Letter to Advocates & Community Members
In 2011, a global network of advocates working for a fully funded and effective Global Fund came together to create the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) as a structure through which to communicate, organize, coordinate and campaign.
GFAN’s aims then and now: (1) to unite voices and efforts from all over the world in support of a fully funded and effective Global Fund, and (2) to support the voices of those most affected by the three diseases of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in advocating for fully funded and effective Global Fund and related efforts for health, human rights, and sustainable development.
GFAN has succeeded in these aims. More than 350 organizations in 90 countries currently receive information through GFAN and are better aligned because of GFAN’s efforts. Hundreds of Global Fund advocates meet and communicate through GFAN-sponsored calls and meetings, and their advocacy is supported by high-quality information, strategizing, human stories, and campaign messaging and materials. GFAN is now also strengthened by its regional partners – GFAN Africa and GFAN Asia-Pacific – and many other organizations that work with complementary missions.
2020 has been a year of unexpected change. GFAN began 2020 after a successful 6th replenishment of the Global Fund in which GFAN members advocated in innovative and effective ways for the largest-ever worldwide mobilization of resources for global health. Then, beginning in February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly around the world, creating disruptions in health services and vast economic hardship and uncertainty. Later in the year, GFAN’s founding and host organization since 2011, International Civil Society Support (ICSS), announced its closure and GFAN moved its administrative home for the near term to the New Venture Fund (NVF), a charity based in Washington DC with a long record of collaboration with GFAN and other allied global policy and advocacy coalitions.
Despite these challenges, GFAN persevered and sustained significant work:
- Beginning in March 2020, GFAN began organizing advocates about COVID-19. Working alongside many partners, GFAN hosted and facilitated calls about the emerging COVID-19 pandemic and co-founded and co-led a new platform for civil society representatives to the Access to COVID Technologies Accelerator (ACT-A). GFAN was vocal in advocating for full representation of communities and civil society throughout every workstream, working group and pillar of the ACT-A and GFAN provided an important space for those representatives to work alongside existing community and civil society governance representatives of the Global Fund and other health organizations co-leading the ACT-A.
- Throughout the year, GFAN worked closely with regional and technical partners and allied advocacy coalitions to maintain attention to epidemics and campaigns against the three diseases of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
- GFAN also maintained a steady schedule of global calls to ensure advocate participation in development of the new Global Fund 2023-2028 strategy, discuss current extraordinary resource mobilization needs for the Global Fund and early planning for the 7th and 8th Global Fund replenishment campaigns, and global campaigns for universal health coverage, domestic resource mobilization, and human rights and gender equality.
In preparation for the coming five years, GFAN launched and completed a strategic planning process in early March 2020, starting with a global meeting of 35 stakeholders from 17 countries, followed by interviews in April and May with GFAN staff and additional experts and allies, and finishing with discussions and approval by GFAN’s Strategy Committee in November. The resulting GFAN 2021-2025 Strategy is presented here.
The Global Fund and GFAN were founded by activists in communities and advocates in not-for-profit organizations, governments and philanthropy who had the vision and drive to organize stronger more unified global efforts for health and rights.
GFAN recommits to this work because, in the context of COVID-19, now is the time for renewed vision and action. Now is the time to protect the gains, push harder to end epidemics, and keep alive the promise of a better world.
Please join us. We owe our past and future no less.
Katy Kydd Wright, Tara Hogeterp, & Sive Stofile
GFAN Steering Committee
Joanne Carter (Committee Chair), Executive Director, RESULTS USA
Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director, WACI Health, Kenya
Mike Podmore, Executive Director, STOPAIDS, United Kingdom
Jaevion Nelson, Member, Developing Country NGO Delegation, Jamaica
Rachel Ong, Regional Coordinator, GFAN Asia-Pacific, Singapore