I would not want Brad Herbert's job.
He and his team of a few dozen people at the Global Fund have to negotiate hundreds of grant agreements, disburse billions of dollars, and then attempt to ensure that the grants deliver the promised results with no inappropriate diversions of money.
The Global Fund has terminated its three grants to Myanmar (Burma), because it has concluded that political restrictions imposed by the government mean that the grants "cannot be managed in a way that ensures effective program implementation."
After receiving protests from some US NGOs and queries from the media, Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the US's bilateral AIDS program PEPFAR, withdrew a newly-published US requirement which stated that non-governmental recipients of Global Fund grants "must have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution." The requirement was the latest in a steadily escalating set of conditions placed upon recipients of US AIDS grants.
The shortage of health workers in Africa has become recognized as the most significant constraint to scaling up health services, including for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Countries outside Africa also face significant health workforce challenges. Meeting health workforce needs will require significant funds. The Global Fund is one important possible source for the financial resources required to support human resources.
Global Fund grants are, on average, three months behind schedule, according to an analysis conducted by Aidspan, the NGO that publishes GFO.
The process whereby the Secretariat and the Board decide which grants to approve for "Phase 2 renewal" (that is, for Years 3-5) during the second year of each grant has led in recent weeks to considerable friction. In particular, when the Secretariat recommended that an HIV grant to Honduras should not be renewed, many people lobbied board members to over-rule the Secretariat recommendation.
In a new report "The Resource Needs of the Global Fund 2005-2007", prepared for the Stockholm meeting and available at www.theglobalfund.org/en/about/replenishment, the Fund has calculated its future needs using two independent methods.
At its November meeting, the Global Fund Board resolved that for all proposals submitted for Round 5, and for all Phase 2 renewals as of June 2005, CCMs must follow some key new requirements. Because these are requirements rather than just recommendations, the Round 5 application form can be expected to ask for proof that these requirements have been implemented.
The requirements are:
Médecins Sans Frontières
The Global Fund has launched a web-based Price Reporting Mechanism. This enables recipients of Global Fund grants to provide data on the prices they have paid and the product quality and supplier performance they have received when using their grants for procurement purposes. The data on produce prices is then made publicly available so that anyone interested can compare who has paid how much for which products.