The Robert Carr Fund for civil society networks (RCF) announces $ 29,500,000 in funding allocations to 24 global/regional networks and consortia for 2019-2021. Additional allocations for bridge funding, as well as a new incentive funding RFP have also been approved in our efforts to strengthen civil society networks in the HIV response, bringing the total investment to $32,600,000 for the next three years. This represents a 27% increase in RCF investments, compared to the previous 2016-2018 funding cycle. 

The International Steering Committee (ISC) of the Robert Carr Fund for civil society networks (RCF) met in Amsterdam on November 19th and 20th to make funding decisions to invest in global and regional civil society networks for the period of 2019-2021. These investments focus on addressing critical factors protecting the rights of inadequately served populations (ISPs) ; scaling up access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; and assuring that resources are mobilized and utilized appropriately to respond to the global HIV epidemic.

By providing funding for civil society and ISP networks in 2019-2021 to sustain and build their core organizational capacity, programmatic capacity, and regional and global collaboration and movement building, the RCF collective of its grantees, donors and partners continues its contribution to improved health, inclusion and wellbeing of inadequately served populations.” – Sigrun Mogedal, Chair of the RCF ISC.

The RCF Program Advisory Panel (PAP), responsible for the review of applications for RCF funding, reviewed the comparative quality of all eligible applications in October 2018. The PAP review took into account external independent reviews, applicants’ rebuttals, assessment of the potential of proposals for impact and balance of areas of work, populations and geographic regions across the pool of 45 eligible applications. The PAP’s rigorous review resulted in recommendations to the ISC, in advance of the ISC meeting on November 19-20 where final funding decisions were made.

ISC 2019–2021 funding decision

The ISC approved an investment of $ 29,500,000 in 24 global/regional networks and consortia for the 2019-2021 funding cycle. Please find the full list of the 2019-21 grantees here. The ISC funding decision represents an increase in total annual grant making of the RCF, made possible by the generous commitments from the governments of the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Norway, and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The RCF’s new portfolio of 2019-2021 grants represents:

• An important investment in the core needs of civil society and ISP networks and their consortia.

• Strategic new investments to address notable needs and gaps in the HIV response.

• Strong investment across all of the world’s regions.

• Strong investment in networks led by inadequately served populations (ISPs).

• A clear investment toward the intended outcomes and impact identified in the RCF Theory of Change.

• An increase in the number of funded networks and consortia of networks.

• Renewed support for 9 leads of consortia of networks and 9 individual networks, alongside support for several newly-formed networks and consortia and first-time RCF applicants.

• An increase in annual grant amounts for a majority of the renewing grantee networks.

To mitigate the potential disruption of funding discontinuation for current RCF grantees, whose grants are not to be renewed, the ISC offers limited “bridge” funding to cover essential core network costs through the end of 2019 subject to terms and conditions.

The ISC also approved an additional RCF incentive funding RFP, to be launched during the 2019-2021 cycle, as a strategy to increase the RCF potential for impact and to address key gaps in the current RCF portfolio. In the course of 2019, the RCF will share further information about the process and timeline of this new funding opportunity.

Compared to the RCF funding and grant portfolio of 2016-2018, the ISC funding decision for 2019-2021 funding cycle represents an increase in total grant making, from $ 25,600,000 allocated in the former cycle of 2016-2018 to $ 32,600,000, including $ 29,500,000 for an initial round of 24 grants, maximum $ 500,000 total for “bridge” funding, and minimum of $ 2,600,000 set aside for incentive funding. This represents an overall increase in RCF investments of 27%.

In addition to the funding decision, the ISC deliberated and decided on:

Program Advisory Panel (PAP) leadership appointment

Following the meeting of the PAP, which took place on October, 17–19, PAP members put forward candidates for the positions of PAP Chair and Vice-chair for consideration by the ISC at the meeting on November 19-20, 2018. The ISC appointed Jennifer Ho as the Chair of the PAP, and Khalid Tinasti as its Vice-chair. The ISC expressed their gratitude to the outgoing PAP Chair, Sam Avrett, for his dedication and significant contribution to the RCF.

Memorandum of Understanding

The RCF ISC and Aidsfonds as the Fund Management Agent (FMA) for RCF signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the RCF, represented by the ISC, and Aidsfonds. Affirming the shared vision and mission of RCF and Aidsfonds, the MoU establishes the principles for the cooperation between the parties, the overall FMA functions and the respective responsibilities of FMA core support and of the dedicated RCF Secretariat.

Governance Charter

The RCF governance charter was revised to further clarify structures, mandates, roles and relationships of the governance model, and ensure alignment between the Charter and the MoU with Aidsfonds.

Members of the International Steering Committee are: Sigrun Møgedal (Chair), Craig McClure (Vice-Chair), Juliet Whitley, Hanke Nube , Monica Djupvik, Erika Arthun, Sandy Thurman, Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Anandi Yuvaraj , Marvelous Muchenje-Marisa, Paul-Gilbert Colletaz (represented by Neil McCulloch), Kwaku Adomako (non-voting civil society member), Laurel Sprague (observer), Kate Thomson (observer).

Members of the Program Advisory Panel are: Sam Avrett, Jennifer Ho, Susan Paxton, Khalid Tinasti, Nadine Ferris France, Tendayi Mharadze, Liz Tremlett, Brian Ssensalire, Oswaldo Rada. Reserve members are Meg Davis, McLean Kabwe and Kevin Osborne.

Representatives of the Fund Management Agent and RCF secretariat are: Mark Vermeulen, Frank Wijngaard, Sergey Votyagov, Maria Phelan, Hendrike Grootenhuis, Nathaniel Miller, Gabriel Sevilla, Samira Helmy and Anja Dietrich.

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