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Aidspan guides and reports published during 2009
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The Aidspan Guide on the Roles and Responsibilities of CCMs in Grant Oversight
CCMs are only now beginning to focus on their role in overseeing the implementation of Global Fund grants. This guide describes what grant oversight is, and provides basic advice on how a CCM can plan and implement oversight. It includes some real-life examples from CCMs that have already started to do oversight. The primary target audience for this guide is CCMs. The guide will also be of interest to principal recipients (PRs) and large sub-recipients (SRs), as well as other stakeholders who are not on the CCM but who have an interest in the functioning of the CCM.
This guide is available at www.aidspan.org/guides in English, French, Spanish and Russian.
A Beginner's Guide to the Global Fund
The purpose of this guide is to provide a broad introduction to the Global Fund for people who have little or no prior experience of the Fund - ranging from new CCM members, to NGOs, to government officials, to new sub-recipients, to journalists who have to write about the Fund. This guide comes in three versions: the full guide (about 60 pages); an eight-page summary, and a two-page summary.
All three versions of this guide are available at www.aidspan.org/guides in English, French, Spanish and Russian.
Key Strengths of Round 8 Proposals to the Global Fund
The purpose of this report is to provide information to Global Fund applicants on key attributes of a strong proposal. The report is based on an analysis of the strengths of all approved Round 8 proposals, as identified by the Technical Review Panel (TRP) when it reviewed the proposals.
This report is available at www.aidspan.org/aidspanpublications in English, French, Spanish and Russian.
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GFO articles published during 2009
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To access all Global Fund Observer articles published since 2002, go to www.aidspan.org/gfo. Those published during 2009 are as follows, in reverse date order. Links are provided to downloadable versions of complete issues, and to individual articles.
A review by the Global Fund's Inspector General of the Fund's grants to Uganda, four years after the Fund temporarily suspended five grants due to financial mismanagement, has concluded that the Fund should continue to use the same PR, despite the Inspector General's unease over the ability of the PR to effectively use and protect Global Fund investments in Uganda.
The Global Fund is taking action to minimise the risk of treatment disruptions arising from interruptions in Global Fund financing and from weaknesses in country-level procurement and supply management systems.
The India CCM has organised elections to fill the eight seats on the CCM allocated to civil society organisations. This marks the first time that CSO representatives have been elected to the India CCM. Some CSOs expressed concerns about some parts of the process.
Service providers for the Global Fund's new Capacity Building Service and Supply Chain Management Assistance (CBS/SCMA) initiative have been selected, and discussions are underway with about ten countries that have expressed interest in strengthening their national supply chain management system.
The Global Fund is planning several initiatives to address the need for better planning and coordination of technical assistance. This information is included in the "Management Response to the Five-Year Evaluation," a document presented at the Global Fund Board meeting last month.
Programmes supported by the Global Fund should ensure that they contain an analysis of needs from a gender perspective and that they include initiatives to address these needs. This is a core message of the Gender Equality Strategy Plan of Action 2009-1012, adopted by the Global Fund in July.
Further details are provided regarding a Global Fund Board decision last month to modify the Fund's Quality Assurance Policy for Pharmaceutical Products.
The Global Fund reports that it is well on its way towards achieving its target of 10% "efficiency gains" for Round 8.
The Global Fund's new Partnership Strategy includes an accountability framework to enable the Global Fund and its partners to assess the effectiveness of their partnerships by measuring the ability to deliver results on the ground.
Aidspan, publisher of Global Fund Observer, will be hiring several Nairobi-based staff and consultants over the next few months. The first positions have been listed at www.aidspan.org/jobs; more will be added in January.
New HIV infections in 2008 were 30% lower than they were 12 years ago, according to data just released by UNAIDS and WHO. The findings confirm a trend first observed about two years ago.
The Global Fund says that more than 4.9 million lives have been saved by programmes supported by the Fund, and that 3,600 deaths are averted each day.
The TRP says that proposals submitted to the Global Fund do not adequately describe what the proposal will achieve and how progress will be measured. Also, proposals focus too much on process and output indicators and not enough on outcome and impact indicators.
