Aidspan has released a report on a rapid external independent review of its role as watchdog for the Global Fund. The review assessed the current and potential future roles of Aidspan, taking into account new concepts and models for the watchdog function globally; the views of watchdog funders and Aidspan users; and changes at the Global Fund and the wider environment in which Aidspan operates. Stakeholder insights were gathered in interviews with 40 individual interviewees from ten countries and two focus group discussion sessions with eleven Aidspan staff based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Stakeholders said that overall they valued Aidspan’s independent observer status and the quality of its communications output. At the same time, several stakeholders thought that Aidspan’s work had changed over time and had in recent years “lost a bit of its edge” and become more mild mannered in its criticism of the Global Fund. In their view, there was a tendency for Aidspan to identify issues and then take on the responsibility for addressing these issues itself – i.e. acting as the explainer of Global Fund processes and procedures – rather than promoting demand for the Global Fund itself to improve its own performance.
Many stakeholders said that running parallel to the changes at Aidspan, there has been significant positive progress in transparency and accountability at the Global Fund; and that Aidspan had made a “good and even significant contribution to achieving this.”
The stakeholders said that it was time for Aidspan to review its mission. In their report, the consultants explored the opportunities available to Aidspan and described several options for how the organization could evolve going forward.
The options will be discussed by the Aidspan Board in the near future.
The published report can be found here. Look for “Aidspan external evaluation summary report.”