The Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (RCNF) International Steering Committee (ISC) held a number of discussions in the last few months, including at its face-to-face meeting in Amsterdam on December 19 – 20th and most recently at the ISC teleconference on March 30th.
The ISC meeting in December marked the end of Prof. Michel Kazatchkine’s term as ISC Chair. Prof. Katachkine’s contribution as the Founding Chair of the RCNF was immense and the ISC thanks him for his important leadership, generosity and invaluable contribution to the RCNF. Sigrun Mogedal now serves as the ISC Chair, as of December 20th. At the latest convening of the ISC via a teleconference on March 30th, the ISC members unanimously supported the selection of Craig McClure as the new Vice-Chair and decided to extend the invitation for him to join the ISC, which he accepted and commenced serving in this role as of April 2017. Craig’s response to the invitation indicated his “commitment to work with the Chair and other members of the ISC towards optimizing the outcomes and impact of the RCNF on communities throughout the world.” As Chair, Sigrun welcomed Craig as the Vice-chair: “Craig is recognized as a leader by both donors and civil society due to complementarity of his experiences in various roles and sectors. I look forward to partnering with Craig in thinking ahead and leading the RCNF forward as it continues to support networks of civil society and inadequately served populations (ISP) in confronting structural barriers that exclude, discriminate and marginalize ISPs in the context of HIV.”
The ISC’s latest discussions affirmed their commitment to support the needs of Inadequately Served Populations (ISPs) through the following actions:
- Alignment of limited investments in civil society and inadequately served populations (ISPs) networks for greater impact.
Both donors and civil society have key roles and interests in improving alignment across funding streams and initiatives in order to maximize value for money and strengthen strategic approaches towards shared goals and priorities. RCNF will work to catalyze this discussion. The RCNF Director and the ISC leadership will identify and reach out to potential entities that could coordinate, initiate and maintain discussions on improved alignment.
- Long-term strategies for civil society and ISP networks’ resilience and sustainability.
The RCNF will support grantees through peer-to-peer learning and exchange of ideas to strengthen organizational capacity and to deliver tangible programmatic results in 2017.
Two priority areas for 2017 are:
- Responsible governance and administration of financial management and accountability for consortia leads and sub-grantees.
- HIV resource accountability and monitoring government responses related to ISPs to identify and exchange solutions and best practices in resource mobilization and budget monitoring and advocacy in the context of transition to domestic funding of HIV.
Work done in both of these areas in 2017 will be a pilot for further efforts addressing organizational and programmatic capacity. All such work will be structured using ‘bottom-up’ approaches through participatory and consultative processes with grantees.
- Approaches to document, measure and communicate the impact of networking, community mobilization, capacity building and advocacy.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL):
- ISC will seek out input from all stakeholders (i.e. grantees and donors) in the co-development of the MEL system.
- ISC supports investment in building the capacity of grantees and the secretariat and providing support to them to implement the MEL system.
- ISC supports investment to convene constituencies for on-going process of learning and reflecting on both individual and collective contributions of the RCNF grantees to the HIV response.