The Global Fund is offering a series of training initiatives including e-learning courses available online to accompany the launch of the new funding model (NFM).
Lindsay Smith, the Secretariat’s communication and training specialist for the access to funding unit, told Aidspan that these courses are responding to “a huge hunger for information” among applicants and other stakeholders. “The Global Fund is committed to making its processes as transparent and accessible as possible,” she said.
Smith said that as of the end of June, the e-learning courses have been taken 879 times online and have been downloaded for off-line use 516 times; and that the NFM overview video has been viewed 2,357 times.
The e-learning courses are geared mainly towards in-country stakeholders but they can be taken by anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of how the NFM works. Other courses have been developed for the Global Fund’s country teams and for technical partners.
In addition, the Global Fund has organized several regional information sessions and has participated in regional meetings convened by partner organizations.
There are six e-learning courses online on the following topics:
- Understanding counterpart financing and willingness to pay
- Understanding the program split
- Achieving inclusive country dialogue
- Community engagement
- Eligibility requirements for CCMs
- Understanding regional applications
All of the courses are currently available in English; some are available in other languages. Eventually, all of the courses will also be available in French, Spanish and Russian.
Eight other e-learning courses should be available in the next few months. The topics include concept note development, full expression of demand, grant-making, technical assistance, the review process and implementation mapping, as well as the use of the programmatic gap table, and the modular template.
The Global Fund has also developed an NFM overview video.
People who complete the online courses are invited to provide feedback via an online survey; Smith says that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. She said that all users have said that they would recommend the courses to a colleague and that the level of detail is “just right.”
Before taking the courses, Smith said, 50% of users who took the survey reported having a “good” level of knowledge of the topics, while 17% percent said they had a “poor” level of knowledge. None of the users reported having an “excellent” level. After taking the courses, 95% percent reported having a “good” or “excellent” level of knowledge. No one said they had a “poor” level of knowledge.
Smith said that a broad range of respondents -- including donors, implementers and local fund agents -- have provided feedback.
Training for country teams
Full-day training courses have been implemented for country teams on the following topics: country dialogue, investing for impact, and core tools: a topic that includes the concept note, the programmatic gap table, the modular template, financial gap analysis and the counterpart financing table, implementation mapping and capacity assessment.
Training has also been conducted on the Global Fund’s new grant management platform; more training is planned on the platform as it continues to be developed.
Smith told Aidspan that following each training, the Secretariat prepared a deck of presentation slides with corresponding exercises for country teams to use to train their CCMs.
An additional module on grant-making training is in development.
In March and April, the Secretariat organized regional meetings on the NFM in the following locations:
- Jordan (for the Middle East and North Africa)
- Ecuador (for Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America and the Caribbean)
- Senegal (for Western and Central Africa)
- Namibia (for Southern Africa)
- Jamaica (for English- and French-speaking countries in LAC)
More recently, in June, the Secretariat organized a regional meeting in Cambodia (for Asia). Collectively, these meetings involved 840 participants from 66 countries. Although the meetings were primarily information sessions, they also included some formal training.
With respect to regional meetings convened by partner organizations, Smith said that the Secretariat has sent tailored materials and/or presenters and facilitators to more than 50 events in 2014 alone.
Smith said that the Secretariat is responding to a steady stream of requests from individuals and partners. For example, she said, she recently participated on a Skype call with two other Secretariat staff to “train” youth activists on engaging with the Global Fund.