The TRP has provided a detailed description of how the Global Fund set about inviting and evaluating its first wave of National Strategy Applications.
Details are provided regarding all the main decisions made at the Global Fund's recent Board meeting.
The Global Fund Board has decided to implement a new funding architecture in order to simplify processes for grant implementers. The centrepiece is the concept of a "single stream of funding" per PR per disease.
The Global Fund has established a new "expanded funding" window for CCMs. The new window allows a CCM to apply for more than $50,000 a year in funding providing it submits a two-year workplan with measurable targets.
The Global Fund Board has approved 10 proposals under Phase 1 of a small innovative new funding programme called the "Affordable Medicines Facility - Malaria" (AMFm), which is designed to provide support for interventions promoting and facilitating the use of artemisinin combination therapies.
Despite having relatively little funding available, the Global Fund Board has approved 85 Round 9 grants that will cost up to $1.99 billion over the first two years. This makes Round 9 the Fund's second largest round, after Round 8. In addition, the Board has announced the likely date for the launch of Round 10.
Details are provided of the Board's decision regarding each eligible Round 9 proposal.
The Global Fund Board has approved five grants in the "first learning wave" of National Strategy Applications (NSAs).
GFO's next issue, targeted for publication in the next few days, will provide information on the other key decisions made at the November 9-11 Board meeting.
The Global Fund Secretariat determined in Round 8 that all proposals received from CCMs were eligible for consideration by the TRP, even though some of the CCMs had not complied with at least one of the six minimum requirements that have been established by the Global Fund Board.
"Some of the decisions of the Global Fund's Screening Review Panel are scandalous - or at least, they would be if it wasn't so obvious that its members are trying to do what is 'best' in a complex world. Does the Secretariat believe that the Fund's minimum requirements regarding CCMs are too stringent? If so, why doesn't the Secretariat ask the Board to soften the requirements?"
"If I am ever granted the job of World Dictator, my first act will be to ban the use of PowerPoint."
An audit conducted by the Global Fund's Inspector General on five Global Fund grants in Tanzania has identified serious problems, particularly regarding supply chain management and financial and programmatic reporting.
"Senior Global Fund officials seem to be scared to speak in clear simple terms about things that need to be said. Next month, the Fund will have a board meeting at which it must make difficult decisions about how to fund Round 9. Whatever decisions it makes, it should communicate those decisions rapidly and clearly to all applicants."
The Indian CCM has made important decisions to change its size and composition and to establish selection processes for each sector.
"Many implementers of Global Fund grants are still not getting the technical assistance that they need - often because they are not requesting the TA in the first place. Accordingly, the Global Fund ought to require that each prospective principal recipient prepares a TA Plan prior to signing a Grant Agreement."
Only a small proportion of funds for sub-recipients of Global Fund grants in Latin America and the Caribbean are reaching organisations representing the key population groups where the HIV epidemic is largely concentrated, according to a report prepared by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
The Global Fund has temporarily suspended five grants to the Philippines, citing unauthorized expenditure by the PR, and one grant to Mauritania, citing fraud. These are the Fund's first grant suspensions since it suspended grants to Chad three years ago and Uganda four years ago.
"Anyone who imagines that the Global Fund could disburse billions of dollars without some of it being mis‑used is naive. The question is not whether some of the money will be diverted, but rather how much, and whether the diversion is detected, and what is done once it is detected."
The TRP has recommended that the Global Fund Board approve Round 9 grants that, over their first two years, will cost $2.21 billion dollars. This makes Round 9 the second largest round ever of Global Fund grants.
The Global Fund Board has provisionally suspended the submission of new proposals through the rolling continuation channel (RCC).
The Fund's Price & Quality Reporting System is a web-based database system which tracks information about the prices and quality of health products procured with money from the Fund. Tests by Aidspan reveal some shortcomings.
Aidspan invites feedback from GFO readers about how decisions are made on CCMs and, more broadly, about the authority of CCMs.
French, Russian and Spanish versions of "The Aidspan Guide on the Roles and Responsibilities of CCMs in Grant Oversight" are now available.
