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GHC NEWS FLASH: GLOBAL HEALTH ROUNDUP 3/20/2017

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Global Financing Facility Webinar Series Starts March 21

GHC and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) will host the first webinar in a three-part series on March 21 at 10:00 AM EDT to discuss feedback received on the draft Global Financing Facility (GFF) Civil Society Engagement Strategy. The strategy, developed by PMNCH in partnership with the GFF Secretariat, is intended to enhance civil society engagement in the GFF, a multi-stakeholder initiative that supports country-led efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for partners to provide any additional feedback and recommendations. The draft is currently available in English and en Français. Learn more and register for the webinar series.


The Lucky Specials: A Movie Demystifying TB
The Lucky Specials, a film which seeks to educate viewers about the risk, prevention, and treatment of tuberculosis (TB), commemorates World TB Day 2017 on March 24. The movie tells the story of an aspiring cover band from a small South African mining town. On the verge of a huge career break, the band’s hopes and futures are cast in doubt as its key members are infected by TB. The film’s plot expertly addresses several misconceptions, treatment barriers, and stigma related to the disease. The movie makers, Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA), intend to broadcast the film throughout sub-Saharan Africa over the next several months. In addition, DLA is partnering with governments, community health workers, NGOs, schools, and the private sector to reach target audiences. A free download of the movie will be made available to the public in mid-2017. View the movie trailer.


Health Care Crisis in Syria Continues as Conflict Enters Its 7th Year
Last week marked six years of war and turmoil in the Syrian Arab Republic. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, civil unrest and armed conflict in the country have resulted in a rapidly increasing number of people being displaced both within and outside of Syria. The situation has created serious public health concerns, including: widespread malnutrition, mental health challenges, and low vaccination rates in children under the age of 5. More than half of the country’s health care facilities have been destroyed or damaged during attacks, while two-thirds of its health workers have fled to other countries for safety. Invisible Wounds, a new global report by GHC member Save the Children, highlights the mental impacts and psychological scars the conflict has left on the children of Syria. Read the report and learn how you can get involved in the ongoing response to the crisis.


Workshop on Best Practices for Global Health Experiential Learning
NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy at Harvard University,  GHC member Child Family Health International, and GlobalSL will host a workshop at the CUGH conference on competencies, assessments, and other pedagogies of global health fieldwork on April 6 in Washington, DC. The workshop aims to build skills and resources to improve risk-management, optimize cross-cultural learning, deliver effective reflection, and create structures for program management and administration. It will bring together leaders in international and global health education to explore best practices to optimize global health experiential learning. View event and registration details.


Emerging NCD Crisis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
A new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit examines the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries. The report highlights cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer as some of the leading contributors to the global NCD epidemic. It calls on donors to revise allocation priorities and for governments to address the various shortfalls and capacity constraints in their health systems, which limit a patient’s ability to access quality care and treatment. With a shortage of diagnostic tools and trained personnel across the developing world, the report emphasizes the need for innovative solutions such as mobile phone technology to improve the consistency and frequency of routine checks and management of chronic conditions. Read full report.

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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE GLOBAL FINANCING FACILITY

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE GLOBAL FINANCING FACILITY

CIVIL SOCIETY INVESTORS GROUP REPRESENTATIVES

Background 

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has been tasked with facilitating the selection process for the Global Financing Facility Civil Society Investors Group Representatives.

The Global Financing Facility Investors Group brings together partners and stakeholders to mobilize the resources and institutional commitment of key investors in RMNCAH required at the global and regional level to optimally support efficient collective action at the country level. It is composed of representatives of the  participating countries, donors, civil society, the private sector, and private foundations as well as international organizations and multilateral institutions represented by the Office of the UNSG, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO the World Bank, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH),Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Investors Group has the following functions:

1. Guide and ensure effective complementary financing of RMNCAH Investment Cases
2. Create enabling environment for long-term financial sustainability of RMNCAH and health programmes
3. Mobilise additional domestic and international (including private) resources and support to ensure effective financing for Investment Cases
4. Monitor performance of GFF as a facility and foster learning among co-investors based on country experiences

The IG is also responsible for appointing members, and establishing effective operating procedures that facilitate optimal interaction between the IG and Country Platforms. The IG can establish Working Groups as appropriate.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) is a key financing platform of the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy 2.0. It is a country-driven financing partnership that brings together, under national government leadership, stakeholders in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, to provide smart, scaled and sustainable financing to accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths by 2030. The GFF was launched at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in July 2015.

