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Adapting to Change
GFO Issue 428

Adapting to Change



Article Type:

Article Number: 2

Aidspan’s ambitious new Strategy reflects a new scope and ambition

Aidspan’s new Strategy for 2023-2028 is the product of a bold new rethinking of how to make Aidspan more relevant and flexible following the bleak years of COVID-imposed lockdowns and dramatic changes in global health architecture and the funding landscape. It takes advantage of the 2022 program review to change its timeframe to mirrow that of the Global Fund Strategy and has been adapted, reshaped and refocused to respon effectively to changes in the operating environment.

Aidspan exists to improve the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and, as recognized for the first time in our new Strategy, other global health initiatives (GHIs). It achieves this through independent observation, and convening and building the capacity of in-country accountability mechanisms and stakeholders.


Aidspan has proved to be a reliable and independent watchdog of the Global Fund for over 20 years; and through its new Strategy 2023-2028 it wants to leverage these experiences through extending its mandate to cover other GHIs.


This Strategy 2023–2028 presents the vision, mission, goal, four pillars and core values that will guide Aidspan’s work to support global health equality over the next five years. It provides a foundation for its diverse international team, current and future donors and partners in their work towards transparent, accountable and effective implementation of Global Fund and other GHIs’ health programmes.


Building on the success of the 2018–2022 Strategy and the results of an independent evaluation in 2022, this new Strategy responds to the evolving global health context in which Aidspan operates, where (a) the mandate of the Global Fund is expanding to encompass pandemic preparedness and response, and health systems more broadly, and (2) there is increasing interdependence between the Global Fund and other GHIs to secure resilient and sustainable systems for universal health coverage. Responding to this and recognising that accountability must be the driving force behind efficient services, Aidspan will refine and strengthen its existing services currently available to Global Fund stakeholders and expand these to other GHIs.


To implement this Strategy, Aidspan is committed to:

(a) Independently observe the Global Fund and other GHIs. It will observe and evaluate Global Fund implementation and its impact on communities and beneficiaries. This entails ensuring its presence at relevant stakeholder meetings; reviewing and synthesising plans and reports; and observing country-level partnerships or engagements between the Global Fund, other GHIs, and implementers.

(b) Increase transparency, accountability and effectiveness (internally, within Aidspan, and ex-ternally, across the Global Fund, other GHIs, and implementers). Aidspan will engage with stakeholders to ensure the effectiveness, coordination and accountability of GHIs at the country level. This is enabled by strengthening in-country capacity to monitor accountability for donor-funded programmes and assessing the implementation of the programmes to enhance their effectiveness.

(c) Communicate for change and influence. Aidspan’s communication is intentional. It affects change and influences better outcomes. This is achieved through advocacy and the use of simplified and accessible English and French language articles and reports, and distilling the jargon often used in key GHI documents.

(d) Build and strengthen strategic partnerships. Aidspan will expand its current networks to build and enhance collaborative partnerships for accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the Global Fund, other GHIs and implementers. Aidspan will leverage technology and internal processes to enhance these partnerships.


Implementing this Strategy means ensuring that countries are meaningfully engaged in the effec-tiveness and accountability of donor grants and the sustainability of health systems beyond donor timelines. Aidspan is committed to this Strategy and will work closely with other stakeholders to enable its successful implementation.


Who exactly is Aidspan?


Established in 2002, the year the Global Fund was created, it is a non-profit organisation based in Kenya with a reputation for independently observing the work of the Global Fund. This has enabled Aidspan to enhance the effectiveness and accountability of Global Fund initiatives. It is known for its responsible reporting and analysis and is recognised as a credible source of information for the Global Fund ecology. Aidspan provides in-depth analysis of Global Fund policies and processes and is referred to by stakeholders as ‘explainers of the Fund’.


Aidspan’s Board of Directors has significant experience from across the globe and demonstrates strong leadership in driving the organisation’s mandate. Aidspan has a diverse team of monitoring and evaluation experts, policy analysts, technical and knowledge management specialists and regularly engages with a global network of partners, practitioners and beneficiries. Aidspan has honed critical skills and services that continue to contribute to the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria and health system strengthening programmes funded by the Global Fund.

Figure 1. Aidspan’s vision, mission and goal

Figure 2. Core values


Aidspan’s added value

Aidspan fulfils an essential function in the global health landscape: supporting the work of all stakeholders as it seeks to collectively address and remain responsive to the needs of marginalised and vulnerable populations. Aidspan works to ensure investments in social goods yield the highest possible returns on investments and is an ally in preventing corruption within governments, funding mechanisms, and programme implementers. Underlying this is Aidspan’s commitment to the participation of all stakeholders in actively building and strengthening resilient and sustainable health systems.


Twenty years on, it remains committed to the vision of a world without the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Its experiences and successes since 2002 position it as an independent, credible watchdog, indispensable to the transparent and effective responses of the Global Fund and other GHIs.


The change Aidspan wants to see

Over the next five years (2023–2028), Aidpan will continue to hone its unique role as an independent Global Fund watchdog and evolve to apply its specialised accountability function and expertise to complementary GHIs. Aidspan will know it has achieved this when there is:


Effective grant implementation

  • Elimination of implementation barriers
  • Enhanced GHI efficacy to reduce inequities
  • Accessible, relevant and up-to-date information and data on GHIs for implementers and beneficiaries
  • Accessible information that supports decision-making for the effectiveness of GHIs.


Sustainability of funded programmes

  • Greater focus on resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH)
  • Increased reliance on in-country institutions to ensure the accountable use of donor resources.


Improved accountability of GHI grants and country initiatives

  • Engagement with implementing partners who support mutually-reinforcing enabling factors
  • Increased involvement of key in-country institutions, including parliament, judiciary and SAIs in enhancing transparency and accountability of donor-funded programmes.

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