Country dialogue is a process that is country-owned and led, which forms part of and builds upon existing coordination mechanisms in health and development that are already taking place in many countries between Governments, donors, technical partners, civil society, and key affected and most-at-risk populations. CCMs take a leading role in coordinating the discussions around the submission of the Global Fund concept note. Work on national strategies and resource mobilization should be ongoing and form the basis of this country dialogue to identify a country’s prioritized needs and ultimately prepare the submission of concept notes to the Global Fund.
All the relevant actors need to be engaged: CCMs; Governments; the private sector; the public sector; civil society; academia; key affected and most-at-risk populations and networks; and bilateral, multilateral and technical partners in-country. The Secretariat’s role is to support, participate and provide guidance where appropriate.
Inclusive concept note development is a Global Fund eligibility requirement for funding. The Global Fund will require proof that there was a transparent and inclusive process at the time of concept note submission. Concept notes will be sent back to CCMs for further work if they have not been developed in an inclusive manner.
Country dialogue activities contribute to the development of a robust heath sector strategy, whereby synergies between the three diseases and other health priorities are achieved. The ultimate goal is that this strategy is fully costed and has been developed through a multi-stakeholder process, and can be the basis of the development of a concept note.
In the period leading up to concept note development, the Global Fund communicates to CCMs the indicative amount of funds for the diseases for which they may expect financing from the Global Fund during the three-year allocation period.
Through the country dialogue a broad range of stakeholders discuss how to split and best use the indicative funding allocation from the Global Fund across the eligible diseases and cross-cutting HSS interventions.
From this inclusive and transparent dialogue process, the CCM should:
- Decide on the funding amount to be designated for each eligible disease program or HSS within the current three-year allocation period;
- Identify program gaps and rank the interventions by priority need, ideally based on the national strategies;
- Develop the program based on prioritized gaps and begin to consider implementation arrangements (including the selection of principal recipients) to deliver this program;
- Make preliminary assessments of potential implementers and systems to identify capacity and operational risk;
- Estimate the “full expression of demand” that the country has for the eligible diseases and HSS; and
- Secure agreement on the government’s financial commitment to provide funding for the three diseases and the health system overall.
The Global Fund Country Team will play more of an active role, to ensure that the country dialogue and concept note development is inclusive and that key actors including technical partners and key affected populations are involved in discussions. The Country Team can share guidance material and best practices on country dialogue, and provide guidance during the concept note development process. However, the concept note is owned by the country and the Global Fund Country Team will not determine what to include in the concept note.
If participants in country dialogue do not feel that their concerns are being adequately considered, their concerns should be discussed within the CCM. They may also escalate their concerns to the relevant Fund Portfolio Manager (FPM) at the Global Fund Secretariat. They FPM may then choose to escalate further within the Secretariat as needed.