Health budget advocates meet in Tanzania to strengthen Global Financing Facility engagement
Global Financing Facility
In November, health budget advocates came together in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to share and learn from their experiences of engaging in the Global Financing Facility (GFF). Aminu Magashi Garba, Coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) joined more than 40 participants from eight GFF countries, regional and global institutions, including the GFF Secretariat and the GFF Investors Group,
In November, health budget advocates came together in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to share and learn from their experiences of engaging in the Global Financing Facility (GFF). The GFF is a new financing mechanism in support of Every Woman Every Child. It brings together domestic funds and external assistance in order to help end preventable maternal and child deaths and improve the health of women, children and adolescents.
Aminu Magashi Garba, Coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) joined more than 40 participants from eight GFF countries, regional and global institutions, including the GFF Secretariat and the GFF Investors Group, at the GFF civil society side event on 1 November.
The aim of the one-day meeting was to:
- Share and document lessons from the implementation of GFF at the country level as it relates to CSO engagement
- Review a draft Civil Society Engagement Strategy for the GFF to enhance civil society’s role in GFF processes at global, regional, and national levels
- Agree on approaches to enhance communication and information-sharing from the global to the regional and national levels, and vice versa.
The civil society meeting coincided with the GFF Investors Group meeting on 3-4 November and the Family Planning 2020 Reference Group meetings in Tanzania during the same week.
Civil society play an essential role in improving women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. We provide technical expertise, represent communities, and help to hold the government, donors and other key actors accountable.
However, participants at the meeting told us that civil society engagement in the GFF has been challenging and experiences have varied across countries. Many people said that they had been “involved” in the GFF process, but were not members of their GFF country platform. One civil society participant from Uganda said that timelines for the GFF country process were unclear, and that access to information depended on personal contacts with the Ministry and was often available too late. On the other hand, civil society from Cameroon reported much more positive engagement.
In her address, Mariam Claeson, Director of the GFF said:
“We need to move beyond advocating the value added of civil society organisations in the GFF, to think about how they can meaningfully engage”.
Dr. Claeson was particularly supportive of youth involvement: “We need to build the capacity of future champions that will take these issues forward”. Aminu Magashi Garba and Angeline Mutunga, the newly appointed civil society representatives to the GFF Investors Group, stayed on for the two-day Investors Group meeting.
Aminu expressed his commitment to continue the conversation and positive collaboration in Nigeria:
“I will support the Nigerian civil society in attendance at this meeting to organise a country consultation, engaging the World Bank country office, government and civil society organisations to identify the next steps for the GFF in Nigeria.”