Round 10 TB Proposal from Ethiopia Approved on Appeal
David GarmaiseArticle Type:
Article Number: 2
ABSTRACT As a result of a successful appeal by the Ethiopia CCM, the Global Fund Board has approved a Round 10 TB proposal with a cost of $21 million for the first two years. Five other appeals were rejected.
As a result of a successful appeal by the Ethiopia CCM, the Global Fund Board has approved a Round 10 TB proposal with a cost of $21 million for the first two years.
When the Technical Review Panel (TRP) reviewed the Round 10 proposals, it did not recommend the Ethiopia proposal for funding, classifying it as Category 3. The Global Fund Board agreed with the TRP’s recommendation, and declined to approve the proposal. (The Board has always accepted the TRP’s recommendations in their entirety.) The CCM appealed the decision. The appeal was heard by an Independent Appeals Panel, which upheld the appeal and recommended that the proposal be re-classified Category 2 and, therefore, approved.
Appeals can be filed only for proposals not recommended for funding for two consecutive rounds. For Round 10, 21 applicants were eligible to appeal, and six of them did so. The appeal from Ethiopia was the only one that succeeded. The unsuccessful appellants were CCMs from Peru (malaria), Moldova (HIV), Uganda (HIV) and Yemen (HIV), and the Sub-CCM in Southern Sudan (HIV).
(In Round 9, nine appeals were filed, of which two were upheld.)
According to the rules, an appeal can only be made on the grounds that the TRP made “a significant and obvious error” regarding the information contained in the proposal. When filing an appeal, the applicant is not allowed to introduce new information.
The Independent Appeals Panel was made up of three experts, one from each of Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB and UNAIDS, plus two TRP members who had not been involved in the original review of the proposals that were the subject of appeal.
The Appeals Panel recently issued a report on its deliberations. The panel found that the TRP had made several errors in describing some of the weaknesses of the Ethiopia proposal, and had misclassified other weaknesses (i.e., classified them as “major” instead of “minor”). “Taken together,” the panel said, “these constituted a significant and obvious error on the part of the TRP.” The panel also noted that some of the major weakness identified by the TRP were issues that could have been handled through the TRP clarifications process.
With respect to the unsuccessful appeals, the Appeals Panel found that CCM Peru, CCM Moldova and Sub-CCM Southern Sudan failed to demonstrate that the TRP had made any significant or obvious errors. In the cases of CCM Uganda and CCM Yemen, the panel said that while the TRP had made some errors, they were not significant enough to overturn the TRP’s recommendations not to approve.
In its report, the Appeals Panel said that some appellants had argued that the length limits specified in the proposal form did not provide enough space to describe interventions and activities in detail. While the panel said that “in general” this argument was not well founded, it nevertheless recommended that applicants be given clearer guidance “as to the appropriate length, level of detail and focus of the narrative sections of the proposal form.”
The board’s approval of the Ethiopia proposal is subject to (a) the CCM responding, within specified time frames, to clarifications requested by the Appeals Panel, and (b) the panel being satisfied with the response. If the TRP requests responses to additional clarifications, these would also have to provided within specified time frames, and the TRP would have to be satisfied with the response.
The information for this article was taken from the report of the Independent Appeals Panel for Round 10 proposals.