19 June 2019, Bangkok,Thailand – APCOM releases a report resulting from the recently held Inter-Regional Dialogue on Global Fund’s Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing (STC). Titled “Framing the Status Quo”, the document aims to provide the current state of key population’s and Country Coordinating Mechanism’s (CCM) understanding and engagement with the Global Fund’s STC Policy.
According to the report, key population communities’ knowledge about the Global Fund itself, its mechanisms and processes are still limited. This creates more challenges in increasing communities’ knowledge on Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing and results to limited to no engagement on these discussions. Organisational and operational capacities (e.g. programmes management and finance management) within community-based organisations (CBOs) do not meet the capacity requirements of the Global Fund capacity assessment tool. This disqualifies CBOs to manage sub-grants under the national programmes. In addition, some National AIDS Programmes prefer to support and work directly with professional non-government organisations instead of community-led and community-based organisations in achieving the targets. Unfortunately, in some countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, communities of MSM, transgender people and other key populations are only regarded as beneficiaries of interventions instead of implementers.
“This is a different kind of discussion about sustainability, transition and co-financing that I have attended,” says Manisha Dhakal, the Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society, a CBO based in Nepal. “This meeting dived deeper into the needs of both key population communities and CCM. It has successfully surfaced the very specific bottlenecks which hinder effective engagement with the Global Fund.”
The participants of the Inter-Regional Dialogue hold the opinion that their communities in Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam have not effectively engaged in these discussions. There is limited participation or involvement from the communities of MSM, transgender people, and other key populations with regard to Global Fund’s sustainability, transition and co-financing. At country levels, there are no interventions or advocacies implemented to increase the knowledge and understanding of communities of MSM, transgender people, and other key populations on sustainability and transition (and co-financing).
The structures of CCM across countries are not consistent.The CCM must have a strong secretariat in order to play the key role in sharing knowledge between government and communities of key populations. Capacity building for the members of the CCM must also be in place for more effective engagements with the communities of key populations and their representative. Technical assistance is needed for the mechanisms to develop and implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in its dealing with Global Fund grants and other regional grants. In addition, technical assistance is necessary to develop governance manual together with its financial structure.
“We are thankful to the participants from key population communities, CCM and Regional networks who actively participated in the discussions,” says Midnight Poonkasetwattana, APCOM Executive Director. “Our ultimate goal is for our communities and other key populations to meaningfully participate in the new funding model. As a regional organisation, we are looking forward to provide our community partners the technical assistance that they really need. It is important that the assistance we provide are on point and directly addressing the issues barring effective community engagement.”