Global Fund Board Approves Two New Round 6 Proposals Following Successful Appeals
The Global Fund Board has approved two of the twelve Round 6 proposals whose original rejection had been appealed by the applicants. The newly approved proposals are an HIV/AIDS proposal from Egypt that will cost $5.4 million over the first two years, and a TB proposal from Pakistan that will cost $22.6 million. The approvals are subject to a number of clarifications being successfully responded to in a timely manner.
To be eligible for appeal, a proposal has to be have been turned down for funding in two consecutive rounds. Forty-eight proposals met this criterion in Round 6; CCMs from 12 countries filed appeals, but only two were successful. The unsuccessful appeals were from Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Columbia, Comoros, India, Liberia, Nepal, Sudan and Yemen.
The appeals were reviewed by an Independent Appeal Panel, comprised of two members of the TRP, together with an expert designated by WHO, an expert designated by UNAIDS and an expert designated by the World Bank, all of whom served in their personal capacities. Where a member of the TRP had been a reviewer of a proposal under appeal in Round 6, another expert of the TRP replaced him or her for the relevant discussion. For this reason, five TRP members were involved in the Independent Appeal Panel meeting, although only two TRP members evaluated each appeal considered by the panel.
With respect to the successful appeals from Egypt and Pakistan, the Independent Appeal Panel found that the TRP had erred in some of the weaknesses it had identified and that the TRP errors were sufficient to justify a change in ranking from Category 3 to Category 2. However, the Panel said that the proposals should only be funded following successful completion of a number of clarifications that the Panel identified. For the most part, these clarifications were based on weaknesses identified by the TRP in its original review of the proposal.
With respect to the unsuccessful appeals, the Independent Review Panel found that while the TRP had made some errors, they were not sufficient to require a change in the Category 3 ranking; or that the information in the appeal document raised questions of judgment rather than questions of significant and obvious error on the part of the TRP; or that the explanations provided by the appellant in the appeal document were inadequate; or that the appeal was based on new information rather than explanations of the information already submitted in the proposal (which is contrary to Board policy) - or some combination of the above.
The Independent Appeal Panel suggested that the TRP limit the use of terminology that could be interpreted in several ways, and avoid judgmental comments such as unclear or excessive, opting instead for greater specificity on the issue in question.