By Laura Sochas, Africa Health Budget Network and Suzanna Dennis, PAI

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) promises to leverage much-needed domestic and external resources for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health. But it will do much more than this. Working through country platforms, the GFF will facilitate the drafting, monitoring and implementation of a single, collaborative strategy for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) and long-term financing. In this way, the GFF has the potential to influence country-level RMNCAH governance and power dynamics between stakeholders.

The GFF rightly avoids being overly prescriptive to allow for flexibility in country platforms. However, the relative lack of defined governance guidelines for country platforms has compromised the participation of less powerful stakeholders such as civil society organizations (CSOs) and undermined opportunities for accountability. For example, civil society advocates have faced considerable challenges engaging with the GFF in Tanzania.1 Anecdotal evidence suggests similar experiences in the other frontrunner and 2nd phase countries. The process to finalize the minimum standards for country platforms presents an excellent opportunity to pave the way for strong and meaningful CSO engagement as the GFF becomes operational in a second wave of countries.

For more information on the GFF Minimum Standards, download Raising the Bar.