Blog / 20 March 2013

Annelieke Douma: Drawing up the Balance

Annelieke Douma: Drawing up the Balance

The Board distinguished a number of specific elements of the Business Model Framework which shall be further analysed by experts. Element like access modalities (how will access to the funds be organised?), the private sector facility (what will the role of the private sector be?), ways to measure results and a country driven approach (specific needs of countries determine the way the money is divided and spent)


The developing countries requested clear financial commitment from donor countries before discussing the BMF. Developed countries, on the other hand, said that they would first need to convince their tax-payers and parliamentarians of the reliability of the Fund before they would even begin to talk about money. Fortunately they in the end did come to an agreement; during the next board meetings in June and September, papers on the various BMF elements will be presented and discussed


Another important decision relates to the Rules of Procedure, which include the rules on observer participation. Most of the CSO related provisions have now been put in separate guidelines. This means that if something needs to be changed or revised, it can be done separately without renegotiating the entire Rules of Procedure. Good news for civil society: active CSO observers will be taken more seriously. They will receive all non-confidential Board documents and will get a place at the board table, instead of being asked to sit at a separate table. Moreover, there seems to be broad support for webcasting the meetings, allowing CSOs around the world to follow the meetings.


So what about our efforts to advocate for inclusive decision-making at national level and the devolution of funds to local actors? Clearly, the process is not in a phase yet in which decisions on this are made. Still, it was encouraging to see how various board members like Dipak Dasgupta from India seem strong on country ownership and open to inclusive national direct access. This means that a broad group of stakeholders in a country, including local organisations, jointly decide on how the money will be spent.


At the same time, listening to the interventions by for example the UK on the BMF it is clear the 'battle' is yet to start. Leveraging as much private sector investments as a key aim; channelling the bulk of the money through existing multilateral channels such as the World Bank; and talking about business terms as wholesale and retail, rather than providing long-term support for setting up national planning processes, is worrying... to say the least.


We had a chance to talk to many board members, as well as experts and other committed civil society organisations.  All these new contacts gave us new insights and food for further thought, which we will use and reflect on over the coming months. On to the next meeting in June!




Read more about this subject