2. NEWS
21 May 2010

As mentioned in Article 1, Round 10 applicants have the option of submitting a consolidated proposal, instead of a regular proposal, if they are eligible and ready to transition to a single stream of funding.

If applicants are submitting a proposal for a particular disease, and if they already have one or more existing grants for that disease, and if at least one of those existing grants will have at least 12 months of implementation time remaining from the proposed start date for the programme covered by their Round 10 proposal - then these applicants are eligible to transition to a single stream of funding. (By definition, applicants that do not meet these criteria are not eligible to transition to a single stream of funding in Round 10.)

Round 10 applicants that are eligible to transition to a single stream of funding are given three options:

OPTION 1: Transition to a single stream of funding by submitting a consolidated proposal in Round 10. In a consolidated proposal, proposed new activities are consolidated with existing grants for the same disease. This would result in the applicant signing one or more single-stream-of-funding grant agreements, should its proposal be approved for funding.

OPTION 2: Transition to a single stream of funding during Round 10 grant negotiations. Under this option, the applicant would submit a regular proposal in Round 10, but indicate that it wishes to consolidate its Round 10 proposal with existing grants for the same disease during grant agreement negotiations. This would also result in the applicant signing one or more single-stream-of-funding grant agreements, should its proposal be approved for funding.

OPTION 3: Defer, for the time being, any decision about transitioning to a single stream of funding. Applicants that choose this option will be able to transition to a single stream of funding some time after the Round 10 funding applications period. If they have not done so by the start of Round 11, they may be required to submit a consolidated proposal in Round 11, depending on whether they submit in Round 11, what they submit and what the status of their existing grants is at that time.

It is important to note that in order to transition to a single stream of funding in Round 10 (i.e., Options 1 or 2), applicants do not necessarily have to re-nominate an existing PR in their Round 10 proposals. Applicants have several choices. They can (a) redistribute continuing existing grant activities among existing PRs; (b) allocate continuing existing grant activities to a newly nominated PR; (c) allocate new activities to an existing PR; or (d) allocate new activities to a newly nominated PR - or some combination of the above. This information, which is contained in the Round 10 Guidelines for Proposals, is significant and may be new to many readers. It means that while a country would end up with a single-stream-of-funding grant agreement per disease per PR, the grants being consolidated wouldn't necessarily have the same PR as before.

If an applicant chooses to submit a consolidated proposal (Option 1), it will fill out the same proposal form that is used for regular proposals. However, some of the questions are different for consolidated proposals; and, frequently, additional information specific to consolidated proposals has to be provided. For example:

  • The applicant must describe, in a consolidated fashion, objectives, service delivery areas (SDAs) and activities for both the new activities being proposed and the activities of existing grants for the same disease and PR(s). However, the applicant must distinguish between new and existing activities.
  • The applicant must also describe what changes in activities or targeted populations, if any, have occurred for those interventions that are from existing grants; what links there are, if any, between the new activities and existing activities; what links there are, if any, between the proposed activities and existing Global Fund grants for other diseases or for health systems strengthening; and how duplication will be avoided where there are linkages.
  • The applicant must list the SDAs and activities of existing grants being consolidated within the Round 10 proposal; explain whether and to what extent each SDA and activity from an existing grant will be included in the Round 10 consolidated proposal; and provide justification for any proposed changes.
  • The applicant must describe any major changes in indicators and targets for activities from existing grants that are being consolidated, and provide a rationale for changes that are significant.
  • The budget must include costs for the consolidated disease proposal - i.e., for both new and existing activities. The applicant must also provide the requisite budgetary detail (budget assumptions, unit costs, etc.) for the entire Round 10 funding request, not just for the new funding.
  • The indicators and targets as shown in the Performance Framework must be for the consolidated disease proposal - i.e., for both new and existing activities.

Aidspan Comment

The rationale for transitioning to a single stream of funding is sound. For one PR to have several grants for one disease creates a lot of bureaucracy for both the PR and the Global Fund. Much of this can be avoided if multiple grants are consolidated into one.

Applicants that are certain that they want to transition into a single stream of funding in Round 10 will save considerable time during the grant negotiations process if they choose Option 1 (submitting a consolidated proposal) rather than Option 2 (transitioning during Round 10 grant negotiations), because most of the work relating to consolidation will have already been done by the time grant negotiations start. Therefore, Option 1 might be attractive to applicants that are already working on grant consolidation.

However, Aidspan believes that most applicants would be better off not submitting a consolidated proposal in Round 10 (i.e., not choosing Option 1), for the following reasons:

  1. Grant consolidation is a complicated process, and there is as yet very little guidance available on how to do it.
  2. This is the first time that the Global Fund has designed a proposal form to accommodate consolidated proposals, so there are likely to be some glitches.
  3. Choosing to submit a consolidated proposal makes a complicated proposal form even more complicated.
  4. Applicants only have three months in which to prepare their proposals, instead of the usual four.

Applicants that are eligible to transition to a single stream of funding, but that decide not to submit a consolidated proposal in Round 10, can still transition to a single stream of funding in Round 10 by selecting Option 2 (transitioning during Round 10 grant negotiations). Or they can choose Option 3, and put off transitioning until some time after the Round 10 funding applications period.

Leave a comment