Despite a 2016 strategic initiative to reallocate Secretariat staff for countries with smaller (Focused) portfolios to countries with larger (Core or High Impact) portfolios, and to reduce the administrative burden on Focused portfolios, “grant management processes and procedures in Focused portfolios remain largely the same” as for the larger portfolios.
Stakeholders in Burkina Faso have succeeded in improving the absorption rate of the country’s Global Fund grants. The rate has gone from 67% for the period 2012–2015 to 94% as of the end of 2017. Poor absorption has been a long-standing problem in all countries in West and Central Africa.
Despite the reforms that are associated with the new funding model (NFM), challenges remain “in the inherent structure and paradigm of the Global Fund.” The lack of country offices has many negative downstream effects, including having to rely on in-country partners, and ineffective coordination of in-country activities.
Until the Global Fund defines its risk appetite, it can’t know what level of assurance is required: OIG audit
“The work on defining risk appetite is in its early stage and until [it is] sufficiently advanced, there is limited guidance on the required level of assurance.” This is one of main conclusions of an audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of in-country assurance.
Global Fund makes significant progress on Strategy implementation during a busy year of grant-making
A report prepared for the Board meeting on 14-15 November in Geneva, Switzerland provided an update on the implementation of activities under the objectives and sub-objectives of the Global Fund’s 2017-2022 Strategy. For each sub-objective, the report described the progress achieved to date, as well as key challenges and risks, and future plans. In addition, the report identified the key performance indicator (KPI) tied to each sub-objective.
The Global Fund is in the process of reviewing its business model in high-risk countries. It appears likely that the Fund will proceed to strengthen its existing model rather than make any radical changes to that model – changes that might have included establishing a country presence in some form and in at least some countries.
While grant-making under the new funding model is better than it was under the rounds-based system, there are still many inefficiencies caused by cumbersome processes at the Secretariat level, duplicated documentation, and inadequate systems.