Board Approves Challenging Operating Environments (COE) Policy

Strategy and Policy Head Harley Feldbaum presented on the COE Policy.

The Board paper defines COEs as “countries or regions characterized by weak governance, poor access to health services, and man-made or natural crises.”

The Global Fund Strategy Framework 2017-2022 commits the Global Fund to “improve effectiveness in COEs through innovation, increased flexibility and partnership.”

The COE Policy classifies COEs based on the External Risk Index (ERI) and allows for ad hoc classification to enable rapid responses to emergency situations.

The Secretariat developed the ERI as a composite index of 10 indices:

  1. Failed States Index (Fund for Peace)
  2. INFORM Index (Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Team for Preparedness and Resilience)
  3. Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics and Peace)
  4. Safety and Security Index (U.N.)
  5. Ease of Doing Business Index (World Bank)

Five of six Governance Indices (World Bank):

  1. Voice and Accountability Index
  2. Government Effectiveness Index
  3. Regulatory Quality Index
  4. Rule of Law Index
  5. Control of Corruption Index

The Secretariat updates the ERI on an annual basis and publishes it on the Global Fund website.

As of January 2016, the Global Fund classifies the following countries as COEs:  Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The Board paper indicates that COEs account for a third of global disease burden for HIV, TB, and malaria and for a third of Global Fund investments and for malaria half of global burden and half of investments.

The Board paper describes COE classification as “the first step towards potentially accessing the approaches and flexibilities described in the [COE] Policy, but … not [an automatic] guarantee [of] the application of such approaches and flexibilities. “

The Secretariat will develop an operational framework to implement the COE Policy.

The Secretariat will establish a COE Support Team to:

  • Provide guidance to Country Teams operating in COEs, ensuring a coordinated Global Fund approach.
  • Document best practices and share learning experiences
  • Monitor and report key risks
  • Build partnerships at global level
  • Facilitate partnerships at country level

The Board approved the COE Policy.

The Secretariat will provide regular updates to the new Strategy Committee on the performance of the COE portfolio.

The Strategy Committee will propose to the Board any necessary modifications to the policy.