April 05, 2013
GBCHealth convened an Expert Connections Teleconference, featuring Dr. Mark Dybul, the new Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in conversation with Dr. Brian Brink, Chief Medical Officer of Anglo American plc, on how private sector companies can partner with the Global Fund. The webinar provided an opportunity for companies to hear directly from Global Fund leadership on their 2013 priorities and how the private sector can have its biggest impact ever in the fight against those three diseases.
The webinar gathered over 70 attendees from 46 different companies and organizations, with strong representation from the Global Fund’s Private Sector Delegation (PSD).
Dr. Brian Brink, Private Sector Global Fund Board Member and Chief Medical Officer of Anglo American plc, opened the conversation by providing a brief overview of the current role of the private sector with the Global Fund. He introduced Dr. Mark Dybul, who joined the Global Fund as Executive Director in January 2013.
In his remarks, Dybul lauded scientific advancements that make it possible to control the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics, as well as the chance to end marginalization and stigmatization of the affected populations – especially women and young people. This critical moment in history brings a rare opportunity for the Fund to save millions of lives now and save billions of dollars in avoided costs to fight the diseases in the future. “We have data that tells us that if we don’t act now, all of these three diseases will go back up,” Dybul said.
As the Global Fund enters a replenishment year, with a pledging and fundraising conference to determine how much the Fund will be able to disburse from 2014-2017, Dybul was clear about meeting funding goals, declaring, “We can´t be timid.”
Dybul acknowledged the crucial role of the private sector in achieving the Global Fund’s mission, emphasizing some of the partnership opportunities available to companies, such as: contributing financial resources to the replenishment; sharing expertise and crucial know-how as partners or members of the Board’s PSD; and collaborating on-the-ground through local affiliates that have valuable in-country knowledge. He also stressed the importance of advocacy “because a lot of people will listen to big companies,” Dybul said, later adding, “We need the voice of the private sector.” Dybul also mentioned potential opportunities for private sector companies in the area of innovative finance such as social impact bonds and private sector health insurance.
Following his opening statements, Dybul responded to questions from Brink and audience members. In response to a question about non-monetary contributions made by the private sector to the Global Fund, Dybul recognized that skills, knowledge and pro-bono services can be just as valuable as financial donations. “We should be able to recognize the contribution of the private sector in more than just cash,” Dybul said. While such donations would not necessarily be counted in the cash pool, Dybul responded that the Fund would support a “well-documented, defensible and dependable valuation” of in-kind contributions.*
Dybul also responded to questions about the Global Fund’s procurement policies, which remain an important consideration, given the Fund’s large share of procurement expenses and the need to ensure value for money spent on health commodities. He also emphasized the value of private sector expertise and perspectives in the areas of market dynamics, procurement, supply chain and logistics issues, and encouraged the PSD to work proactively with the Secretariat, the Procurement Unit, and fellow Board stakeholders to share knowledge and insights.
Asked about the Global Fund´s new funding model, Dybul explained that the model is a representation of the changes in the health landscape. Countries now have national strategies to fight the three diseases, and it is important that the Global Fund adapt its funding policies to be more flexible and allow for greater country ownership in grant-making.
PSD Advisory Group companies such as BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Eli Lilly, Mylan and Merck, as well as technical partners such as ILO (International Labour Organization) posed questions on a range of issues, from funding allocations between the three diseases to the role of the private sector in safeguarding human rights. .
As an important takeaway to private sector companies looking to work with the Global Fund, Mark Dybul highlighted the three main actions the private sector can take: providing expertise, resources and bringing the private sector’s voice as an advocate.
*On behalf of the Private Sector Delegation to the Global Fund, GBCHealth is conducting a survey project to establish the monetary value of non-cash contributions to support the Fund’s mission. Please contact Whitney White at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in the survey.
Join Mark Dybul at the GBCHealth Annual Conference, to be held in New York City from May 15 – 17.
Learn more about the Private Sector Delegation to the Global Fund.
Read more about the Global Fund’s private sector partnerships.