The Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO), a regional network of national networks of civil societies and community based organizations in seven Eastern Africa Countries last week tipped CSOs, including networks of communities affected with the diseases on how best to maximize on their engagement to impact the Global Fund processes in the countries. Meeting under the different thematic areas, the EANNASO reminded the forum participants drawn from the CSOs and networks that it is only through their meaningful engagement and genuine efforts in the Global Fund processes that communities will benefit from the grants.
Under the theme: Taking Stock of Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCMs) and Strengthening Civil Society and Community Engagement and participation, the
Anglophone Dialogue Forum brought together CCM leaders from across the continent to discuss how best to represent communities through experience sharing. The forum reflected on the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) evolution initiative which aims at strengthening CCMs’ performance in four areas: internal functioning, oversight of the grants, the engagement between the CCM and its constituency members, and linkages with other national governance bodies. Here, CCM members were asked to focus beyond the Global Fund and also pay attention to other funding mechanisms.
Participants also engaged in the Anglophone Civil Society and Community Groups Learning and Experience sharing Forum and Training on Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health under the theme Taking Stock of Lessons Learned and preparing communities to engage in the 2020 – 2022 Funding Cycle. Here, the main issue was around Health Financing which is fundamental to the ability of health systems to maintain and improve human welfare. Participants were informed that African countries have made commitments and declarations on health finance but are yet to translate such promises into tangible investments. EANASSO, which is the host of Global Fund Community Rights and Gender for Anglophone Africa platform sought to help communities increase their domestic allocation through capacity building on innovative and sustainable funding mechanisms for the three diseases; HIV, TB, and Malaria.
Of particular interest for Kenya, it was noted that the Global Fund has produced a list of country components projected to transition fully from Global Fund financing by 2025 due to improvements in income classification and based on current eligibility criteria. CSOs leaders were urged to start preparing for concerted advocacy and communications to engage in the transitions discussions and ensure that all the gains made are not lost once Global Fund stops the funding. The forum participants were also asked to help unpack UHC for communities through sharing information and ensuring that people fully understand what UHC means. They are to also hold the government accountable during UHC implementation.
Noting that the private sector and other partners have been left behind in the government response to HIV, TB, and Malaria, the EANNASO team urged communities to design creative and innovative ways to engage the private sector to fund health programs and projects as donor fund reducing drastically in most countries. The need for increased domestic financing to health and HIV remains a core advocacy agenda for NEPHAK and affiliate networks. We will, therefore, seek to strengthen the partnership with EANNASO and other networks to further this advocacy agenda in Kenya.