The Technical Evaluation Reference Group (TERG) plans to conduct prospective country evaluations (PCEs) in eight countries in 2017. PCEs are in-depth evaluations that utilize a variety of methods to provide a detailed picture of the implementation, effectiveness, and impact of Global Fund–supported programs.
This information was contained in a paper on the TERG 2017-2022 Work Plan presented to the Board at its recent meeting in Montreux, Switzerland.
According to the TERG, PCEs will establish country platforms that will support “dynamic and continuous” monitoring and evaluation, learning, and problem solving. The objectives of the country platforms are:
- to analyze the programs that are designed to implement the Global Fund’s strategic objectives;
- to provide information on a timely basis to allow countries and the Secretariat to adapt the programs;
- to assist the countries involved to strengthen their M&E systems;
- to identify challenges that impede program performance;
- to measure how the programs contribute to achieving impact; and
- to identify and disseminate best practices.
The criteria for the selection of participating countries include geographic and disease balance; gender inequality as a main driver of the epidemic; significant human rights challenges; low program performance; and the available of adequate data or good prospects for improving data collection.
In 2017, the TERG will also conduct a strategic review which will focus on following up on the recommendations of its 2015 Strategic Review, as well as three thematic reviews. It will also develop guidance material on improving “robust measurement of health impact.”
Over the 2017-2022 period, the TERG also plans to conduct regular program and thematic reviews and period strategic reviews (such as cumulative syntheses of evaluations). In addition, the TERG plans to provide advice on the use of logical evaluation frameworks; investments in country data systems and data collection, analysis and use; and Secretariat activities in M&E and program quality assurance.
In its report to the Board, the TERG also presented a summary of its findings from two thematic reviews it conducted recently (National Strategic Plans as Basis for Global Fund Applications, and Cooperation Agreement Between the Global Fund and WHO and STB on TA). Included among the findings were the following:
- the grant application processes remain heavy and repetitive;
- technical assistance for (a) health systems strengthening and (b) community, rights, and gender was limited; and
- the Global Fund should facilitate more partner support to countries for strengthening implementation of programs rather than applications for funding.
Board Document GF-B36-14 (TERG Multi-Year Work Plan) should be available shortly at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/36. According to the Global Fund website, the two thematic reviews named in this article are still ongoing. Unfortunately, when they are completed, the TERG thematic reviews are usually not posted on the Fund’s site.