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Re: Open appeal to PRs and SRs of Global Fund grants, to withdraw from contesting in the IndiaCCM elections

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  • HIV Accountability Circle HAC
    Dear Ms. Poonam Muttreja HAC appreciates the step taken by PFI to withdraw from the India CCM election in the interest of fair play and larger democratic
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 8, 2012
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      Dear Ms. Poonam Muttreja

      HAC appreciates the step taken by PFI to withdraw from the India CCM election in the interest of fair play and larger democratic principles.

      We hope others who have a conflict of interest will follow PFI's lead and withdraw from the India CCM elections.

      In Solidarity

      Siva K, Hyderabad, AP
      Ramana KV, Tirupati, AP
      Padmavathy AS, Chennai, TN
      Narayanamurthy K, Guntur, AP
      Meera R, Tirupati, AP
      Gnani Sankaran, Chennai, TN
      Dr. Jayasree AK, Kerala
      Asma, Chennai, TN
      Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Chennai, TN

      for HAC (HIV Accountability Circle)

      On Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM, Poonam Muttreja <pmuttreja@...> wrote:
      Dear Mr. Vasudevan and friends,

      I agree with the appeal to withdraw from the India CCM elections on behalf of PFI. However, each organization should make their independent assessment on what they should do.
      PFI would not like our withdrawal to be seen as a reflection on those who wish to stay the course and we truly respect the judgment of those PRs and SRs who do not withdraw.
      Best regards to all.
      Poonam

        
    • James Robertson
      To the HIV Accountability Circle, Thank you for your messages and for promoting the discussion of such an important issue to the India-CCM. During the more
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 8, 2012
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        To the HIV Accountability Circle,

         

        Thank you for your messages and for promoting the discussion of such an important issue to the India-CCM.

         

        During the more than two-and-a-half years that India HIV/AIDS Alliance has served on the CCM as a civil society representative for HIV, concerns about effective governance and transparency have been discussed frequently. Notably, an oversight committee was established—a move which we supported—to ensure that the India-CCM was fully in compliance with Global Fund standards.

         

        India HIV/AIDS Alliance is proud of our involvement on the CCM. During our tenure, we have been bound by its conflict-of-interest rules and have not been involved in any decision in which we have an interest. (To be clear, these have not been many.)

         

        More broadly, our role on the CCM is to represent the interests of civil society, and I believe we have done so well. If we are re-elected, we will continue to be a constant advocate for the needs of communities, and in particular those most vulnerable and affected by the epidemic.

         

        The next few years are critical for the Global Fund and for India. We continue to need strong advocacy in India to ensure that resources address priorities, and importantly, we need to engage in advocacy at the global level to ensure that funding continues to flow into the Global Fund and to India.

         

        We think that India HIV/AIDS Alliance’s experience on the CCM, as a PR, and as a strong national advocate for civil society in the response to AIDS makes us particularly well suited to continue in this role. Whether we are re-elected or not, I have confidence that the civil society constituency who have chosen to take part in this election will elect a capable representative to advocate for their needs.

         

        Thanks again for raising this concern.

         

        Best regards,

        James

         

        _______________________________________________

        Supporting Community Action on HIV/AIDS in India

         

        James Robertson

        Country Director

         

        India HIV/AIDS Alliance
        Kushal House, Third Floor
        39 Nehru Place
        New Delhi 110 019

        India
         
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        Please don't print this e-mail unless really necessary.

        _______________________________________________

         

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        From: HIV Accountability Circle HAC [mailto:hivwatch@...]
        Sent: 07 April 2012 10:10
        To: AIDS-INDIA list; SAATHII list; LGBT-INDIA list
        Cc: rody@...; Fr. Varghese Mattamana; James Robertson; pmuttreja@...; subodh_kumar@...; jayakumar_christian@...; directorgeneral@...; Dr.P.V.Ranganadh Rao's; info@...; Ashok Rowkavi; humsafar@...; swamy@...; info@...
        Subject: Open appeal to PRs and SRs of Global Fund grants, to withdraw from contesting in the IndiaCCM elections

         

