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GHC NEWS FLASH: Global Health Roundup 4/3/2017

GHC and the Global Health Community Huddle to Prepare for the World Health Assembly
The upcoming Seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA70) (May 22-31) in Geneva, Switzerland will convene WHO member states in order to set global health priorities for the coming year. Notable topics on the agenda include the election of a new WHO Director-General; emergencies and preparedness; noncommunicable diseases; research and development; and global strategy plans (e.g., Global Vaccine Plan). Civil society actors, such as GHC, will also attend and co-host sessions within and outside the Palais des Nations. If you are interested in discussing these critical agenda topics in more depth and hearing more about GHC and our members’ WHA preparations, please register for the first WHA Policy Scrum on April 5.

Global Financing Facility (GFF) Spring Series Continues
On April 21, GHC and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health will co-host a GFF session prior to the GFF Investors Group (IG) meeting. During the briefing, civil society (CS) representatives will: discuss feedback on what was heard in the GFF learning meeting, the World Bank Spring meetings, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) forum, and CS forum; provide an overview of how comments were integrated into the CS engagement strategy; and get feedback from partners on various GFF IG papers. You can either register in-person (by April 17) or via webinar.

WaterAid Goes #GirlStrong for World Water Day
For World Water Day 2017, GHC member WaterAid released its annual “State of the World’s Toilets” report, Wild Water, featuring women and girls whose lives have been dramatically affected by climate change. For example, Srey worries so much about her children getting sick from walking through deep flood waters in rural Cambodia that she has a neighbor watch them while she completes the 30-minute trek to get water from one of only two wells in her community, a trek she takes up to six times a day. The persistent drought in Julietta’s community in Mozambique means it is nearly impossible to farm crops and make a living to feed her four children. Read the full report and find out how you can be #GirlStrong too, and support the girls and women around the world who spend 40 billion hours collecting water every single year.

Marketers, Academics, and Scientists Unite for Social Good
The 2017 World Social Marketing Conference (WSMC) will bring together hundreds of international marketers, academics, researchers, scientists, and practitioners who are working to solve the world’s most pressing issues of disease, hunger and poverty, environmental degradation, and species loss, and are using human-centered techniques of marketing, outreach, and behavior change communications. The two-day event will take place in Washington, DC from May 16 – 17. The conference will serve as a vehicle to capture, spread, and develop best practices for the conference’s theme of “influencing behavior for social good.” Program activities include: keynote presentations by representatives from organizations such as MIT, USAID, and UNICEF; 15-minute speed presentations; panel discussions; workshops; and poster displays. View event details.

WHO and UN Employ Coordinated Efforts to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) are taking critical steps to stimulate global efforts against antimicrobial resistance. Earlier this year, WHO released a priority list of drug-resistant bacteria, calling on intensified research and development for new and effective antibiotics against severe and potentially deadly infections. The tool has been welcomed by the global health community as an important resource that will yield commitment and target efforts towards the most threatening pathogens. On March 17, the UN announced the establishment of an Interagency Coordination Group (ICG) on AMR. The group aims to provide practical guidance on the ways to combat AMR and to recommend how global efforts could and should be better coordinated. The ICG will be co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.  Read more.

New Brookings Institution Report: Enhancing Private Sector Investment in Global Health
Locally-led health research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is critical for overcoming global health challenges. However, despite continued efforts to stimulate health innovation, health research capacity in the developing world remains insufficient. A new research report from the Brookings Institution examines the impact of health governance on research and development (R&D) in LMICs. The report highlights policy, regulatory, and legal factors that hamper opportunities to boost financing from the private sector in 18 developing countries. The authors of this report suggest that LMICs can attract greater private investment in health R&D by increasing government transparency and stability, lowering tariffs on medical products, expediting the regulatory process for new drugs, investing in health infrastructure, and increasing government spending on health care in an efficient and targeted manner. Read full report.


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.





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.


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, 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


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, 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.