On January 13, L’Initiative held an experts briefing seminar at Expertise France headquarters, on the new funding cycle (“Replenishment”) of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It was an occasion to review the specific aspects and challenges of the Global Fund’s work.
L’Initiative is a key partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Its primary mission is to aid countries in accessing funding from the Global Fund and to improve the efficiency of the grants awarded. It also provides additional financial resources for projects that lead to changes in health practices and policies.
During the previous Replenishment cycle, L’Initiative provided unprecedented levels of technical assistance, resulting in support for 32 countries (of which 20 are in Francophone Africa), mobilization of more than 260 experts (including 200 likewise in Francophone Africa), and €10 million in investment in technical assistance.
For this 7th Replenishment cycle of the Global Fund, L’Initiative is already mobilized for nearly all the eligible countries. A total of 22 technical assistance missions have already been approved, representing budget commitments of more than €3 million, 3,000 days of expertise, and about 100 experts—including about 40 already mobilized or in the process of being mobilized as of January.
Supporting experts for the new Replenishment cycle
In partnership with the Global Fund, L’Initiative conducted a seminar on managing and sharing good practices on Friday, January 13, at our headquarters. This seminar brought together experts and their networks to meet L’Initiative and Global Fund teams.
Its objective was to prepare these experts and to equip them so that they can fulfill their mission of supporting partner countries in their requests for funding from the Global Fund, including on priorities that are not covered by it.
In concrete terms, the some 100 participants attending live or online had the opportunity to work on all existing standards, guides, and documents for submitting a request to the Global Fund and on how to carry out these crucial missions, with a focus on West and Central Africa.
They also discussed how to guide countries in prioritizing needs—which they must often do when resources are limited. This can concern the breakdown of funds according to disease or the prioritization of targets and actions. Finally, the experts were informed of the importance of integrating community-based aspects, as well as human rights and gender issues, into health system strengthening.
“Concentrated epidemics, vulnerable populations, and health system strengthening require special attention,” says Adeline Lautissier. “There has to be an approach that targets the strengthening of local capacities and ownership, with missions adapted to contexts and needs.”
The work of L’Initiative with experts
L’Initiative is deeply committed to funding requests. However, its role is much richer than that of a mere intermediary bringing together demands and offers of expertise. There is an additional value provided by L’Initiative, with the management of technical assistance missions and coordination with other technical and financial partners involved in the immense task of forecasting the needs and activities that will be funded by the Global Fund years in advance.
For Adeline Lautissier, Head of the Central, East and Southeast Asia Unit at L’Initiative, “The challenge of the seminar was to put countries back at the heart of the funding-request process, all the while insisting that experts remain vigilant so that no one is left behind. Special attention is also needed so that we follow a cross-functional gender approach and that we draw inspiration from the country dialog organized prior to the drafting of the financing requests.”
Eric Fleutelot, Technical Director, Major Pandemics Unit, Health Department says, “Experts play a key role in supporting countries. However, their position is both demanding and complex: they play the role of expert and adviser, but they must also be committed to ensuring that the funding request actually contributes to achieving the goal of eliminating pandemics. The experts also have to promote the cross-functionality and integration of communities, gender, and human rights in order to meet the challenges.”
L’Initiative is heavily involved in requests for funding. But it does much more than just act as a broker to facilitate the matching between expertise requests and offers. L’Initiative has extra added value, as it manages technical assistance and coordination meetings with the other technical and financial partners that are involved in the huge task of forecasting—years in advance—the needs and activities that will be financed by the Global Fund.