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15th November, 2015

Civil society demand meaningful involvement in the Global Financing Facility

Global Financing Facility

Civil society from Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Cameroun, Mozambique, Senegal and Liberia met in Nairobi on 14th November to discuss country experiences in implementing the Global Financing Facility for women and children’s health (GFF) and develop a list of key demands for the World Bank and participating governments.

Outputs from this meeting were then presented as coordinated civil society inputs to the Investors Group meeting organized by the World Bank the following week.

The Global Financing Facility is aimed at providing complementary financing to support high-impact, data-driven programmes for Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH). It harnesses the strengths of a wide array of partners that are committed to improving RMNCAH, in the form of funding, technical support, implementation and accountability.

The convening of civil society representatives revealed that the selection process of the lead civil society organisation (CSO) into Country Platforms, the country-level governance mechanism of the GFF, lacked participation from the stakeholders. Many CSOs had not been involved in any consultations and did not select their representative as the Government facilitated the selection of these representatives. It was also observed that in most of the first-wave countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, participation of CSOs in drafting strategic documents was limited, and the final documents were not published on websites or for a very limited period, and thus did not permit wide engagement and inputs from CSOs.

The civil society stakeholders believe that for GFF to achieve maximum impact it must be seen to be totally transparent from the onset and provide opportunities for meaningful participation of CSOs. The CSOs have therefore demanded that the World Bank, who is the custodian of the facility, ensure that:

  1. CSO mobilization be supported independently of government, and should include broader thematic CSOs working on Nutrition, Malaria, Family Planning, Vaccine Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) etc, at national and subnational levels.
  2. More CSOs be represented in the Country Platform, as one CSO may not be able to represent all the health coalitions.
  3. The World Bank develops strong guidelines for Country platforms rather than being flexible about how they are set up.
  4. A CSO steering committee for the GFF is created at country-level to support CSO representatives on Country Platforms disseminate information better Indigenous CSOs be represented on the GFF at all levels - international and national.
  5. A toolkit on how to operationalize the GFF be adapted or developed and both Government and CSO trained on the same toolkit.
  6.  The capacity of CSOs be further strengthened to generate evidence, and strengthen the accountability of the GFF.
  7. The government and CSOs work together to produce joint accountability reports on the GFF.
  8. CSOs have GFF working groups across districts, regions and national levels Some in-Country CSOs be supported financially to provide technical assistance to weaker CSOs.
  9. CSO regional GFF learning platforms be put in place - the regional GFF platforms would serve as a bridge between the global and country levels, and carry out peer reviews of GFF implementation.
  10. All investment plans be published online in a timely manner; while the official GFF website is still under construction, remedial solutions must be found.
  11. The voices of women and girls (affected populations) be heard by giving them access to the negotiating table.
  12. A platform for young people should be supported by the World Bank for meaningful engagement
  13. A redress mechanism be created in case any stakeholder fails to uphold minimum standards of GFF implementation, and that this be independent of the GFF investment group

While these demands were officially communicated to the Investors Group meeting the following week, it is imperative that CSOs in GFF countries continue to advocate for the realisation of these demands at country level. Write to us at to tell us about your priorities in your country. We have included a link below that will take you to all the key documents of the sessions. 

The civil society stakeholders believe that for GFF to achieve maximum impact it must be seen to be totally transparent from the onset.