Global Fund Observer
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The Global Fund Board will discuss the Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing policy next week at its 42nd Board meeting. Planning transition from Global Fund support, as well as transition implementation, and outcomes, deserves the attention of the Board. The fact that countries that had transitioned away from Global Fund grants witness a spike in HIV infections and that some of those countries apply anew for support is a worrisome trend.
In advance of the next Global Fund Board meeting, where allocations for the 2020-2022 funding cycle will be confirmed following the Sixth Replenishment’s confirmation of a $14.02 billion budget, the Technical Review Panel has published a detailed report about the 2017-2019 funding cycle on the Global Fund website, including observations, trends, and recommendations for countries as they develop their new funding requests.
The Global Fund Board is expected to discuss the continuation of a pilot initiative reporting on country-specific results on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Previously, the KPIs were reported in aggregate and, when it was relevant, at the regional level, and the Secretariat did not report any country-specific results to the Board or to Committees. The change came earlier this year in response to requests from constituencies for country-specific analysis at the country and grant level to better understand challenges and performance.
The Secretariat has assessed the first results of the CCM Evolution strategy, and intends to scale up the initiative to 48 new CCMs in 2020. Unfortunately, some of the key challenges to CCMs have not been addressed and should be openly discussed if we want CCMs to meaningfully contribute to our common objectives to eliminate the pandemics. In particular: the moral and legal character of the CCM and its positioning, to enable efficient dialogue with Ministries of Finance and Health, the role of Civil Society Organizations, in particular in criminalizing environments, and the composition of the CCM according to the role it is given: Is it a governance platform or a group of skilled professionals aiming to challenge the PR and the SR? Do we want the CCM to be an instrument of grant management, or a governance ideal?
In the first country audit by the Office of the Inspector General of Global Fund grants in Liberia, while acknowledging the challenges imposed on the country by long periods of civil war and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, the OIG points out some critical issues needing improvement, including sub-recipient oversight, financial management and tracking of grant assets, weak supply chain structures, and gaps in linkages to HIV and TB services.
In an audit of Global Fund grants to Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Office of the Inspector General acknowledged PNG’s success in expanding HIV services to key populations but raised concerns around an increase in malaria prevalence, a reduction in HIV testing among key populations, and the lack of actual TB burden estimates. The OIG also noted some instances of financial non-compliance and opportunities for greater efficiencies within the grants.