        Dear Friends,

        This is an appeal to following organizations that are receiving funds from the Global Fund (http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/) to implement projects on issues of HIV, TB and Malaria as Principle Recipients (PRs) and Sub Recipients (SRs):

        1. Caritas India (PR)

        2. India HIV/AIDS Alliance (PR)

        3. Population Foundation of India (PR)

        4. World Vision India (PR)

        5. Catholic Health Association of India (SR)

        6. LEPRA Society (SR)

        7. TB Alert India (SR)

        8. The Humsafar Trust (SR)

        One of the main purposes of the IndiaCCM (http://www.india-ccm.org/) is to play an oversight on the grant implementation. This is also one of the six key requirements of the Global Fund.

        Given this, our concern is that if PRs and SRs get elected, they will not be able to serve the purpose of "oversight". If there is a conflict between the needs of the community and that of Global Fund grant implementers, whose side will you take? Won't there be a conflict of interest?

        India has a vibrant civil society. Don't you think that the 8 civil society seats on the IndiaCCM be filled by civil society organizations that have no conflict of interest? Isn't it ethical that Global Fund grant implementers leave these seats to others, so that community needs and interests are represented properly?

        You are contesting for seats in all categories except 'gender'. This means that there is a possibility that 7 (out of 8) civil society seats may be occupied by Global Fund grant implementers. Is it in the interests of people of this country? Isn't it an unhealthy practice?

        Addressing conflict of interest is one of the 6 key requirements of the global fund. The Global Fund recognizes that there is an inherent conflict of interest when SRs and PRs are CCM members with decision-making authority and recommends a non-voting role for SRs and PRs.  Does this mean that 7 out of the 8 civil society representatives will have a non-voting role? Does this indicate that we will have a IndiaCCM where 7 of the 8 civil society representatives can't represent the people's interests due to conflict of interest. Will this at some point in the future make India be ineligible for receiving Global Fund grants in future, due to conflict of interest issues?

        Under these circumstances in the interests of people affected by HIV, TB and Malaria and in the larger national interest, we appeal to you to withdraw from contesting for IndiaCCM seats.

        With Regards,

         

        Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Chennai, TN

        Asma, Chennai, TN

        Dr. Jayasree AK, Kerala

        Gnani Sankaran, Chennai, TN

        Meera R, Tirupati, AP

        Narayanamurthy K, Guntur, AP

        Padmavathy AS, Chennai, TN

        Ramana KV, Tirupati, AP

        Siva K, Hyderabad, AP

         

        for HIV Accountability Circle

        HIV Accountability Circle is a small collective of activists from different parts of India, who want to bring in accountability on HIV related issues. Accountability from all, including: donors, implementers, governments, multilateral organizations, media, INGOs, NGOs, CBOs, networks etc.

        PS: Here is the relevant information from the Global Fund's 'Guidelines and Requirements for Country Coordinating Mechanisms' (http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/ccm/guidelines/ , Last approved by the Global Fund Board: 12 May 2011)

         

        3. Where applicable, these Guidelines define:

        i. Requirements that represent the minimum criteria that all CCMs must meet in order to be eligible for funding by the Global Fund.

         

        4. The Global Fund Secretariat monitors compliance of CCMs with requirements on an ongoing basis and with every new CCM application for funding. Continued compliance with all requirements throughout program implementation is a condition for access to Global Fund financing.

         

        6. The Global Fund defines six requirements for CCM funding eligibility:

        Requirement 6: To ensure adequate management of conflict of interest, the Global Fund requires all CCMs to:

        i. Develop and publish a policy to manage conflict of interest that applies to all CCM members, across all CCM functions. The policy must state that CCM members will periodically declare conflicts of interest affecting themselves or other CCM members. The policy must state and CCMs must document that members will not take part in decisions where there is an obvious conflict of interest, including decisions related to oversight and selection or financing PRs or SRs.

        ii. Apply their conflict of interest policy throughout the life of Global Fund grants, and present documented evidence of its application to the Global Fund on request.

         

        58. The Global Fund recognizes that there is an inherent conflict of interest when SRs and PRs are CCM members with decision-making authority, particularly in the Chair and Vice-Chair positions.

