U.K. Will Increase Contribution to Global Fund
David GarmaiseArticle Type:
Article Number: 5
ABSTRACT Citing the Global Fund’s “excellent track record for delivering results,” the U.K. government says that it will increase its contribution to the Fund./p>
Fund’s “excellent track record” cited
The government of the United Kingdom has announced that it will increase its contribution to the Global Fund because the Fund has “an excellent track record for delivering results.”
In a statement made in the U.K. House of Commons on 1 March 2011, Andrew Mitchell, the U.K. development minister, said that an in-depth review of 43 multilateral organisations conducted by the Department for International Development (DFID) found that nine of the organisations, including the Global Fund, were assessed as giving “very good value to the UK taxpayer.”
According to the review, the Global Fund “is a results-focussed organisation; the quality and depth of reporting is very high, and allows donors to hold the Fund to account. Standards for financial management and audit are very high.”
The review also gave the Global Fund high marks for transparency and accountability, saying that the “Fund’s decision to publish/require recipients to publish procurement data has been a major driver for a range of innovations in transparency.”
The announcement was welcome news for the Global Fund because three countries – Sweden, Ireland and Germany – had recently announced that they were putting their contributions on hold because of concerns about corruption on the part of organisations implementing Global Fund grants.
The DFID review found that the Global Fund plays a critical role in delivering health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is likely to remain a key financier of existing and new approaches to tackling AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The review said that “Global Fund support has catalysed and supported important and innovative policies and programmes in many countries.”
According to the review, reforms under way at the Global Fund to simplify procedures and improve the effectiveness of its work with countries and partners “should reduce transaction costs, shorten grant processes, align reporting and shift from project to programme-type funding.”
Not everything in the review was complimentary of the Global Fund. The review said that the Global Fund needs to do more to guard against misuse of funds. As well, according to the review:
- There are clear weaknesses and bottlenecks in the business model which impede faster progress and even more impressive results.
- The time between grant approval and first disbursement is not quick enough.
- The Fund’s policies and practices are not sufficiently flexible or responsive to fragile contexts, given the high share of fragile states financing in the portfolio.
- Although the Global Fund carries out a thorough assessment of gender relevance of all proposals, the quality of proposals in terms of addressing gender issues has been poor.
- The Fund places heavy burdens on countries and partners and, despite its focus on a country-led approach, its own systems and requirements often take precedence.
In his statement in the House of Commons, Mitchell said, “Of course, there is always room for improvement and we will still require strong commitments to continued reform and even better performance.”
Information for this article was taken from the following sources: “Multilateral Aid Review – Ensuring Maximum Value for Money for UK Aid Through Multilateral Organisations,” DFID, March 2011; “UK Minister Says Global Fund Has ‘Excellent Track Record’ and Will Receive Increased Funding,” Global Fund press release, 1 March 2011; and a statement in the House of Commons by Andrew Mitchell, the U.K. development minister, 1 March 2011. Some of the quotes used in this article, and in the Global Fund’s press release, were taken from a 4-page summary assessment of the Global Fund prepared by the DFID reviewers; this document is not available on the DFID or Global Fund websites.