List of Countries for Second Wave of NSAs Announced
Eleven countries have been invited to participate in the second wave of national strategy applications (NSAs), six for HIV, four for malaria and one for TB. The list of countries is as follows: El Salvador (HIV), Ethiopia (HIV), Ghana (HIV), Cote d'Ivoire (HIV), Moldova (HIV), Namibia (malaria), Nepal (malaria), Senegal (HIV), Togo (malaria), Vietnam (tuberculosis) and Zambia (malaria).
The inclusion of Cote d'Ivoire is conditional. Because it is currently experiencing some political turmoil and violence, Cote d'Ivoire will only be included if it is possible to conduct a joint assessment of the national strategy in the country in a few months time.
NSAs involve country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) submitting a national disease strategy as the primary basis of the application for Global Fund financing, together with a proposal based on a form that is lighter than the one used in the rounds-based channel.
In January 2011, the Global Fund invited expressions of interest in the second wave. Twenty-seven expressions of interest were received. (Note: This does not mean that 27 countries expressed interest; some countries expressed interest for more than one disease.)
To be considered for the second wave, countries had to meet four criteria: (1) the national disease strategy does not end before June 2015; (2) the strategy documentation is finished, or nearly finished; (3) country stakeholders are confident that the strategy is sufficiently solid to form the basis for a national strategy application; and (4) the country is willing and able to coordinate an independent in-country joint assessment of the strategy. According to the Global Fund Secretariat, 25 of the 27 expressions of interest met these four criteria.
The national strategy documentation submitted with the expressions of interest then underwent a technical screening to evaluate the completeness and consistency of the documentation. The technical screening was based on nine criteria designed to determine whether the strategy documentation was sufficiently ready to form the basis of a joint assessment (which is part of the process for the second wave). Some expressions of interest were eliminated from consideration at this stage, but not enough to get the number of participants down to what the Secretariat considers to be a manageable number.
Therefore, the Secretariat applied additional "considerations," which included (a) geographical diversity and (2) limiting participation to one disease per country. This brought the number of countries invited to participate in the second wave down to 11.
The next step for these countries is to organise the in-country joint assessments, which will take place over an 8-to-12-day period between mid-June and mid-September 2011. The organisation of the joint assessments will be supported by a global-level multi-partner group which will include representatives from technical agencies (i.e., Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Stop TB Partnership, UNAIDS, World Health Organization), the Global Fund, other donors, and representatives of civil society. The group will also include a representative from one of the implementing countries from the first learning wave of NSAs.
As is the case for Round 11 applicants, application materials for the NSAs will be made available on 15 August 2011, and the deadline for submission will be 15 December 2011. The applications will be reviewed by the Technical Review Panel (TRP) and considered for funding by the Global Fund Board at its meeting in about May 2012.
The first learning wave of NSAs was launched in 2009. Seven applications were received, of which five were approved for funding at a total two-year cost of $434 million (prior to "efficiency cuts").
The information for this article was obtained from the NSA pages on the Global Fund website, and from staff at the Global Fund Secretariat. The NSA pages contain extensive information on the NSA process. A summary of the process is also available in a GFO article here.