Global Fund C19RM: What You Need to Know
On 7 April 2021, the Global Fund announced the second phase of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), which supports efforts by countries to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB, and malaria programs while also seeking to strengthen health and community systems. All country recipients of Global Fund funding are eligible for C19RM, including multi-country and non-eligible countries in crisis. This page has been set up to serve as a hub of information for networks of people who use drugs in countries eligible for C19RM funding. Here you will find resources on how to contribute to the development of country proposals for C19RM through your Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and ensure proposals include funding for community-led programming.
The C19RM Guidelines specifically call for consultations with communities, key populations and civil society, particularly those most severely affected by COVID-19. By now all Community Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM) should have received their C19RM allocation letter, which states how much funding has been allocated to your country (15% of the country's 2020-2022 allocation). When applying for C19RM funding countries must consult with key populations and communities, including both CCM and non-CCM representatives. A minimum of 30% of the C19RM funding request should be for key populations and community responses.
ELIGIBLE INVESTMENTS FOR C19RM
According to the C19RM guidelines, funding can be used for the following types of interventions:
- COVID-19 control and containment interventions, including personal protective equipment (“PPE”), diagnostics, treatment, communications and other public measures as specified in WHO guidance;
- COVID-19-related risk mitigation measures for programs to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, including, but not limited to, support for COVID-19 interventions needed to safely implement campaigns, community and health facility-level HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programs and additional delivery and procurement costs for HIV, TB and malaria programs related to addressing COVID-19 disruptions; and
- Expanded reinforcement of key aspects of health systems, such as laboratory networks, supply chains and community-led response systems to address advocacy, services, accountability and human-rights based approaches.
Applicants can request funding under a combination of these categories. C19RM funds cannot support the procurement of vaccines, or primarily focus on vaccine deployment.
C19RM SUBMISSION WINDOWS
Window 1: 14 May 2021
Window 2: 31 May 2021
Window 3: 15 June 2021
Window 4: 30 June 2021
Communities should ask their CCM representative to ask that the country select a window that will allow time for transparency and inclusion. For urgent needs such as PPE and diagnostics, countries can submit through the Fast-Track process and separate this from the overall funding request.
KEY POPULATIONS ENGAGEMENT IN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE MECHANISM
INPUD has joined the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), Mpact Global, and GATE to develop a guide for Key Population networks to engage in C19RM.
C19RM Process Overview
- Country allocation letters have been received by your CCMs.
- Countries inform the Global Fund which window they will submit a funding request, including the fast-track option.
- The CCM Secretariat is tasked with coordinating the development of the C19RM funding request, engaging all stakeholders, and submitting the C19RM funding request to the Global Fund Secretariat.
- As the C19RM request is developed, consultations and inputs from Key Populations and Communities should be carried out.
- All C19RM funding requests must be endorsed and signed off by the entire CCM, including community and civil society representatives. This means Communities have some leverage to negotiate. Remember that CCMs are required to submit a list of all C19RM proposals received for inclusion in the C19RM funding requests, including suggestions which were not prioritized.
- C19RM funding request is submitted to the Secretariat.
What Key Population Organisations Can Do NOW
- Ask for a copy of the C19RM allocation letter sent to your country.
- Inform your CCM that your community would like to get involved in all C19RM-related consultations/dialogues.
- Request your CCM to submit the full funding request in the later Window Periods to allow for proper community input.
- If your CCM wants to urgently submit the funding request, because of the emergency in the country, request they split the submission. Submit first the fast-track request followed by the full request after transparent and meaningful consultations with key populations.
- Try to get involved in CCM-led situational and needs assessments and in all C19RM Country Dialogues.
- Organize consultations in collaboration with other key populations or with your key population to provide input for the C19RM request.
- Document your needs, priorities, and recommendations in a proposal for inclusion to the C19RM funding request to your CCM and share with the global key population networks.
- Submit your proposal to your CCM, and publicly announce that you have submitted your communities’ priorities to the CCM.
- Ask that the key population CCM representatives do not sign the C19RM funding request if key populations have not been involved.
Please note that you do not have to be a CCM member to get involved. If you are not a CCM member, get in contact with Key Population representatives in your CCM and request to get involved.
What Do I Do if Our CCM is Not Involving Key Population Networks?
