Private Sector & Global Fund’s Role in COVID-19 Response in Focus at PSC Annual Retreat

Earlier this month, the Private Sector Constituency (PSC) to the Board of the Global Fund gathered for its first ever virtual Annual Retreat to discuss and provide input on the development of the new Global Fund Strategy and the role of the private sector in achieving the Global Fund’s strategic goals and mission. 

The 10th Annual Retreat, hosted by IQVIA, a PSC member company, brought together a record number of PSC members and representatives of the Global Fund’s leadership, including the Chair of the Global Fund Board, its Executive Director, the Head of Strategy & Policy, and representatives of the Monitoring and Evaluation and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) development teams. 

In his opening remarks, Donald Kaberuka, Chair of the Board, stated that “private sector capacity in data, logistics, supply chains, health systems solutions – its assets and knowledge, and its wisdom – are more valuable today than ever” for addressing the global COVID-19 crisis and the challenges that the Global Fund is facing. 

The retreat’s keynote discussion focused on the geopolitical environment that will define the world as the Global Fund enters its next Strategy period in 2023. Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund; Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Global Health and Healthcare and Member of the Management Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum, offered their perspectives on the existing challenges and opportunities for greater impact. 

There was a clear recognition that when the Global Fund enters its 7th Replenishment in a few years, the world will be in a vastly different place than it was when the Global Fund raised USD 14 billion for its 6th Replenishment (last year), due to the continuing economic impact of COVID-19. It is critical that the Global Fund frames the fight against HIV, TB and malaria within the context of a changing global landscape. The annual retreat is an opportunity for the PSC to both reflect and plan how the private sector can best contribute to the development of the next Global Fund Strategy and goals, helping to ensure innovation and equitable access as we continue to see the impact of the pandemic, as well as to begin the conversation around creating more focused performance indicators. The conversation focused heavily on the changing role of the private sector in global health, noting that it is not simply about corporate social responsibility, but about the sustainability of business itself, about how companies engage with society, and about how companies approach the health and safety of their own employees. Some members noted (and hoped) that this changing dynamic could lead to a more positive narrative around the private sector in the wider global health ecosystem.

A third and final day of the Annual Retreat will be held in late January, where more in-depth conversations about the next KPI framework will take place.

The Global Fund Private Sector Constituency is a group of companies that are passionate about ending the three diseases and bringing a business voice to the work of the Global Fund. The constituency helps improve the Global Fund’s governance and shape the strategy of the Fund. Member companies contribute in many ways to the success of the Global Fund beyond purely making financial contributions, with pro-bono services, direct and indirect support for strengthening health care systems, and through research and development, and direct supply of health products.

Matt RomneyPrivate Sector & Global Fund’s Role in COVID-19 Response in Focus at PSC Annual Retreat