Purpose

The PMNCH NGO constituency will elect 2 CSO representatives.  Criteria and process for selection are listed below.  These representatives will operate for two years and will be responsible for coordinating with the wider civil society constituency and representing their views to the Investors Group.  The duration of this appointment is subject to the Governance Operating Procedures which will be discussed at the fourth meeting of the IG (November 2016).

Civil society representatives on the Investors Group play a critical role in ensuring meaningful engagement of civil society is included in the all GFF processes and that civil society perspectives are captured in the content of the all of the work produced by the GFF.  Civil society representatives to the IG are limited in numbers.  The civil society representatives are also responsible for ensuring broader constituency consultation and undertake regular outreach and communication efforts around the GFF.  There are 2 civil society members of the Investors Group with the possibility of two additional civil society representatives being elected as alternates.

Process for selecting CS representatives

This call for application is being issued on 24 August 2016 and will stay open until30 September 2016.  Members interested in nominating themselves as potential IG representatives should submit a CV, bio and personal statement to pmnch@who.int, with the title ‘Application for civil society IG representative’ by close of business EST on 30 September 2016 – see application instructions below.  Applicants will need to meet minimum criteria outlined below.

Applications will be reviewed by PMNCH board representatives of the NGO constituency and current IG CS representatives.  These representatives will screen applications will each grade candidates on the outlined selection criteria.  Weighting attributed to the categories is also outlined below.  The selection committee will duly consider gender and geographic balance.

Applicant selection criteria

1. Expertise in SRMNCAH – preference on the continuum of care
2. Experience in country planning and financing processes
3. Experience and expertise in development financing, including innovative financing
4. Ability to dedicate 10% time to the GFF and IG
5. Membership in broad civil society networks and communities

Application

Interested candidates should submit their CV, a short bio and a personal statement clearly indicating how they meet the criteria and how they will use the IG to advance the representation, meaningful engagement and participation in the GFF process at national and regional level.  The personal statement should provide an account of civil society networks that candidates will leverage to engage civil society more broadly. The application should be sent to pmnch@who.int, with the title ‘Application for civil society IG representative’ by close of business EST on 30 September 2016 to be considered.

Final candidates will be announced in October 2016.

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Takeaways from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) Learning Event Debrief Webinar

On Tuesday, December 15, GHC hosted a webinar debriefing session on the most recent Global Financing Facility Learning Event and Civil Society (CS) pre-meeting around Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), which occurred in November 14-16 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The speakers were Monique Vledder from the World Bank GFF Secretariat, as well as Joanne Carter (RESULTS) and Mesfin Teklu (World Vision International), the CS representatives to the GFF Investors Group.

The mid-November meeting was a learning event to hear from the countries that have begun the process and seeing what has worked for them and figuring out how their experiences can be helpful to the GFF process moving forward.

The discussion focused on the country-level platforms and the experience and inputs of CS thus far. It was widely recognized that some challenges remain at the country-level with the main funders, but that the process has been largely country-driven. Both CS and World Bank representatives agreed that CS has been taken seriously and proved valued input.

The main uncertainties remain around questions of quality assurance at the global-level, although most stakeholders agree quality is a key component that needs to be tracked and measured. However, the country platform is at the center of the GFF, it is where the opportunity for CS resonates and CS can and should be included in development quality assurance standards.

The process has also differed widely for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in each frontrunner country. Limited exposure to, or knowledge of, the GFF process, lack of clarity on opportunities to engage in the GFF process, limited communications with CSOs have limited the robustness CS participation. It is important that CS representatives be selected by civil society in transparent ways and all stakeholders, not just CS must be held accountable to the GFF and to minimum standards. Financial tracking mechanisms are important to combat corruption and ensure funding is well-spent.

