Ensuring Transparency in Côte d’Ivoire's Country Coordinating Mechanism Renewal and Elections

A voting member of the Côte d’Ivoire CCM casts her vote during the General Assembly in September, 2012. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) are the multi-sectoral teams responsible for the development and oversight of country grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In Côte d’Ivoire, the CCM oversees organizations that have big goals in the fight against these three diseases: scaling up malaria interventions so that by 2014, at least 80% of the population will be sleeping under insecticide treated bed nets; improving the access to and quality of HIV testing and counseling; and expanding and enhancing the fight against multi-drug resistant TB. 

Strong CCM leadership helps to ensure that these organizations reach their goals, but it hasn’t always been easy in Côte d’Ivoire, where government and institutional elections have often presented opportunities for unfair representation, favoritism, and a disregard for rules. Last year, however, the CCM’s new Permanent Secretary, Dr. S. Daniel Memain, along with many of his colleagues, was determined to ensure a transparent election and smooth membership renewal process. 

Dr. Memain requested the support of USAID’s Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) project, which is led by Management Sciences for Health. In June 2012, LMG worked with the CCM to launch the membership renewal process. This included organizing and supporting six information sessions for CCM representatives from civil society to detail members’ roles and responsibilities, and assisting stakeholders in identifying nominees for both new members and alternate members within this governing body, which is made up of a total of 50 representatives. 

Then, in September, again with support from LMG/Côte d’Ivoire, Dr. Memain and the outgoing President of the CCM oversaw the election process, where all candidates presented their platforms before the General Assembly and each voting member answered the call to cast his or her vote by secret ballot. 

“These elections were conducted with great success, such professionalism, equality, and transparency… as if it were a presidential or municipal election in a country,” Dr. Memain said of the process. Once all votes were cast, a selected election committee comprised of three non-voting CCM members tallied all votes before the General Assembly and declared the results for the president and three vice-presidents. 

The level of professionalism and commitment that CCM candidates and others brought to this transparent and fair election process is an important step toward effective CCM support throughout the year for Global Fund grantees in Côte d’Ivoire.

For more information about the LMG project, visit: www.LMGforhealth.org.