To report any challenges around engagement in the C19RM process, get in contact immediately with INPUD and your CRG Regional Platform:
Where communities and country partners have direct contact with the Global Fund country teams, e-mail them with your concerns and copy your key population network and regional platform focal points.
What Support is Available for You
- Technical Assistance: A fast-track application process has been set up for technical assistance around key population engagement in C19RM through providing funds to support generating strategic data for communities to use in their consultations or submissions to the C19RM applications and engage in country dialogue processes. Application forms are available in English, French, Russian and Spanish, and CRG Regional Platforms (listed above) can offer support to help develop a technical assistance request and connect you to pre-approved providers.
- C19RM resources and guidelines: The Global Fund have produced several new resources and guidelines as have some of the CRG Regional Platforms and the global key population networks have created an online collection of all the resources which will be updated as new resources become available.
C19RM will also cover community systems strengthening and key population-led responses. It is important that key populations advocate that C19RM funding requests include the following community priorities:
- Community-led monitoring
- Community-led advocacy and research
- Social mobilization, building community linkages and coordination
- Institutional capacity building, planning and leadership development
- Gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and care
- Responding to human rights and gender related barriers to services
A list of practical examples of community, rights and gender-related activities to respond to the impact of COVID-19 can be found in the Technical Information Note on Community Systems and Responses available here.
FIVE STEPS FOR MEANINGFUL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE C19RM
The International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), in partnership with GATE, APCASO/APCRG and LAC Regional Platform, have developed a comprehensive guide on meaningful community engagement in C19RM. The full guide can be read here.
The guide contains five steps which the community sector can take to advocate for meaningful inclusion in Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM):
1) Gather all the relevant documentation. This includes an allocation letter for the current Global Fund grant, a C19RM allocation letter (sent to your CCM) confirming the potenial C19RM amount available to your country, C19RM Funding Request Instructions, template C19RM funding request form, Health Product Segmentation Framework, and National Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 ("NSPRP").
Other relevant documents include:
- COVID-19 Guidance Note: Community, Rights and Gender
- COVID-19 Guidance Note: Human Rights in the Times of COVID-19
- Guidance note on conducting inclusive country dialogues virtually
- Value for Money Technical Brief
- List of concrete eligible CRG interventions (available soon here)
2) Remember the following key information points:
- Country C19RM allocation letters should have already been received by your CCMs.
- If countries need to access funds urgently for commodities, push for submission of fast-track requests firsts.
- Community systems and responses are eligible for funding.
- Ensure that CSS interventions are included in the Base Allocations request and not pushed to the above allocation request.
- Support and empower civil society and community representatives in the CCM with information.
3) Know that your input is essential and critical. The Global Fund strongly encourages the meaningful involvement of ALL stakeholders, particularly communities and civil society representatives in all its processes at country level, and outlines how communities and civil society can be meaningfully engaged across the 9 of 10 Pillars of national COVID-19 responses. If you are not a member of your country CCM, do get in contact with the CCM member that represents your community. If your community is not represented in the CCM, partner with organizations who are members of your CCM. You can find contact information for your CCM here. In countries with no CCMs, it is important to coordinate efforts with the group or committee that replaces the functions of a CCM.
4) Do not wait to be asked to participate. Ask the country focal point how they are facilitating civil society’s input throughout the C19RM process. Also, contact the Regional Platforms for your respective region, to find out how your organization can access technical support to improve the quality of civil society involvement. You can also directly contact the civil society representatives in the CCM and arrange a (virtual) meeting, noting that “in addition to CCM’s existing annual funding, a request can be made for an increase of up to 25% of the CCM’s 2021 funding amount to support increased engagement with civil society and communities and to ensure coordination with national response bodies and alignment with national plans.” The funding request preparation process should involve (virtual) consultations with all stakeholders, including validating the final proposal. If there are engagement bottlenecks, please do not wait until the submission is completed! Report them as soon as possible to your Country Team, CRG Regional Platform or KP networks.
5) Use technology to offer input and share information. The use of various communications platforms presents opportunities to engage effectively. Consider using social media and other platforms to share information with your peers and build common priorities and a coherent message. Virtual consultations, such as the Global Fund Virtual Inclusive Dialogue Guidance Note, also offer an opportunity for key populations to participate from the safety of their own environment