The speakers predicted that funding will be used more efficiently due to the GFF and noted that most GFF funding is newly allocated, not “old money” that has been moved around, particularly from countries that historically have not supported such initiatives.

CS representatives expressed that they have high expectations of both the private and public sectors to support the GFF and stressed the importance of having and following a multi-stakeholder engagement plan to ensure inclusiveness. They see the country platform as where actions meet light and foresee 2016 as the year that action will be at the country-level, with CSOs participating at the forefront. In general, CSOs need coordination support within countries as well as at the global-level, including communication with CS.

Overall, the Learning Event in Nairobi was a positive experience for both the World Bank GFF Secretariat as well for the CS representatives to the GFF Investors Group. The Secretariat aims to launch a website in February 2016, which will post regular updates on country progress. The frontrunner and donor countries have agreed on follow-up actions and have taken those back to the country-level ahead of the next GFF Investors Group meeting in February 2016. All stakeholders have had the chance to learn from each other and identify gaps at both country- and global-levels.

GHC will host another webinar ahead of the February 2016 GFF Investors Group meeting. Stay tuned to our Twitter feed and Events page for updates, and check out our new Webinar page to view previous discussions.

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The Global Financing Facility (GFF) for Every Women and Every Child: A Paradigm Shift in Development Financing

This guest blog was written by Megan Wilson-Jones, Policy Advocacy Officer (Child Health & Vaccines) at RESULTS UK

RESULTS UK is an international NGO that uses advocacy and campaigning to bring an end to extreme poverty.  We seek to make change in the world by utilising a combination of Grassroots advocacy, Parliamentary advocacy, and Policy advocacy to create the public and political will to end poverty.

“…improving the health of women and children is not only the right thing to do, it’s also one of the smartest investments we can make to reduce poverty and improve well-being” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 13th July 2015

International UN conferences bring with them the hope and expectation that while world leaders and issue experts gather in a room together that something significant will be decided, and following this we will progress towards a better world.

Steve Lewis/RESULTS UK

Steve Lewis/RESULTS UK

This week Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is playing host to one of these conferences – the Third International Financing for Development Conference.  The meeting will see political leaders, government officials, non-government representatives and the private sector negotiate and agree on how to finance and support the implementation of the next 15 years of development, the post-2015 agenda.

Yesterday on the first day of the conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon officially launched the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Women Every Child. The GFF aims to “accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths” by mobilising both domestic and international resources, improving the coordination of these funds and reducing inefficiencies in health spending over time. As such, the facility will form a key vehicle for financing the proposed healthy lives Sustainable Development Goal, and the revised Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health, helping to bring an end to extreme poverty by 2030.

The event highlighted that while great progress has been made over the last 15 years, there are many lessons that can be learnt, most important of which is that we cannot deliver an end to preventable maternal and child deaths without sufficient funding. The GFF aims to fill this funding gap and help women and children to build a sustainable future.

Steve Lewis/RESULTS UK

Steve Lewis/RESULTS UK

During the launch, it was announced that US$12 billion in domestic, international, public and private funding has already been aligned to support the investment plans over the next 5 years of the four front-runner countries; Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. A number of donors, including the Gates Foundation, Canada, Japan and the USA, also made new commitments to the GFF totalling US$214 million. This is in addition to existing pledges of US $800 million from the governments of Norway and Canada.

Together these commitments are helping to close the US$33.3 billion annual funding gap for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, however significantly more funds are needed to reach all 62 high-burden countries eligible to benefit from the GFF.  As such, the GFF is aiming to mobilise additional resources through innovative financing approaches, including utilising the private sector. A new partnership between the GFF and the International Bank for reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was announced at the launch event, as a way to raise finances by issuing bonds on capital markets which are expected to mobilise between $3 and $5 for every $1 invested in the GFF. Innovative financing such as this is what makes the GFF particularly exciting and represents a move away from traditional models of development aid into a new paradigm of more sustainable, country-owned and results-driven approach to achieving improvements in the lives of women and children around the world.

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