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TRP Report Comments on Technical Quality of Round 10 Proposals
GFO Issue 140

TRP Report Comments on Technical Quality of Round 10 Proposals


David Garmaise

Article Type:

Article Number: 2

ABSTRACT In its report on the Round 10 proposals it reviewed, the Technical Review Panel (TRP) made a number of observations concerning the technical content of the proposals. This report should be of great interest to future applicants.

Applicants do not understand how gender inequality should be addressed”

TRP concerned about proliferation of sub-recipients

Editor’s Note: This article, and the following one, report some of the observations of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) on the Round 10 proposals it reviewed. This is a very important document for future applicants to read because it provides important insight into what the TRP thinks should be included in proposals. The report can be downloaded from the Global Fund website; see the link at the end of each article.

OBSERVATION: In general, Round 10 applicants did not understand how gender inequality should be addressed in their proposals. Many proposals “compartmentalised” gender in a dedicated section of the proposal form, when instead they should have been integrating and mainstreaming gender throughout the proposal.

OBSERVATION: Many Round 10 proposals requested funding for behaviour change communication (BCC) interventions without providing or demonstrating sufficient evidence of programme-level impact in the context of their particular country. Furthermore, applicants tended to only include output indicators for BCC activities – i.e., no impact or outcome indicators.

OBSERVATION: Many of the budgets submitted with the Round 10 proposals lacked the required detail, clarity and accuracy.

These are three of the many observations made by the Technical Review Panel (TRP) on the technical quality of the Round 10 proposals that it reviewed. The observations are contained in a section on lessons learned in a report presented to the Global Fund Board at its meeting last December.

The TRP said that it was concerned about the proliferation of sub-recipients (SRs) in Global Fund grants. Because each SR has its own overhead costs, the TRP stated, the amount of funding going towards SR overheads “may not represent good value for money.” The TRP also said that when there are numerous SRs, coordination becomes more challenging.

In addition, the TRP expressed concern about what it called the “limited inclusion in proposals of existing human rights instruments and measures to address stigma and discrimination.” According to the TRP, issues of stigma and discrimination must be addressed together and must complement measures to address gender inequality. The TRP said that applicants should include interventions to address stigma and discrimination rather than just making token mention of stigma and discrimination in the text of the proposal. The TRP also urged applicants to address the criminalisation of key populations, and to demonstrate the role of civil society organisations in the “social de-criminalisation” of these populations.

The TRP report also contained several recommendations directed at future applicants. For example, The TRP recommended:

  • that applicants increasingly consider the use of community approaches to improving adherence to ARVs;
  • that all requests for patient support include supporting evidence to allow the TRP to assess the feasibility and impact of such activities; and
  • that applicants provide strong justification in their proposal in cases where U.N. agencies are nominated as either PRs or SRs.

Other recommendations directed at the Secretariat and partner organisations may also affect applicants in future rounds. (See next article.)

The TRP’s observations are contained in “Recommendations and Lessons Learned from the Round 10 Proposal Review Process,” which is 15 pages long, and which constitutes Part 5 of the “Report of the Technical Review Panel and the Secretariat on Round 10 Proposals.” The report is available, in its entirety, on the Global Fund website at

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