Webinar Notes

The Future of the Global Health Initiatives and the Lusaka Agenda: What it is and where are we now?

The Global Fund Advocates Network Asia-Pacific (GFAN AP) and Africa Japan Forum (AFJ) jointly held a webinar, “The Future of the Global Health Initiatives (FGHI) and the Lusaka Agenda:  What it is and Where are We Now?” on 9 May 2024. Key speakers included Dianne Steward, Deputy Director of External Relations and Communications of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund); Katy Kydd Wright, Executive Director of the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN); Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director of WACI Health; and Masaki Inaba, the Co-Chair and International Programme Director of Africa Japan Forum (AJF). The webinar was attended by approximately 28 participants from within and outside of the Asia-Pacific region, including Africa, North America, and Europe.

The webinar was designed to respond to concerns expressed by GFAN AP partners about the limited awareness and engagement of community and civil society in Asia-Pacific on this important global health topic and agenda. Specific to GFAN AP’s priorities are the impacts of FGHI-related discussions and outcomes on health and development financing at both the global and regional level. Furthermore, as GFAN AP and partners prepare itself to support  the upcoming Eighth Global Fund Replenishment, it is imperative that communities and civil society from Asia-Pacific are kept abreast of key discussions on global health financing and are supported for their engagement. 

Initiated at the end of 2022, FGHI aimed to reimagine global health initiatives, address issues of fragmentation and inefficiencies within the current global health approach, and support the evolution and strengthening of the Global Health Initiatives ecosystem with the goal of achieving UHC and broadening global health financing ecosystem.  This 14-month process, which included engagements and consultations with multi-stakeholders, culminated in the launch of The Lusaka Agenda on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day on 12th December 2023. The development of the Lusaka Agenda and its work streams will significantly influence the directions of international development aid and funding, including funding to the Global Fund, between now and 2030 and post-2030.  

Speakers and participants shared their analysis and exchanged perspectives throughout the webinar, specifically, risks to the upcoming Global Fund Replenishment efforts against the backdrop of competing global political agenda and the shared of observation of de-prioritisation of global health by governments around the world; reactions and positions of community and civil society from Africa on the Lusaka Agenda; and the challenges of mobilising domestic health resources for HIV, TB and malaria in Asia-Pacific. 

A shared concern expressed by webinar participants and speakers alike was the potential influence of these global-level discussions and outcomes on funding to community-led, community-based organisations and services at the ground level. Specifically, despite the invaluable contributions made by community and civil society in efforts against HIV, TB and malaria, their work continues to be undervalued; community and civil society organisations and groups continue to struggle for adequate and sustainable funding sources. The challenge of community “survival” is compounded by the rapidly shrinking civic space and the rise of authoritarianism around the region and beyond. Participants agreed on the need to maintain engagements in these global discussions and to guard against the potential of the global health financing ecosystem returning to a model of “government and institutional-led.”

Rachel Ong, the Regional Coordinator of GFAN AP concluded the webinar by acknowledging the concerns raised by the participants and committed to continuing information sharing by GFAN AP and organising of a follow-up discussion with key GFAN AP partners on the specific roles GFAN AP can play in facilitating strengthened AP community and civil society engagements in these key global discussions that impact global health financing and the global health architecture.

Presentations: 

Speakers Bio

Dianne Stewart

Dianne Stewart

Deputy Director, External Relations and Communication, Global Fund

Dianne Stewart, a South African national, rejoined the Global Fund in October 2017 and is currently the Deputy Director of the External Relations and Communications Division. She previously worked at the Global Fund from its creation from 2002 to 2009. She has worked at the start-up of the Global Financing Facility for Women and Children’s Health at the World Bank, and served as Director of the Information and External Relations Division at UNFPA for three years. Prior to joining UNFPA, she was Vice-President at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, overseeing their fundraising activities and managing advocacy and communications activities for the organisation.

Katy Kydd Wright

Katy Kydd Wright

Director, GFAN

Katy is based in Ottawa, Canada, spent close to a decade working for Canadian Parliamentarians in various roles at the House of Commons. Her work to introduce the first Canadian Access to Medicines regime, adopted in 2004, brought her into the field of community and civil society advocacy in global health. Katy was the Director of Campaigns at RESULTS Canada, where she led global health and poverty-related campaigns. In 2012, shortly after the formal launch of GFAN, Katy joined International Civil Society Support to coordinate GFAN and bring together voices to support a fully funded and effective Global Fund. GFAN hosted the Community and Civil Society Platform for the TB High-Level Meeting in 2018, and Katy has been a participant of the Developed Country NGO delegation to the Global Fund board since 2015. Katy joined the Developed Country NGO Delegation to the Stop TB Partnership Board in October 2019.

Rosemary Mburu

Rosemary Mburu

Executive Director, WACI Health

Rosemary W. Mburu is a Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG) member and has been a champion for healthy communities for over fifteen years and currently serves as the Executive Director for WACI Health. Mburu is a civil society leader in Africa and has extensively supported civil society to engage with decision-makers at the community, national, regional and global levels. As a civil society leader, her contribution includes facilitating civil society spaces and networks that enable Africa civil society’s leadership in Global Health. Ms Mburu’s work focuses on creating political will and ensuring accountability towards improved health outcomes for all in Africa by engaging with governments and key multilateral and bilateral global health institutions.

Masaki Inaba

Masaki Inaba

CO-Chair & International Programme Director, AJF

Masaki Inaba is the Program Director – Global Health, Africa Japan Forum. He leads advocacy around diverse thematic issues such as AIDS, TB, Malaria, and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as part of the Japanese civil society movement for global health. In 2019 he served as the Japan Coordinator of the Civil 20 (C20) Global Health Working Group as well as the C20 Sherpa for G20. He works closely with Asia/Pacific and African civil society focusing on AIDS, TB, and Malaria, as well as UHC, through advocating around the G7, G20, and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). He has health systems strengthening and UHC research experience. In the 1990s, Masaki worked with civil society and community in Japan as an activist for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights movement, and as a coordinator of medical teams in poor urban communities in Yokohama City.