The Global Fund today issued its Call for Proposals for countries wishing to apply for Round 7 grants. The proposal form and various support documents are available in six languages at www.theglobalfund.org/en/apply/call7. Applications must be submitted by 4 July 2007.
The major changes to the Proposal Form compared to the form that was used for Round 6 are as follows:
- Where the proposal being submitted is similar to a previous proposal that was not approved, applicants are explicitly asked to address the comments that the Technical Review Panel (TRP) made regarding the previous proposal.
- Where the proposal being submitted has some key services in common with an earlier grant, and significant portions of that earlier grant have not yet been disbursed, applicants are asked to explain why the Round 7 proposal covers these same services.
- Where the proposal being submitted specifies a Principal Recipient (PR) that has had some "performance bottlenecks" with an existing grant, applicants are asked to explain how these bottlenecks are addressed in the proposal.
- On the Proposal Form itself, applicants are being asked to submit less complex information on their budgets.
- Although the Proposal Form for Round 7 contains the same five sections used in the Round 6 form, some of the information requested has been moved from one section to another.
Aidspan, publisher of GFO, will produce a guidance document to help potential applicants with the applications process. The Aidspan Guide to Round 7 Applications to the Global Fund will be posted at www.aidspan.org/guides on Monday or Tuesday March 5 or 6. This document will also be available in French and Spanish versions; these versions should be posted on the Aidspan website by 19 March 2007.
All proposals submitted by the closing date will be reviewed by the Global Fund Secretariat to ensure that they meet the Fund's eligibility criteria. Eligible proposals will then be forwarded to the TRP for consideration. The TRP will make recommendations to the Global Fund Board, which will make its decisions at its board meeting scheduled for 14-16 November 2007. (In the past, all proposals recommended by the TRP for approval have indeed been approved by the Board.)
When the TRP members review the proposals, they will do so in their personal capacities - they must not share the information with or accept any instructions from their employers or their national governments. Once the TRP has assessed each proposal, it will assign it a rating in one of the following categories:
- Recommended (Category 1): Proposal is recommended for approval.
- Recommended (Category 2): Proposal is recommended for approval, provided that the applicant responds promptly to a number of requests by the TRP for clarification or adjustment. (This might be divided into Categories 2A and 2B.)
- Not Recommended (Category 3): Proposal is not recommended in its present form, but applicant is encouraged to submit a proposal in a future round following major revision.
- Not Recommended (Category 4): Proposal is rejected
In allocating each proposal to one of the above categories, the TRP will take into consideration only technical factors, such as whether the project described in the proposal is technically sound, whether it is one that the specified organization(s) are capable of implementing, and whether it represents good use of the money. The TRP is required to ignore the question of whether it believes the Global Fund has enough money to pay for all of the proposals that it is recommending. If the TRP recommends more proposals than the Fund has money to finance, it will be for the Board to deal with the problem. (See next article for information on the funding available for Round 7).
Once a proposal is approved by the Board, the Secretariat will enter into a lengthy and complex process of: (a) ensuring that the applicant answers, to the satisfaction of the TRP, any questions that the TRP asked regarding the proposal; (b) assessing the ability of the proposed Principal Recipient (PR) to perform the role that the proposal assigns to it; and (c) negotiating grant agreement(s) with the PR. It is only after this multi-month process that the first cash disbursement will be sent. Thus, although proposals have to be submitted by 4 July 2007, it is unlikely that the first funding will be sent for successful proposals before the middle of 2008.