 to GF/B47/DP06, delegates authority to the Strategy Committee to approve, within such RSSH/Cross-Cutting section (with the exclusion of the Emergency Fund priority): (i) a decrease in the amount of any priority by up to 15% and (ii) the inclusion of such decreased amounts within another priority in this group. Any changes made under this paragraph will be approved by the Strategy Committee at its July 2022 meeting, and will be informed by input to be provided by the Secretariat as described in paragraph 6.ii below
  6. Approves that the Secretariat will:
    1. operationalize Catalytic Investments, considering TRP and TERG recommendations as well as available program and financial performance data from ongoing catalytic investments, and work with partners to ensure that Catalytic Investments have clear objectives, expected outcomes and impact and transparency in the investment decisions on geographic prioritization and country selection.
    2. update the Strategy Committee, at its July 2022 meeting, on the status of such operationalization and planned next steps, and report, bi-annually, to the Strategy Committee and Board thereafter on further operationalization.
    3. have flexibility, within the total amount of funding for Catalytic Investments, to increase or decrease the amount for any approved priority up to 15% and report to the Strategy Committee on any such changes.
    4. present any increase or decrease of an amount for any approved priority above 15% to the Strategy Committee for approval.
  7. Agrees that the Secretariat will have delegated authority to increase the amount of funding available for the Emergency Fund, by up to 50% of the amount approved for this priority, using funding approved as available by the Audit and Finance Committee for portfolio optimization, and that paragraph 5.iv above will not apply to increases to the Emergency Fund. Any increase above 50% will be presented to the Board for its urgent, no-objection approval.

Budgetary Implications: Associated management costs for Catalytic Investments will be covered by Catalytic Investments and/or operating expenses as applicable.

Decision Point GF/B47/DP07: Implementing the Global Fund governance action plan

The Board approves the amendments to the (i) Terms of Reference Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, (ii) Bylaws of the Global Fund; and (iii) the Operating Procedures of the Board and Committees of the Global Fund, set out respectively in annexes 1, 2 and 3 to GF/B47/05.

Budgetary implications (included in OPEX budget).

Decision Point GF/B47/DP08: Leveraging the work of the Standing Committees

Based on the recommendation of the Ethics and Governance Committee, as presented in GF/B47/06-Revision 1, the Board:

1. Acknowledges the changes to the Charter of the Strategy Committee already approved through GF/B46/DP06 and which will be effective as of 31 December 2022; and

2. Amends the Charters of the Standing Committees of the Board (the “Charters”), as set forth respectively in Annexes 5, 6 and 7 of GF/B47/06-Revision 1, which shall each become effective upon the conclusion of the forty-seventh Board meeting.

3. Acknowledging the specific scope and intent of the changes to the Charters, requests the EGC leadership to determine, after consultation with the Board leadership, Coordinating Group, Standing Committees and Secretariat, as relevant, whether a more complete review of the Charters may be required during the next EGC term.

There are no budgetary implications additional to the OPEX budget.

Finally ― as we put this Special Issue to bed…

As always, we commend the Board and its leadership for its readiness to respond to constituency feedback, allow extra time as needed and revise decisions according to the consensus of its stakeholders. We hope we have adequately reflected the level of debate in this issue’s articles. We would also like to mention the Board Leadership’s important acknowledgement of the hard work of the Secretariat staff during these unprecedented times; and indeed, the work of the Board and Committees’ members that continued to be conducted despite the ‘virtual’ and other pandemic-related challenges

As we always do for these special editions, we at Aidspan have worked tirelessly to ensure you receive your post Board issue before we can rest. We hope you enjoy it, and please lookout next week’s second Special Board issue due out on 19 May.

As ever, Aidspan and our editorial team, under the leadership of Ida Hakizinka, does its best to ensure the accuracy of data and statements in our published articles ― and hence our inclusion of hyperlinks ― but if you, the reader, identify an error or important omission, please notify us on our info@aidspan.org email address  and provide us with your data source; and we shall be happy to publish a correction or amendment.

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Don’t forget: if you are aware of an interesting development relevant to disease programmes or health systems and that you feel is worthy of global discussion, do let us know together with the name of a person prepared to write about this. Suggestions and comments can be sent in English, French or Spanish to ida.hakizinka@aidspan.org.

Aidspan Editorial Team

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