Botswana’s country coordinating mechanism (CCM) is the first to conduct a performance self-assessment using a tool developed by Aidspan and Southern African AIDS Trust.
As one of six Southern African countries engaged in an Aidspan-led effort to improve engagement and performance at the CCM level, Botswana used the tool during a workshop in late 2013 to map where attention should be paid over 2014.
Self-assessment is one of the criteria that countries will be asked to fulfil as they apply for grants under the Global Fund’s new funding model. The Fund has now developed its own performance assessment tool, which will be the standard used for diagnostic purposes. Botswana’s decision to carry out the self-assessment in late 2013 was a decision independent of the Fund’s new eligibility requirements.
The workshop in Botswana, part of a training process for new and existing members, was an opportunity for both individual and team assessment. The results shared within the group were a basis for discussion about how to improve engagement at the country level with government and non-government partners, both within and outside the CCM. Members also sought to ascertain how knowledgeable they were about both the Global Fund and CCM roles, and how easily this information was accessible to those outside the CCM.
The emphasis in Botswana was on a process that would gauge individual understanding of grant data and oversight: central to the responsibilities of CCM members. The tool used was also a useful way to address issues of accountability, both of the CCM to the Global Fund and to grant beneficiaries, but also of CCM members as individuals to the sectors they represent.
Three categories of questions were included in the self-assessment:
- Adherence to key Global Fund principles such as transparency, accountability and documentation
- Confidence in the CCM’s ability to meet minimum requirements (for more information about minimum requirements, see here)
- Other useful indicators of performance, such as, having evidence of members' efforts to build their own knowledge about the Fund; the existence of a clear feedback mechanism from constituents; or ensuring alignment of Global Fund programs to national plans.
The Botswana CCM learned that its strengths included the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, such as civil society and private sector during proposal development (including those not on the CCM) and the commitment to transparency manifested by individual members and the CCM as a whole.
Areas of improvement were primarily process-oriented, including the need for better outward communication. The lack of a website and a communications strategy were highlighted as critical gaps, while inconsistency in oversight was cited as another area requiring more attention.
“I was a little apprehensive at first... mainly because we hadn’t been very consistent in attending meetings,” said CCM member Nana Gleeson of the Botswana Network of Ethics Law and Human Rights on HIV/AIDS. “[But] taking time to answer the questions on the tool really gave me an opportunity to reflect and critically assess my individual and our collective commitment to being CCM members.”
Added CCM chair Kibelo Ebineng: “As a CCM, we owe it to the investors and the public we serve to be as prepared as we can. That is what ought to drive us.”
Nearly $17 million has been disbursed to Botswana for two grants: one HIV and one TB.