Starting in Round 11, Global Fund applicants will be able to submit a separate cross-cutting health systems strengthening (HSS) component in their proposals. For the last few rounds of funding, cross-cutting HSS requests had to be attached to a disease component; this will no longer be a requirement. This decision was made by the Board at its meeting in December 2010.
This means that a proposal may now contain any combination of four components: HIV, TB, malaria and cross-cutting HSS. For example, in Round11, an applicant could submit one proposal containing a TB component, an HIV component and a cross-cutting HSS component. It will also be possible for an applicant to submit a proposal containing only a cross-cutting HSS component.
The Global Fund says that requiring that cross-cutting HSS requests be attached to a disease component did not fit very well with the new grant architecture. Under the new policy, it will be much easier to consolidate cross-cutting HSS activities into single streams of funding.
The Board reiterated that applicants are encouraged, wherever possible, to integrate requests for funding HSS actions within individual disease components. The cross-cutting HSS component is intended only for HSS activities that cut across two diseases, or all three diseases. The Global Fund does not expect the new policy to change the current scale of funding for HSS activities; it considers the new policy to be more of a "technical correction."
Finally, the Board asked its working group on eligibility, cost-sharing and prioritisation to develop criteria specifically for cross-cutting HSS applications in time for the launch of the Round 11 call for proposals. Round 11 is scheduled to be launched on 15 August 2011, with a 15 December 2011 deadline for submission of applications.
Information for this article was taken from the Report of the Policy and Strategy Committee, Document GF/B22/4, and from Decision Point 4 in the Board decision points paper for its 22nd meeting, Document GF/B22/DP1. Both documents are at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/twentysecond.