- As reported in the last issue of GFO, no Round 4 NGO proposals developed independently by NGOs but not endorsed by their national CCM were forwarded by the Secretariat to the Technical Review Panel for evaluation. However, GFO has now learned that one of those independent NGO proposals - one dealing with HIV/AIDS that was developed jointly by ActionAid Nepal, the Family Planning Association of Nepal, and the Nepal Harm Reduction Council - was endorsed by Nepal's CCM at the last minute, after the CCM was contacted by the Fund secretariat and encouraged to sign on. That CCM-endorsed proposal, bundled with TB and malaria components written by the CCM, was reviewed by the TRP and now awaits a decision at next week's meeting of the full board. The Fund's Brad Herbert called it a "very positive" development that the CCM was willing to endorse a proposal written by NGOs. The next issue of GFO will report whether the Nepal proposal is approved by the board at next week's meeting.
- GFO welcomes Esther Kaplan as its part-time Deputy Editor. Esther is a freelance journalist with many years of professional experience covering AIDS. Her first book, "With God on Their Side", which examines the role of the American religious right on AIDS policy and other issues, will be published by The New Press in the fall.
- Bernard Rivers, Executive Director of Aidspan and Editor of Aidspan's Global Fund Observer, has been granted observer status at next week's Global Fund board meeting. This will mean he can cover the meeting without having to hide behind the potted plants. GFO accepts the same rules regarding confidentiality as are accepted by board members, which means essentially that developments can be reported after the board meeting is over.
- "The Aidspan Guide to Obtaining Global Fund-Related Technical Assistance" was released in January and "The Aidspan Guide to Applying to the Global Fund" was released in March. (See www.aidspan.org/guides.) Each has had over 1,000 complete downloads from the Aidspan web site. Aidspan would like to hear from readers who did - or did not - find these useful, and/or who have suggestions for improvement. Your notes to firstname.lastname@example.org will be much appreciated.
- GFO's Bernard Rivers and Esther Kaplan will be in Bangkok to attend the Partnership Forum on July 7-8 and the International AIDS Conference on July 11-16. They hope to host an informal meeting with GFO readers during the AIDS conference, primarily to seek opinions on how GFO could be improved. Date and location are yet to be determined. If you would like to attend this meeting, please send an email to email@example.com.
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