In a news release published on 18 December, the Global Fund announced its largest-ever funding allocations for eligible countries. The total amount available for country allocations for the 2020-2022 allocations cycle is $12.71 billion, with $890 million available for catalytic investments for the period beginning in January 2020. This is 23% more than for the previous three year period.
The Global Fund’s website has made available for download (in an Excel spreadsheet) the definitive list of allocations to countries This followed allocation letters sent by Country Teams to all Country Coordinating Mechanisms between 12 and 17 December 2019.
Every region is receiving more funding than in the previous funding cycle, with Africa receiving $2 billion more than in the previous period, of which the largest increase ($780 million) goes to West and Central Africa. Overall, 84% of eligible countries with an allocation for 2020-2022 receive an increase in funding compared to 2017-2019, with 32 countries receiving allocations that have been increased by 40% or more compared to the previous period.
The Global Fund’s overview document of these allocations and catalytic investments says that the 2020-2022 allocation model continues to drive resources to the highest-burden and lowest-income countries; the 15 highest-burden countries for each of the three diseases represent 63% of the total allocations for 2020-2022, with an increase of $1.56 billion over 2017-2019. This allocation model also focuses on countries where progress is most critical to disease impact, including the 13 AGYW-priority countries, the top 20 countries for finding missing people with TB, and the 10+1 high burden to high impact malaria countries.
Allocations information available from the Global Fund
The updated ‘Allocation’ page on the Global Fund website provides downloads of 2020-2022 Allocations, an Overview of the 2020-2022 Allocations and Catalytic Investments, 2020-2022 Frequently Asked Questions, and the 2020-2022 Allocation Methodology. Further guidance for applicants is available on the Global Fund website.
Over the past several months, in order to help countries prepare further in advance compared to previous allocation cycles, the Global Fund has made available a raft of new and updated information and resources for applicants preparing grant applications for the 2020-2022 funding cycle. We summarize these new resources below (see ‘New resources for applications’, including links to the relevant pages on the Global Fund’s website.)
Major changes in the application process and materials include the inclusion of ‘essential data tables’ for countries to use in addition to country context provided in the funding request narrative, two new types of funding request designed for ‘Focused portfolio’ countries, and the requirement for all countries to submit a Prioritized Above Allocation Request (PAAR) application at the same time as their initial funding request.
The total amount available of $12.71 billion for country allocations in the 2020-2022 funding cycle was arrived at from the amounts the Board approved for these allocations at its November 2019 Board meeting (Board Decision GF/B42/02). The three tables below explain the Board-approved calculation to arrive at the overall allocations amount (Table 1), allocations by component (Table 2), and allocations for the ten countries receiving the largest amounts (Table 3).
Source: Global Fund Board Decision GF/B42/DP03
*Note: Decision Point GF/B41/DP03, 2(c) “approves that no more than USD 800 million of sources of funds available for country allocations be used to ensure scale-up, impact and paced reductions, as described in paragraph 4.c of the Allocation Methodology”
Please note: The numbers used in the tables above come from the 2020-2022 Allocations numbers published on the Global Fund website. We suggest that the reader (a) consider the amounts in this article to be approximate due to currency difference and rounding, and (b) in case of discrepancy consult the Fund’s spreadsheet for the original official figures.
Main changes to the Funding Request Application process
The main changes in the application process for 2020-2022, as laid out in the Global Fund’s new ‘Applicant handbook and resources for the 2020-2022 funding cycle,’ include conceptual and process changes. In summary, they are:
#1. Refinements, not a redesign: The application process has been simplified with the intent to make the process smoother, rather than requirements having been significantly changed.
#2. A streamlined application for Focused countries: The two new types of application approach (there were three in 2017-2019, five in 2020-2022) are called ‘Tailored for Focused Portfolios’ and ‘Tailored for Transition’. They have been created to provide a simpler approach for almost half of the countries that receive an allocation from the Global Fund. (Also see ‘Types of funding request’ below.)
#3. Emphasis on systems integration: The Global Fund is promoting a ‘systems’ approach, in order to improve health outcomes and ensure the sustainability of investments. Applicants are encouraged to focus on results, promote innovation, apply systems thinking (including exploring common systems constraints such as human resources, laboratory systems, and supply chains), and consider equity issues in light of disproportionate effects of the diseases on different populations.
