Global Fund announces plans to make some concept note attachments public

3. NEWS
16 Jun 2015
Decision follows request from Aidspan to increase access to documents related to concept notes and the ensuing grants

The Global Fund has agreed to release three documents related to concept notes that were not previously made public. The documents are the modular template attachment; the financial gap analysis and counterpart financing attachment; and the programmatic gap attachment.

The decision to make the attachments public was communicated on 4 June by Seth Faison, communications chief for the Fund, after a series of email exchanges with Aidspan.

A request that other documents including the concept note review and recommendation form, the applicant’s response, the implementation arrangements map, the grant management workplan and the detailed grant implementation budget was denied.

A detailed grant implementation budget as it stands currently would include confidential information including salaries, and the grant management workplan is being discontinued, Faison said as justification for the denied request. However, he said that a modified version of these budgets could be eventually made public once the appropriate automated systems are in place.

The table below summarizes which documents will and will not be made public.

Table: List of documents related to the concept notes and the ensuing grants,
showing which will be made public




Category

Document

Will be released publicly?

Concept note

Concept note form

Modular template

1

Financial gap analysis and counterpart financing table

1

Programmatic gap table

1

Concept note review and grant-making

Concept note review and recommendation form

Applicant response form

Grant agreement documents

Framework agreement

Confirmation form (summary program description, summary budget, performance framework)

Implementation arrangements map

Grant management workplan (implementation milestones, actions to address capacity gaps and risks)

Grant implementation

Workplan 2

Detailed budget 3

Notes:

  1. These are the three new documents that the Fund will be making public in a few months time.

  2. The Fund says that the grant implementation workplan is being discontinued.

  3. Some version of the detailed budget may be made public in future.

The Global Fund is currently updating its website and hopes to have a new design in place by 30 September, though this is not a firm deadline. The plan is to make the three newly available attachments public once the new design is completed.

Aidspan’s request was taken in late May to the Management Executive Committee, Faison said, for discussion along with a number of other related matters. In granting the request, the committee, and the wider Fund, are continuing a commitment to working with a high degree of transparency, “not only because it is a founding principle of the Global Fund” … but also because “we constantly see the benefit of transparency and we know from long experience that it serves the mission of global health in numerous ways,” the email said.

COMMENTARY FROM AIDSPAN

The release of the three attachments to the concept note form will give stakeholders and observers of the Fund a fairly complete picture of applicant requests. It will also provide useful information on counterpart financing commitments. This is a step in the right direction.

However, these documents fall short in providing detail about the programs that are to be implemented. Unfortunately, there is no single set of documents containing a detailed description of these programs. The concept note documents cannot serve this purpose because the programs they propose are continuously evolving as a result of a series of iterations based on reviews by the Technical Review Panel, the Grants Approval Committee and even into the final stages of grant-making.

The performance framework contained within the grant confirmation form – which will be made public – includes program goals, objectives and modules, indicators and targets; it does not describe interventions to be implemented. Neither do the program summary or the summary budget as they are too high-level.

So while this release of some concept note attachments is welcome, it does not go far enough. Aidspan will continue to debate these issues with the Secretariat. 


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