The Global Fund is planning several initiatives to address the need for better planning and coordination of technical assistance (TA). This information is included in the "Management Response to the Five-Year Evaluation," a document presented at the twentieth meeting of the Global Fund Board in Addis Ababa in last month.
During the consultations that were undertaken as part of the Five-Year Evaluation, partners highlighted the need for the Global Fund to find innovative solutions for TA coordination, funding and use.
The Global Fund says that it will conduct a number of targeted studies at country-level to address key questions concerning TA planning, access and financing. The Fund will then convene a January workshop, in collaboration with partners, to review the outcomes of the studies and define a clear strategy. This will be followed by the preparation of an options paper on TA provision to be presented to the Board in May 2010.
In another area, the Five-Year Evaluation found that while the Global Fund has been a major financier of interventions to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, there are some gaps in the Fund's "portfolio of investments," in areas such as implementing prevention services for high-risk populations, providing training for key personnel, addressing the gender dimensions of the HIV epidemic, and delivering basic health services.
The Global Fund says that it will take a more active role in working with countries and partners to address this problem. The Secretariat plans to analyse the current grant portfolio to further define the gaps. The Secretariat will be looking for problems such as low PMTCT coverage, the use of inappropriate interventions in PMTCT programmes, inefficacious ARV regimens, and inadequate TB diagnostic services. The Secretariat also plans to work with CCMs to address these gaps, either by encouraging the inclusion of appropriate interventions in new proposals, or by re-programming existing grants.
The Global Fund also plans to work with partners to provide more comprehensive guidance on gender- and equity-related indicators and targets. This work will include an update of the M&E Toolkit.
The "Management Response" document also indicates that the Global Fund is implementing measures to improve the quality of data used to make performance-based funding decisions. These measuresinclude country-level assessments of M&E systems by partners during proposal preparation; annual on-site data verification of grant data by LFAs; and data quality audits to assess both the quality of country data and the strengths of the M&E systems in-country. The Secretariat has established a Data Quality Task Force to coordinate these measures.
Documents on the Five-Year Evaluation are normally posted at www.theglobalfund.org/en/terg/evaluations/5year, though the "Management Response to the Five-Year Evaluation" has not yet been posted there. GFO reported the results of the Five-Year Evaluation in Issue 106, available at www.aidspan.org/gfo.