Technical Review Panel’s observations and recommendations on Window 1 funding applications: Part I
Article Number: 4
Window 1 lessons learned provide valuable insights for the next two Windows’ applications
At a meeting with technical partners held on 8 May, as well as at a debriefing during the pre-Board meetings on 9 May, the Technical Review Panel presented its findings and recommendations from the funding requests submitted under Window 1. The TRP was in general exceptionally kind to countries, Of the 42 funding requests received, it recommended an allocation amount of $4.8 billon for grant making with only three applications being recommended for iteration (two for malaria and one for HIV.) However, as described more fully in this article, several areas for improvement were also noted. Given the amount of guidance and support available to countries, why do such problems still continue to persist?
On 8 May the Technical Review Panel (TRP) debriefed technical partners, including technical assistance providers and others, on its findings from the funding requests (FRs) submitted under Window 1. Highlights of the findings were also presented to a pre-Board meeting on 9 May.
Countries applying under Windows 2 and 3 still have time to be able to take the lessons learned and recommendations into account in their draft documents.
This article is based on the presentation and because of its length is in two parts: Part I covers the thematic findings and recommendations; and Part II covers the technical observations and recommendations by disease and RSSH and will be published in GFO 432 on 24 May.
Funding requests in 2023
Approximately 205 FRs are expected in the 2023-2025 allocation period. The majority of FRs for this allocation period will go through TRP review in the first half of 2023.
Figure 1. Funding requests in the 2023 application cycle
Source: The Global Fund, 3 May 2023
- 39 out of 42 FRs from 26 countries and one multicounty application have been recommended for grant-making. This represents a 7% iteration rate, consistent with the last funding cycle at 6%. 12 FRs were from Challenging Operating Environment countries (nearly half of all countries in W1). 36% of FRs were under the Program Continuation modality, most often used for malaria – 43% of FRs with a malaria component.
- 11 out of 42 (26%) came as Tailored for NSP, with more TB components coming through this NSP modality (37% of all TB components).
Figure 2. Overall TRP review outcome, Window 1
TRP recommended $4.9 billion in allocation funding for grant-making. This represents over a third of the funding for Grant Cycle 7 (GC7).
Table 1. Recommended Window 1 funding amounts
Matching fund priority areas recommended for grant-making are shown below.
Table 2. Requested versus recommended amounts, by component
TRP Funding Request Quality Survey
Overall, according to the TRP Funding Request Quality Survey on Window 1 FRs Recommended for Grant-making (N=39) 72% of TRP members agreed that the Window 1 FRs delivered strategically focused and technically sound responses aligned with the epidemiological context and maximising the potential for impact. 23% of TRP members even went as far as to say they “strongly agreed” that this was the case. However, 5% disagreed.
Early problems with resilient and sustainable systems for health were on the whole addressed
Peer reviews of early drafts of Window 1 FRs had observed excellent examples of Integration across diseases with all three diseases and RSSH in one joint application; labs; Community Health Workers, (CHWs), HIV/TB and Human Rights and Gender (HRG). There was a step change in CHW programmes with stronger focus on people centred services and greater focus on community-led monitoring (CLM); but many countries were struggling with their RSSH components, especially integrating RSSH across all three diseases and avoiding repetition and a siloed approach. Evidently many countries had managed to address this problem in subsequent drafts since the TRP found that 77% of FRs recommended for grant-making demonstrated a “strategic focus” on RSSH which is higher than in the previous funding cycle, NFM3. It assessed that 36% of FRs were more focused on system strengthening than system support.
Figure 3. Window 1 funding request RSSH focus
Community systems and responses strongly iterated
The TRP reviewed FRs in terms of six areas where they wanted to see better focus: Sustainability, Gender, Human Rights, Equity, Community Stems and Responses, and Pandemic Preparedness.
Figure 4. Funding request focus areas