         

        59. The Global Fund understands that CCMs must consider the role of PRs and SRs according to their national context and recommends a non-voting role for these actors.

         

        61. All CCM stakeholders should note that through article 21 (c) of the Global Fund‟s grant agreement, PRs are legally obligated to disclose actual, apparent or potential conflicts of interest affecting any persons affiliated with the PR(s) or with SRs, the LFA or the CCM.

      • Aditya Bondyopadhyay
        FYI all, attached is the COI and Core-Ethics policy of GFATM. Took the trouble of reading it up. In sum, it does not apply to Community Reps on CCM, and here s
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 9, 2012
        FYI all, attached is the COI and Core-Ethics policy of GFATM. Took the trouble of reading it up. In sum, it does not apply to Community Reps on CCM, and here's why:

        Covered Individuals, on whom the COI clauses apply, are either board members, TRP members, or employees of the fund, or its subsidiary bodies.

        The CCM is not a subsidiary body of the fund...proven among other things, by the fact that Covered Individuals have been saddled with the responsibility of NOT ACTING in a manner that causes THEM to have a COI with the CCM.

        The Community Rep on the CCM is neither a Board member, nor an employee, nor an agent, nor an associate of GFATM as per the attached policy.

        On another score, NGOs and BIG-ASS PRs like Alliance and PSI, cannot and should not be conflated with puny-ass community SRs or SSRs like Humsafar or Sangama or SAATHII...

        For community SRs/SSRs, there is no conflict of interest, only a conflation of interest in ensuring that an adversarial state that does not care about the community and controls the CCM with a HUGELY majority vote, does not completely disregard the interest of the community.

        The pittance of 1 seat in the CCM for a MSM/TG community rep was made in the first place due to this very reason. No right thinking person can say that just because the community has been allowed a vote in a CCM overwhelmingly ruled by the government/state, they should be deprived of the benefit of support from GFATM grant... that is dangerous logic ... 

        The Accountability Wallas should have a serious re-think of their appeal. I do not think destroying and disempowering communities was their intent...

        Best,
        Aditya B
      • Joy Ganguly
        Thanks Aditya. Technically, those already on board CCM or PRs/SRs should not represent as CCM members. In case they are already receiving GF money, in fact
        Message 4 of 5 , Apr 9, 2012
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          Thanks Aditya. Technically, those already on board CCM or PRs/SRs should not represent as CCM members. In case they are already receiving GF money, in fact should pull out of CCM. There must be a fair representation from the CSGs as well.

          Thanks.

          JG

          On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Aditya Bondyopadhyay <adit.bond@...> wrote:
           
          [Attachment(s) from Aditya Bondyopadhyay included below]

          FYI all, attached is the COI and Core-Ethics policy of GFATM. Took the trouble of reading it up. In sum, it does not apply to Community Reps on CCM, and here's why:


          Covered Individuals, on whom the COI clauses apply, are either board members, TRP members, or employees of the fund, or its subsidiary bodies.

          The CCM is not a subsidiary body of the fund...proven among other things, by the fact that Covered Individuals have been saddled with the responsibility of NOT ACTING in a manner that causes THEM to have a COI with the CCM.

          The Community Rep on the CCM is neither a Board member, nor an employee, nor an agent, nor an associate of GFATM as per the attached policy.

          On another score, NGOs and BIG-ASS PRs like Alliance and PSI, cannot and should not be conflated with puny-ass community SRs or SSRs like Humsafar or Sangama or SAATHII...

          For community SRs/SSRs, there is no conflict of interest, only a conflation of interest in ensuring that an adversarial state that does not care about the community and controls the CCM with a HUGELY majority vote, does not completely disregard the interest of the community.

          The pittance of 1 seat in the CCM for a MSM/TG community rep was made in the first place due to this very reason. No right thinking person can say that just because the community has been allowed a vote in a CCM overwhelmingly ruled by the government/state, they should be deprived of the benefit of support from GFATM grant... that is dangerous logic ... 

          The Accountability Wallas should have a serious re-think of their appeal. I do not think destroying and disempowering communities was their intent...

          Best,
          Aditya B


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