Regional Civil Society Meeting “Ensuring meaningful community engagement during the development of national funding requests for Global Fund Grant Cycle 7 (GC7) in EECA in 2023”

On 25-26 April 2023 a regional Civil Society Meeting “Ensuring meaningful community engagement during the development of national funding requests for Global Fund Grant Cycle 7 (GC7) in EECA in 2023” took place in Istanbul (Turkey).

The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the capacities of CCM members representing the non-governmental sector, as well as other civil society and community stakeholders that participate in country dialogue and funding request developing (e.g., on writing teams) from a number of EECA countries planning to submit their funding requests under Grant Cycle 7 (GC7) in early 2024. The meeting was aimed to allow its participants to better understand the new Global Fund’s Strategy 2023-2028, the new elements in the application processes for GC7, learn about the available materials to support the process, opportunities for and expectations from the community engagement in the country dialogue process and available technical support.

Additionally, the meeting provided the opportunity to the participants to better understand their roles as CCM members and other key stakeholders in the process of funding request development, ensuring the voices of communities are heard and accounted.

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), a host of the EECA Regional Platform for Coordination and Communications, organized the meeting with the support of colleagues from the Secretariat of the Global Fund using the experience of similar events conducted by other Regional Platforms for CSOs and communities in the regions of Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Middle East and North Africa.

The on-site event brought together 25 participants – representatives of the communities and civil society organizations from Armenia, Belarus, Kosovo*, Serbia and Uzbekistan and regional networks, as well as 14 speakers, organizers and facillitators; of them, 6 speakers joined the meeting online via Zoom. The team of the Global Fund Secretariat included representatives of the Community Rights and Gender Department, EECA Regional Team, Access to Funding and CCM Hub teams. Other partners and technical support providers who participated in the event included representatives of the Alliance for Public Health, ECOM, EWNA, PAS Center, TB Europe Coalition.

The agenda of the meeting covered key and new elements of the Global Fund Grant Cycle 7 application process, the role of CCM, community and CSOs in the development of funding request, EECA investment priorities for 2023 – 2025 on HIV and TB control as well as sustainability of the national disease response. Additionally, approaches to proper inclusion into funding requests of the next program components critical for CSOs and communities was discussed during the event: gender equality, human rights, community systems strengthening incl. community-led monitoring (CLM). The discussion combined the GFS recommendations with the experience shared by the EECA regional community groups and civil society organizations. Before the event, a rapid check of the participants’ expectations and their preparedness for the GC7 proposal development was conducted. The assessment helped to tailor the agenda to the audience’s needs.

More details on the event and its content you may find in the meeting report: