February was another busy month for the GFF, with a lot happening in the lead up to and following the second investor’s group meeting. We've summarised some of the key activities for you.
On 3 February, PMNCH convened a one-day orientation meeting on GFF for civil society in Dakar, Senegal (see resource 1 and 2 in French).
On 5 February a learning meeting on GFF was held for all stakeholders to discuss the RMNCAH platform and the investment plan (TOR and agenda, see resource 3 in French).
On 4 February, FP2020 in partnership with the World Bank and USAID hosted a webinar to help FP2020 focal points learn more about the GFF. During this 90 minute webinar:
- Rama Lakshminarayanan, GFF Secretariat, provided an overview of the GFF with a specific focus on the development of the investment case and the country platform
- Ellen Starbird, USAID, highlighted ways to justify the inclusion of family planning in the investment case, linked to the SDGs
- Monica Kerrigan, FP2020, highlighted the opportunities to align GFF with existing initiatives
- We heard updates from a number of frontrunner and second-wave countries
- The final 30 mins was dedicated to Q&A
On 11 February, another GFF-focused webinar was hosted by Global Health Council. This webinar covered updates on the preparations for the Investors Group meeting as well as some updates from the country level.
Drawing on lessons learned from civil society engagement in the four frontrunner countries - DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania - GHV and C4C developed a detailed report on CSO engagement in the GFF, with support from Results.
Recognising the critical role that civil society can play in bringing knowledge, expertise and access to communities, the report presents four recommendations to strengthening GFF processes going forward:
- Implement and track minimum standards for RMNCAH country platforms in GFF countries
- Ensure timely and transparent communications about the GFF and its processes
- Establish and support the platforms for civil society to engage in the GFF in a coordinated, representative and streamlined manner
- Resource and support civil society engagement
The report included the draft AHBN scorecard (resource no. 5) and scoring system (resource 6) for monitoring adherence to the proposed minimum standards in an Annex.
The Second Investors Group Meeting took place in London on 17 and 18 February. The two-day meeting had a full agenda (resource 7), drawing on the following background papers:
- Proposed approach to engaging with the 51 GFF eligible countries (resource 8)
- The GFF in fragile states and humanitarian settings (resource 9)
- Partnership communications strategy (resource 10)
- Private sector engagement (resource 11)
On the 19 February, IPPF hosted a debrief of the investors group meeting and Q&A session for CSOs with the World Bank in London (see resource 12).
Monique Vledder, GFF Programme Manager, noted that the positive energy of the IG meeting led to productive and engaging discussions. She invited her colleagues to provide:
- An update on progress from Liberia (Petra Vergeer)
- A summary of the discussion on minimum standards (Rama Lakshminarayanan)
- An update on the communication strategy (Dianne Lynn Stewart)
The IG decided not to endorse the recommended minimum standards as they do not want to be prescriptive about the approach to establishing their country platforms. The specifics of how the country platforms will be implemented will, they noted, be outlined in the operational guidelines.