#4: Essential Data Tables: A new tool for data-driven funding requests, this Allocations cycle introduces country-specific, pre-filled Essential Data Tables containing the most recent data that the Global Fund and partners have related to demographics, disease components and cross-cutting issues. This data provides a consistent, standardized data set to support both the country’s funding request and the TRP’s decision-making. (See also ‘new resources for applications’ below.)
#5: The Prioritized Above Allocation Request: The PAAR, a list of costed and prioritized interventions for which funding is needed but cannot be funded from the country allocation, must now be submitted at the same time as the initial funding request, so that any interventions approved later are ready to be integrated into grants as soon as funding is identified. The Global Fund suggests that the amount requested in the PAAR be at least 30% of the allocation amount.
Types of funding request
In the previous funding cycle, countries could use one of three types of funding requests: Full Review, Tailored Review, and Program Continuation. In the 2020-2022 funding cycle, there five types of requests (listed below). The type of funding request countries should use was communicated in the allocation letters sent to Country Coordinating Mechanisms by 17 December 2019.
Five types of funding request for the 2020-2022 funding cycle:
- Program Continuation: enables well-performing programs which require no significant changes to continue implementation with minimal distraction
- Tailored for Focused Portfolios: application is streamlined and designed to meet the needs of countries with smaller funding amounts and disease burden, and to ensure targeted investments have the greatest impact
- Tailored for National Strategic Plans: documentation requirements rely primarily on suitable national strategic plans referenced in place of the funding request narrative
- Tailored for Transition: suitable for countries approaching transition from Global Fund financing, building sustainable programs with decreasing Global Fund support
- Full Review: applications are a comprehensive review of strategic priorities and programming in higher burden countries
Timing of funding requests
As reported in the GFO in September when the Global Fund published new funding request materials, there are three application windows in 2020, and CCMs have a choice as to the window in which they submit their funding request. The Secretariat told the GFO that its guidance to countries has been that CCMs should carefully plan backwards from their current grant end date (Allocation Utilization Period, or AUP) to identify the most appropriate submission timing and ensure they have sufficient time for grant-making and ensuring their new grants are implementation-ready. Generally, this means that all applicants with grants ending in Dec 2020 should plan to submit their funding requests in Window 1 (deadline 23 March 2020) or Window 2 (deadline 25 May 2020). (See article in this GFO for more detail on allocations letters sent to countries.)
According to the Secretariat, roughly two-thirds of the Global Fund’s current grants end in December 2020, which means that CCMs will need to be ready to submit their completed funding requests in either Window 1 (deadline 23 March 2020) or Window 2 (deadline 25 May 2020). This is necessary in order for implementers and the Secretariat to have a reasonable amount of time to complete grant-making and have grants signed by the end of that year, so that they are ready to begin implementation in January 2021.
New resources for applications
In the months leading up to this funding cycle, the Global Fund introduced a number of new resources intended to support countries in their preparations for developing their funding requests. These include:
- “Essential Data for applicants”: The package of materials sent to countries that included the Allocations letter also contained a country-specific “essential data” file, in Excel format, containing data that countries should use as their data basis for their funding request. These tables are also publicly available on the Global Fund website, via links at the bottom of the Funding Request Applications page. These data sets are intended to provide a data ‘common denominator’ for applicants and the Technical Review Panel, which will review each application.
- Webinars on the 2020-2022 funding cycle: The Global Fund held a Webinar (two sessions) on Dec 17, the date by which all countries had received their Allocations letters, and plans to hold further Webinars later in December, the Global Fund website says.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the 2020-2022 Funding Cycle: This document, created in September 2019, is available for download from the Global Fund website, accessible via a link on the ‘Applicant Guidance’ page.
Further resources and reading:
- The Global Fund’s Applicant handbook and resources for the 2020-2022 funding cycle’
- Article from GFO 369 on the Global Fund’s Eligibility List 2020 and list of projected transitions from Global Fund funding by 2028 (30 November 2019)
- Article from GFO 367 on the Technical Review Panel’s observations on the 2017-2019 Allocations cycle, intended to assist countries in their applications for 2020-2022 (6 November 2019)
- Article from GFO 363 on Global Fund’s publication of new funding requestion information for 2020-2022 (10 September 2019)