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Endorsements and Outcomes
Aidspan has been granted permission to publicly quote the following endorsements.
"Congratulations for your work on watchdogging, it will help all of us to deliver good results in Global Fund implementation of proposals."
– Rosemeire Munhoz, UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Burundi
“When I joined the Global Fund, I avidly read back issues of the GFO to get me up to speed on what is an incredibly complex organisation. I have always found the GFO clear, honest, and saying the things that many of the staff in the Fund wish we had the space (or courage) to say.”
– Ade Fakoya, Senior Specialist HIV, Global Fund
“Very productive people there at the GFO. But of course the times are such that one could make a GFO issue almost every day. In issue 170, we would like to draw your attention especially to the first two commentaries. An analysis of why the GF cancelled round 11; and a delicious viewpoint by Bernard Rivers in which he says the Global Fund is very transparent, unless when it really matters.”
– David Hercot, Institute of Tropical Medicine
“For people in implementing countries such as Kenya, Aidspan is really indispensable. We need their advice in watching how the money is spent on the ground. And we want to read in GFO what is going on with the Global Fund, as it is constantly changing. The Guides are very useful if you have to train people that are new to the world of the Global Fund. I am especially pleased that Aidspan is based in Nairobi, within a region where a lot of the grants are implemented.”
– Lucy Chesire, Executive Director TB Action Group, Global Fund Alternate Board Member
“The Global Fund Observer is widely read by World Bank staff who need to follow up-to-date developments at the Global Fund.”
–Armin Fidler, Lead Advisor for Health Policy and Strategy, World Bank
“My team uses the Global Fund Observer regularly; it’s a very helpful way for us to understand the Global Fund.”
– Rebecca Stevens, Director of Public Affairs for Malaria Initiatives, Novartis
"Aidspan's watchdog activities have had a very substantial impact, and have been conducted with great discretion."
– Dr. Peter Piot, former Executive Director, UNAIDS
"Global Fund Observer is lucid, intelligent and definitive. It makes a huge contribution to everyone's understanding of the processes and realities of the Global Fund."
– Stephen Lewis, former Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa of the UN Secretary-General
"GFO is indispensable and independent. It explains complex Global Fund issues in a concise, responsible and lively manner."
– Dr. Brian Brink, former private sector Global Fund board member
"Funding the Fund is a high priority for AIDS activists, and for years we have depended on Aidspan to provide us with data and analysis that we can draw upon."
– Dr. Paul Zeitz, former Executive Director, Global AIDS Alliance
Selected outcomes of Aidspan’s work are:
In 2002, Aidspan launched The Global Fund Observer (GFO), a free e-newsletter. Since then, it has published more than 250 issues and feedback shows that GFO is the primary external source of information on the Global Fund for donors, implementers and other stakeholders.
Aidspan guides and reports are free and published in English, French, Spanish and Russian. They provide detailed and practical information, analysis and advice on complex issues for all stakeholders involved in the Global Fund's processes at the country level.
Since 2002 Aidspan has published over 20 guides to help navigate the complexities of the evolving Global Fund model of health financing.
Aidspan has exposed miss-use of Global Funds: In 2005, Aidspan informed the Global Fund of corruption in the Ugandan Ministry of Health. The Fund did an investigation and suspended all grants until procedures had improved. The President of Uganda established a public commission of inquiry, which concluded three Ministers must return Global Fund money and were removed from office. Next, Uganda set up an Anti-Corruption Court. By 2009, the court had sentenced two people to jail for ten years for stealing Global Fund money.
Aidspan Round Tables have discussed various issues: In 2007, Aidspan held one on problems faced by Global Fund recipients in accessing technical assistance. In 2008 a Round Table discussed what could be done to increase the scale. In 2013, a roundtable of local watchdogs formed a new Community of Practice called Africa Health Watch.
As an independent watchdog, Aidspan is able to apply pressure with observation, analysis and reporting, while providing a data-driven evidence base for advocacy work by other stakeholders. Throughout the tumultuous 2011-2013 period at the Global Fund, Aidspan reported in depth on the problems and efforts to resolve them, as well as on the evolution of the Fund's new funding model (NFM).
In April 2012, Bernard Rivers was invited by a UK parliamentary committee to present at hearings it was holding on the Global Fund. In a written submission, Aidspan provided strong, documented opinions on how the Fund is doing, and on what needs to change.
Aidspan writers have earned a moniker “the Explainers.” When the NFM was announced, GFO published a special edition. This article “Explanation of the Broad Elements of the NFM, has had over 15,000 hits on the website.
Aidspan was invited to be among the presenters at the prestigious Open Government Partnership Summit in London in 2013.
Aidspan continues to share criticisms with the Fund privately. For example, Aidspan has often given private criticism about accessing and interpreting data on the Fund’s website, and of the poor quality of such data. After the critiques were received, improvements have been noted.
For further details, see GFO Issues at www.aidspan.org/gfo.