Geneva, 24 June 2021 – Global health leaders Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have joined forces with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to contribute to, and support, the implementation of robust accounting practices in the public health sector and to improve overall financial management of donor funds by implementing countries.
Through this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Gavi, the Global Fund and IFAC seek to strengthen the expertise of accountancy and finance professionals and help close the gaps in accountancy skills in implementing countries, which can impact the reliability and effectiveness of managing and disbursing funds. The MoU builds on a 2011 agreement and aims to optimize the joint efforts of global health partners to maximize the performance of investments and support the sustainability of health programs.
“Gavi has cooperated with IFAC and national accounting organizations for a number of years to ensure sound financial management of the funding we provide to countries – this agreement allows us to go much further with a focus on the health sector, in leveraging the expertise of the accountancy profession to boost transparency, build local skills and capacity to improve overall accounting practices, and build a stronger ethical framework,” Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, commented. “That will ultimately bring economic and societal benefits to everyone.”
“Equipping our implementing partners with the right financial management skills is essential to maximize the impact of our investments and contributes to greater results in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Adda Faye, Chief Financial Officer at the Global Fund. “We are excited to join efforts with Gavi and IFAC to strengthen financial management, reporting, accountability, and transparency to better serve the societies and people in countries receiving Global Fund investments.”
“Robust and transparent accounting and reporting systems are the bedrock of strong public financial management and are thereby critical to the effectiveness and impact of Gavi and The Global Fund's disbursement of lifesaving funds and resources,” said IFAC President Alan Johnson. “Leveraging our global network and accountancy expertise, this MoU underscores the unique value that IFAC and our member bodies bring to organizations with a shared interest in enhancing the accountancy function to build a resilient and sustainable public health sector that leads to a fairer society for all.”
This work will start with a number of pilot countries in collaboration with local professional accountancy organizations (PAOs). Gavi and the Global Fund will be responsible for funding, selecting beneficiary organizations, and monitoring the implementation of targeted capacity-building activities which include training, establishing and reinforcing accountancy standards, reinforcing ethics and whistle-blowing policies, implementing diversity and inclusiveness policies and helping set up appropriate legal foundations, governance structures, and operational capacity.
Ultimately, this partnership will lead to better integration of Gavi and the Global Fund investments into country systems, better internal controls to reduce fiduciary and financial risks, enhanced absorption of grants and ultimately greater impact.