The Foreign Ministry of France is undertaking an evaluation of the French “contribution” to the Global Fund. France wants to assess the extent to which Global Fund grants promote France’s development objectives and priorities. The evaluation will also assess the challenges faced by the Global Fund in introducing its new funding model.
The Foreign Ministry published a call for proposals for the evaluation at the beginning of 2013.
France is the second largest contributor to the Global Fund, after the US. The Foreign Ministry said that the evaluation will help guide France concerning how it manages its contribution to the Fund. Currently, 5% of the French contribution is held back and used to provide technical assistance for the preparation of proposals to the Global Fund and for the implementation of grants.
The evaluation will be carried out in France, in Geneva and in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo – all in francophone Africa and all on France’s list of priority countries for development aid – plus Uganda. Uganda was added to provide a comparative perspective from a non-francophone country.
A team of four people from a French consultancy firm will conduct the evaluations. It is expected that the team will talk to a broad range of people inside and outside France, both supporters and critics of the Global Fund. For the in-country evaluations, the team from France will be joined by local experts in each country.
The members of the French team specialise in evaluation and public health, but are not experts in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. The latter is seen as an advantage because the evaluation will focus on more general issues.
The team from France has already met with staff in the Global Fund Secretariat. The Secretariat has offered its full cooperation. France has invited a Secretariat representative to participate on the steering committee (an advisory body) of the evaluation.
The results of the evaluation are expected by the end of July 2013. An interim report may be available in June.
Editor’s Note: There has been some speculation that France may be considering reducing its contribution to the Global Fund for 2014–2016, and may be using this evaluation to justify a reduction. Aidspan has not seen any evidence of a connection between the evaluation and the decision on how much France will contribute. We believe that the size of France’s contribution for 2014–2016 is being discussed now by the French government and that there will likely be a decision on this before the evaluation is completed.
An announcement concerning the call for proposals is available, in French, here. The full call for proposals document is on file with the author.