What We Do

Aidspan has been building its reputation for responsible reporting, commentary and analysis on all aspects of the Global Fund ecology since 2002. We have built an extensive global network of links. We try to always constructively comment on the extent to which the Global Fund's Board, Secretariat and grant implementers are being effective and are living up to the Fund's founding principles.

We do this by publishing timely and relevant information and thoughtful, incisive analysis and; through facilitating critical debate; and promoting greater transparency, accountability, effectiveness and impact. One of our main channels to date has been the Global Fund Observer.

Aidspan's strategic plan, annual plans and annual reports are available under key documents.

Key Achievements

The silent advocacy and analytical support that is at the core of Aidspan's work makes it difficult, at times, to show the direct impact of its activities. However, there are some achievements worth highlighting:

Establishment of a first-ever watchdog of a major multilateral financing institution with the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the institution.

Development of a high degree of trust and confidence at the highest levels of The Global Fund, which provides Aidspan with an unprecedented level of access and observer status at Fund board meetings.

Influence on the Fund's policymaking, including funding models, with the publication of products including the Equitable Contributions Framework.

Improving the quality, completeness and presentation of Global Fund data.

Exposure of misuse of money, including the 2005 revelation of corruption within the Ugandan Ministry of Health.

In-depth analysis on the problems at the Fund in 2011-2012 that spurred major policy and strategic changes.

Accessible and informative presentations of Fund grant management data, as well as pledges and contributions.

More than 280 issues of its flagship publication, Global Fund Observer, which provides clear information about the Fund to some more than 8,500 people in 150 countries.

Creation of a French-language version of GFO (Observatoire du Fonds mondial)

Increasing the transparency of The Global Fund by successfully lobbying for the Fund to post on its website (a) Board decisions taken by electronic vote; and (b) attachments to concept notes.

The 2010 launch of the Local Watchdog Project in east and southern Africa. Since the launch, in-person training on the Fund and watchdogging techniques has been conducted with 362 people in 12 countries.

Under its 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, Aidspan’s work falls under three objectives: (1) The Global Fund policies, processes, structures, and effectiveness improve as a result of Aidspan’s critical assessment; (2) The Global Fund becomes more transparent with more accurate and complete data made available; and (3) Aidspan becomes stronger and more sustainable.

Under the first objective, Aidspan if focusing on (a) Effectiveness of funding processes, assurance mechanisms, and governance and management structures at global and country levels; (b) Contribution of the Fund to sustaining impact in countries transitioning from Global Fund financing; (c) Effectiveness of policies and processes in enhancing involvement of key populations in country-level processes, the response to gender inequalities and violence, and the attention to human rights issues in the response to the three diseases; and (d) Effectiveness of the Fund’s role in increasing domestic funding for health as one step towards sustainability.

Specific areas of focus under the second objective are (a) Extent of transparency with respect to Fund-related documents; (b) Availability of quality data at country level for effective grant making and measuring success of Global Fund investments; and (c) Collaboration with experts and organizations working on transparency and data quality.

Under the third objective, Aidspan is focusing on (a) Improving board governance and oversight; (b) Strengthening management structure, systems and processes; and (c) Efficient mobilization of financial resources.

For each area of focus, the 2016-2018 strategic plan identifies several major activities. For example, while Aidspan’s communications flagship product – the Global Fund Observer newsletter – will continue to publish news about the Fund regularly, a new quarterly publication will feature more in-depth analysis. Other major activities planned include the following: (a) assess the extent to which country level oversight bodies enhance effectiveness and accountability; (b) assess the impact of The Global Fund’s policies on strengthening national health systems; (c) assess the strategy and policies the Fund adopts with respect to its role in the development and implementation of transition planning; (d) investigate the impact of The Global Fund’s withdrawal from supported countries, particularly on key affected populations; (e) highlight gaps in information that should be made public by the Fund at all levels; and (f) assess the Fund’s efforts to access quality country level data. Please see the Strategic Plan for further details.

As part of the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, a revised organization structure for Aidspan is being implemented. There will be three functional areas – Policy Analysis; Communications; and Finance & Administration – headed by senior managers who report to an executive director, and supported by consultants who will be engaged as needed.

One of the key initiatives of the new Strategic Plan is the development of a new fundraising strategy.