The GFF is an innovative mechanism that leverages a small grant from the GFF Trust Fund to catalyse domestic financing, public and private, alongside IDA/IBRD loans and aligned donor funding, in order to achieve Reproductive Maternal New born, Child Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and Nutrition, (RMNCAH+N) goals in countries with high maternal and child health burden. The fund provides a good opportunity for political leaders to honour their commitments to improve the health of women, adolescents and babies, through better budgetary allocation and spending.
Regionally, Kenya is among the 4 GFF frontrunner countries alongside Tanzania, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Having already developed the national (RMNCAH+N) investment case framework, Kenya’s GFF implementation progress is commendable.
As the Investment case and health financing frameworks become operational, the civil society is critical in ensuring that GFF fulfills its full potential of improving the health and well-being of women and children.
Joyce Kyalo, the Regional Health Financing and Advocacy Advisor, E4A-Mama Ye feels that now more than any other time, CSOs in Kenya are well organized and strategic in their engagement.
Through the Health NGOs Network, HENNET a network established 10 years ago, CSOs were sensitized on the GFF process and their potential role in line with global GFF CSOs engagement strategy. HENNET’s involvement in the GFF process is critical as it enhances accountability and transparency. E4A-Mama Ye supports HENNET, and is part of a national steering committee which guides and strengthens CSOs engagement at national level with regard to the GFF agenda.
Developing the Scorecard
The HENNET platform has 3 main sub-committees which work harmoniously towards ensuring that the GFF achieve its objectives in Kenya: the accountability, advocacy and implementation sub-committees. E4A-Mama Ye chairs the accountability sub-committee, which in 2017 developed the first GFF CSOs accountability scorecard to measure Kenya’s readiness for an effective GFF roll-out. This was a big milestone.
Considering Kenya’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 362/100,000 live births, the additional investment can catalyse action focused towards reducing maternal deaths. For countries like Kenya, the GFF mechanism is a big opportunity for better and improved health outcomes of women, adolescents and babies. Accountability tools like the scorecard can help civil society track progress and present evidence in their dialogue with the government.
The scorecard tracked indicators like the status of the GFF process in Kenya; the establishment and functionality of the country platform; CSOs engagement as well as the design of key documents and implementation. Following the development of the scorecard, key recommendations were made to facilitate effective implementation. They called for the fast tracking and formation of the country platform - select members, held high level dialogue with government on the formation of the country multi-stakeholder platform; the finalisation of the national CSOs engagement strategy and the definition of the role of the private sector in the GFF mechanism.
What Next for CSOs
E4A-Mama Ye is currently supporting HENNET to develop a second version of the GFF accountability scorecard which will track progress of achievement of the foundational indicators, as well as include new implementation indicators, such as disbursement of GFF funds and implementation at the subnational level.
The main purpose for developing these scorecards is to identify gaps and draw lessons for continuous improvement and learning. CSOs participation in the GFF process will fast track achievement of the Kenya RMNCAH investment case goals. E4A-Mama Ye will continue to support CSOs and government, both at national and sub-national level, to increase investment in RMNCAH.