The Global Fund should be more open about what options are being considered for the allocations methodology for the next period, 2017-2019.
By March 2016, the allocations methodology for 2017-2019 will have been adopted by the Board. That’s six months from now. It doesn’t look like there will be much public discussion of the methodology before it is approved.
Both the Global Fund Secretariat and the Technical Review Panel have listed lessons learned from the application of the methodology for 2014-2016 and have suggested that some adjustments be made for 2017-2019. The Secretariat said that the methodology did not sufficiently take into account the needs and gaps in the response to the diseases, leaving some countries with insufficient funds. The Secretariat also said that the adjustments for minimum required level made it difficult to shift allocations between countries; that having a separate methodology for Band 4 countries led to inconsistencies in allocations within regions; and that there was a lack of flexibility to shift funds between bands.
The TRP raised some of the same issues. It also questioned the value of the incentive funding stream and the practice of allowing applicants to make an “above-allocation” request. In addition, the TRP said that the methodology did not always result in funds being invested where they would have the most impact.
Concerns about the allocations methodology used for 2014-2016 were also raised by governments, technical partners, academic bodies, international and national civil society organizations, participants in the three partnership forums and the online partnership forum organized by the Fund, and other observers of the Global Fund, including Aidspan.
So, what changes are being considered for the next allocations period? We don’t know because no information has been released publicly.
A “framework for the allocation methodology” has been submitted to members of the Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee for discussion at its meeting of 5-7 October. This is a high-level document with few details. Papers prepared for the SIIC meetings are not made public.
The framework is scheduled to be discussed again at the 16-17 November meeting of the Board. Papers prepared for Board meeting are made public at the end of the Board meeting if they contain a proposed decision and the Board adopts the decision. As far as we know, no decisions will be taken at that meeting.
Then, at its meeting in February 2016, the SIIC is scheduled to draft the allocations methodology itself which it will recommend that the Board approve in March 2016. This is where the real discussion will happen on the various options.
If the Global Fund has any plans to consult beyond the SIIC and the Board delegations about the options for the allocations methodology, we are not aware of them. It appears that any such consultations would have to take place between the end of the Board meeting on 17 November and the SIIC meeting in February 2016 – a period which includes the end-of-year holiday season break.
There are individuals and organizations beyond the SIIC and the Board delegations who are interested in the options being explored, including many who are interested in the intricacies of any allocations formulas that that may be developed. If these individuals and organizations can’t have input into what is being decided, they should at least know what is being considered so that they can debate the issues. Who knows? They might even come up with a few suggestions that the SIIC and the Board might want to consider.
What do you think? Has the Global Fund consulted and communicated sufficiently widely on its plans for the next allocations methodology? Let us know. We’ll consider printing a summary of the comments we receive in the next issue of GFO.