Editor's Note: This issue of GFO is entirely devoted to reporting on the results of the Global Fund's Five-Year Evaluation.
The Global Fund recently released the results of the Health Impact Evaluation, the third and final area of study in the Five-Year Evaluation; and the Fund also released reports synthesising the overall evaluation findings.
The rapid increase in funding from all partners for the three diseases has resulted in a major expansion in access to services in these countries and has improved coverage of interventions, which will likely impact disease burden. However, gaps in the availability of data prevented the evaluation from actually measuring the impact of the Global Fund and its partners on the three diseases. These are the major findings from the Health Impact Evaluation.
The Global Fund has laid the foundation for continued, successful scale-up. However, not all of the original expectations of the Global Fund have been realised. Concerted effort will be required to continue the revision and refinement of the Global Fund's principles, systems and practices in order to increase funding for scaling up, especially in light of the current financial environment. These are the main conclusions of the full Five-Year Evaluation.
This new guide provides a broad introduction to the Global Fund for people who have little or no knowledge of the Fund.
Three excerpts are provided.
Proposals submitted for Round 9 are three-quarters as large, in average dollar value, as proposals submitted in Round 8, but still significantly larger than for any of the first seven rounds of funding.
The Board has approved nine proposals in Wave 6 of the Rolling Continuation Channel (RCC) funding stream, representing costs of up to $263 million over three years.
These versions are now available at www.aidspan.org/publications.
All key decisions made at the just-completed Global Fund board meeting are summarized.
"No Global Fund board meeting would be complete without there being at least one issue involving high drama. This time, the drama arose over the inability of the board to elect a new Chair."
At least 11 CCMs have established their own websites, and at least two others are in the process of doing so.
Although the HIV epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean is largely concentrated among men who have sex with men and sex workers, organisations representing these "key populations" receive very little of the Global Fund money being spent in the region, according to a recent study.
A Ugandan government official who set up a company in 2005 to serve as a Global Fund Sub-Recipient has been sentenced to ten years in prison for stealing $56,000 of Global Fund money and for producing forged documentation as to how the money was used. Further convictions are expected.
Aidspan has released "The Aidspan Guide on the Roles and Responsibilities of CCMs in Grant Oversight." Its purpose is to provide guidance on how CCMs can plan and implement oversight of programmes funded by Global Fund grants.
Three excerpts are provided from "The Aidspan Guide on the Roles and Responsibilities of CCMs in Grant Oversight."
The Global Fund Board has approved six proposals in Wave 5 of the Rolling Continuation Channel (RCC) funding channel, representing costs of up to $322 million over three years. The RCC is a separate channel of funding set up to allow applicants with strongly performing grants to apply for continuing funding for up to an additional six years beyond the original proposal term.
In its report to the Global Fund Board on the results of Wave 5 of the Rolling Continuation Channel, the TRP identified the key strengths and weakness of the proposals submitted.
The Global Fund Secretariat has invited 22 CCMs to take part in the "first learning wave" of national strategy applications (NSAs). NSAs are a new way to apply for Global Fund money; they involve submitting a national disease strategy as the primary basis of the application for Global Fund financing.
Aidspan has released a new report on "Key Strengths of Round 8 Proposals to the Global Fund." The purpose of the report is to inform Global Fund Round 9 applicants about what were the key attributes of strong Round 8 proposals.
The Global Fund needs an additional $4 billion to address its budget needs through 2010, Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine said last week ahead of a meeting the Fund will hold with donors at the end of this month.
A group of five large PRs has recommended that the Global Fund share with all PRs a clear summary of its internal policies that affect PRs.
The Global Fund is planning to appoint five new TRP members who have expertise on gender and on issues faced by sexual minorities.
Michel Kazatchkine, head of the Global Fund, has co-authored an article in the Lancet that examines, nearly thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, "what we - the international community - got right, what we got wrong, and why we need to urgently dispel several emerging myths about the epidemic and the global response to it."
Three excerpts are provided from the new Aidspan report on "Key Strengths of Round 8 Proposals."