Most of the guidance provided by the Global Fund about concept note development under the new funding model (NFM) has emphasized the need to put women and girls at the heart of proposed interventions. Two UN agencies have now released tools to help countries achieve this objective and incorporate gender equality into their proposals for Global Fund support.
UNAIDS has published a Gender Assessment Tool to assist countries in assessing the impact on women and girls of their response to the HIV epidemic, and how to improve it. The tool is intended to support the development and review of national strategic plans (NSPs) and to inform the content of concept notes submitted to the Global Fund.
UNDP has also prepared a Checklist for Integrating Gender into the New Funding Model.
Both tools were presented at a session at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia on 22 July, about advancing gender equality in the NFM.
Panelist Marijke Wijnroks, chief of staff at the Global Fund and one of the architects of the Fund's Gender Equality strategy, explained that some concept notes have already been sent back to be revised because not enough attention was paid to gender issues.
Claudia Ahumada of UNAIDS explained that the agency's tool required the participation of multiple stakeholders to address not only the HIV response but also any gaps in the response that would require future interventions.
The tool has already been used by 35 countries. While the tool should be used to help shape the NSP and then the subsequent concept note, it was applicable at different stages in implementing the NFM process at the country level, beginning with country dialogue.
The UNDP tool is a checklist of 22 items aligning with the various stages of the NFM process to ensure that gender equality has been addressed at each stage, according to Ludo Bok.
UN Women's gender equality and HIV/AIDS policy advisor, Nazneen Damji, told the assembled audience about a 2013 publication A Compendium of Gender Equality and HIV Indicators: a virtual shopping list of indicators already being used to help measure gender equality interventions, which could then be included in concept notes.