March marked the conclusion of the Global Fund’s 6th Partnership Forums, a series of virtual events spanning the globe designed to collect ideas, perspectives and guidance from across the full Global Fund partnership to feed into the development of the Fund’s post-2022 Strategy.
The Global Fund’s next Strategy will set out how the Fund aims to contribute to the achievement of the ambitious 2030 Agenda goals for HIV, TB, malaria, and health more broadly, considering the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is within this context that the Fund is developing what it describes as ‘a bold, ambitious and agile’ new Strategy, and the Partnership Forums are a key part of the Strategy development.
The Partnership Forums started on February 2nd with a joint global opening session, which was followed by three regional meetings: Eastern Europe and Latin America (February 9-11); Africa and parts of the Middle East (February 17-19); and Asia, the Pacific and other parts of the Middle East (March 3-5). The closing session took place on March 15th, bringing together participants from across the world to wrap up the discussions.
At the opening event, more than 300 representatives from government, civil society, communities and technical partners kicked off the Partnership Forums to help shape the direction of Global Fund investments in the years to come.
Key areas of focus include how the Global Fund can strengthen its impact to reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets for HIV, TB and malaria, build strong community and health systems, and increase focus on equity, human rights, gender and the most vulnerable populations. Getting back on track to reach the SDGs is especially important, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fight against the three diseases.
The Global Fund Secretariat facilitated participant engagement in the Partnership Forums by helping to secure internet access and phone connectivity, providing IT support, developing background and conference materials in four languages, and through live interpretation services during both the plenary and breakout sessions. To create virtual spaces for informal meetings, participants were able to book virtual rooms, attend virtual ‘drinks’, and visit topical discussion rooms.
The private sector was represented at each of the Partnership Forums, and offered strategies for effectively engaging the local and international companies in the next Global Fund Strategy. Some of the key messages on the engagement of the private sector included:
- The Global Fund should improve data collection systems to support decision-making – including community-led data collection systems and analysis, cross-sectoral data, and operational and research data being collected on a national level – and make this data available to partners in-country and the Global Fund;
- Partnerships need to expand regionally, and coordination between country programs needs to be strengthened;
- There should be sharing of good practices and knowledge among countries, and a potential Knowledge Management Hub should be set up to strengthen country-to-country collaboration;
- Supply chain strengthening should remain a key Global Fund priority in order to ensure access to and affordability of medicines and diagnostics, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.
The Global Fund Board will develop a Strategy Framework based on the input received at the Partnership Forums and the 2020 Open Consultation on Strategy Development (summary available here) by mid-2021. The new Strategy will be implemented beginning in 2023 after the Global Fund’s 7th Replenishment. Additional resources on the Partnership Forums and the Global Fund Strategy development are available on the Strategy development website. GBCHealth will continue to provide insight into the engagement of the private sector in the Global Fund’s Strategy development throughout the process.
The Global Fund Private Sector Constituency is a group of companies that are passionate about ending the three diseases and bringing a business voice to the work of the Global Fund. The constituency helps improve the Global Fund’s governance and shape the strategy of the Fund. Member companies contribute in many ways to the success of the Global Fund beyond purely making financial contributions, with pro-bono services, direct and indirect support for strengthening health care systems, and through research and development, and direct supply of health products.