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A step towards aid effectiveness

A little late, I want to blog about a meeting I took part in last week in Geneva. The Health System Funding Platform is an initiative trying to bring together funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS TB and Malaria, GAVI – the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and also the World Bank.

The inefficiencies and complications caused by the many funding streams that developing countries are meant to negotiate is pretty well known. Any moves to bring them together into a more co-ordinated system with one point of negotiation and one reporting and monitoring system is a very good idea.

Discussions on creating this platform have been going on for a long time. It’s genuinely hard for donors, whether rich countries or multilaterals, to let go of their systems and to submerge their own interests into a bigger structure. However, that’s exactly what they all promised to do when they signed up to the Paris Principles of Aid Effectiveness.  There will be a high level forum in November this year which will assess whether much genuine progress has been made. The Health System Funding Platform may be one of the more concrete examples. However, its application is so far theoretical and limited by the negotiations between the relevant agencies.

Last week, I chaired a two-day workshop to consult civil society organisations about the tools that are being proposed – a process that would allow a country to use a single application form to request funding from GAVI and the Global Fund to support their health system.

It’s brave of these organisations to encourage proposals to fund health systems that are not directly related to the infectious diseases or vaccination mandate of the organisations. However, the meeting concluded that the steps being taken so far are limited and it is expected that developing countries will fit with the cycles and mechanisms of the multinationals and not the other way round.

The meeting, naturally, wanted the systems to push for more involvement of communities and civil society organisations in national proposals. Save the Children will be monitoring progress in the run-up to the high level forum and trying to keep the pressure on donors to respect these vital principles.

Find out more about our work on strengthening health systems.

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