THE MAJOR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF PREVIOUS APPLICATIONS TO THE FUND
Bernard RiversArticle Type:
Article Number: 5
ABSTRACT Chapter 3 of the new Aidspan Guide provides a detailed analysis of what, in the TRP's opinion, were the strengths and weaknesses of applications submitted in Rounds 3 through 6.
Chapter 3 of “The Aidspan Guide to Round 7 Applications to the Global Fund,” announced above, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of applications submitted in Rounds 3 through 6. The list provided is based on an extensive analysis of comments made on those applications by the TRP.
The strengths identified most often in the TRP comments were as follows:
- The proposal was clear, well organised and well-documented; the strategy was sound.
- The proposal demonstrated complementarity – i.e., it built on existing activities, including national strategic plans, and/or it built on earlier programmes financed by the Global Fund.
- There was good involvement of partners (including NGOs and other sectors) in the implementation plan.
- The proposal contained a good situational analysis.
- There was a strong political commitment to implement the programme.
Other strengths identified fairly frequently were as follows:
- The programme targeted high-risk groups and vulnerable populations.
- The proposal demonstrated sustainability – i.e., national budgets were identified to help sustain the activities once Global Fund support terminates.
- The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan was solid.
- The budget was well detailed, well presented and reasonable.
- The proposal reflected comments made by the TRP during earlier rounds of funding.
- There was good collaboration between HIV and TB.
- The programme was realistic with respect to what could be accomplished, and/or had a limited and concentrated focus.
- The proposal demonstrated good co-funding.
- The PR is a strong organisation, with experience managing similar programmes.
- The proposal included capacity building measures and identified technical support needs.
- The proposal contained innovative strategies, some of which could lead to best practices.
- The proposal built on lessons learned and best practices.
- The proposal had a strong human rights focus.
- The proposal contained solid strategies for procurement and supply management (PSM).
- The CCM was strong and had wide sectoral representation.
- The proposal was developed through a transparent, participatory process.
- The proposal acknowledged issues of absorptive capacity.
- The proposal described solid strategies for managing the programme.
- The proposal contained solid indicators and targets.
- The proposal identified the SRs, and/or provided a good description of the process for identifying the SRs.
- The proposal contained a strong section on health systems strengthening (HSS).
The weaknesses identified most often by the TRP – many of which are the flipside of the above strengths – were as follows:
1. The narrative description of the programme was inadequate. There was insufficient, unclear or questionable information on one or more of the following: the rationale, the strategic approach, the objectives, the activities, the indicators, the targets and the expected outcomes.
2. The budget information was inaccurate, questionable and/or not sufficiently detailed.
3. The proposal did not demonstrate complementarity or additionality; it was not clear how the programme related or added to existing programmes, including programmes funded by the Global Fund through earlier grants.
4. The proposal did not contain a good situational (i.e., gap) analysis.
Other weaknesses identified frequently were as follows:
5. Some of the proposed approaches or activities were inappropriate.
6. There were problems concerning the PR(s) or the SR(s).
7. The various sections of the proposal were not well aligned.
8. The M&E plan was inadequate.
9. The programme was too ambitious; some or all of the goals, objectives and targets were not realistic.
10. The use of partners (including NGOs) in the implementation of the programme was inadequate or unclear.
11. The programme did not focus sufficiently on vulnerable groups.
12. The plan for procurement and supply chain management was inadequate.
13. The proposal failed to adequately address issues of capacity building and technical assistance.
14. The proposal failed to address weaknesses identified by the TRP for proposals submitted in earlier rounds of funding.
15. Insufficient attention was paid to human rights issues.
16. The budget (and therefore the programme) was imbalanced; too much or too little was allocated to one or more sectors or activities.
17. There were problems with the structure or functioning of the CCM.
18. The proposal did not adequately explain the roles and responsibilities of the various players.
19. The proposal development process was not sufficiently transparent or inclusive.
20. The proposal demonstrated insufficient co-funding.
21. In HIV/AIDS and TB proposals, there were either no joint activities or insufficient joint activities involving both diseases; or the information on joint activities was incomplete.
22. The treatment, care and support component of the proposal was missing or inadequate.
23. The proposal failed to demonstrate absorptive capacity.
24. Information on sustainability was lacking.
25. How health systems will be strengthened was not well explained.
26. There was a lack of information in the proposal concerning problems with previous Global Fund grants.
27. The proposal failed to make the case for additional funding over and above that received from earlier grants.
28. There was insufficient information on how the project would be coordinated.
“The Aidspan Guide to Round 7 Applications to the Global Fund”discusses all of these in detail, and provides links to proposals and TRP comments that provide illustrations of the strengths.