Partners' Forum, 17-20 April 2007,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Working Group discussions
From September 2005 until September 2008, Working Groups formed part of the structure and functioning of The Partnership.
Working group session
There were four Working Groups which met during the Partners' Forum, April 2007. Notes from these four Working Group meetings and plenary discussions on working groups can be found below.
Governance Issues: The Internal Workings of the Working Groups
- All four interim working groups were able to endorse their agendas with modifications and become official Partnership Working Groups. These will be printed on-line as available.
- Elected co-chairs and chairs will revise existing ToRs and circulate updated versions to working group members via email lists.
- The composition of working groups was explained: the open, at-large membership; and selected core members, who have greater responsibilities and time commitment.
- Suggestions were made for developing a governance process by which Partnership members could re-assign the topical area of working groups (i.e. instituting a time-limit for working groups).
- All working groups agreed upon setting up communication channels via The Partnership web-site. These communication channels will facilitate communication within and between working groups.
- Each group established its own democratic and transparent voting process, and chairs and co-chairs were duly elected. These election processes will be reviewed in the Steering Committee meeting.
During the afternoon plenary session, several summary points were made:
- The efforts of the Working Groups must be ‘catalytic’ and value-added.
- The Working Groups are divided according to topical area. Although separate entities, the Groups must communicate with one another to develop a coordinated and common approach when assisting countries.
- The Working Groups, and particularly the Country Support Working Group, must foster a 2-way structure of interaction with countries, and their activities must be rooted in Ministries of Health. Working Groups should encourage countries to identify their own service gaps and resource needs, and partners to develop ‘country clusters’ which will give advice to countries and help conduct ‘mapping exercises’.
- Members wanted the work of The Partnership to include countries in all geographic locations, while still having the 60 highest burden countries prioritized for assistance.
- Although the Gates grant presents an opportunity to prove the value-added quality of The Partnership, members wanted to ensure transparency in the process and that The Partnership continue in its modus operandi of not funding countries directly.