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Global Fund Observer


Issue 269: 20 August 2015

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1. NEWS: Transparency and streamlined accountability: what watchdogs, grant implementers and OIG want

Both watchdogs and the OIG are having trouble accessing useful and complete country-level data to track and verify grant budgeting, expenditure and results data. There are also significant obstacles keeping implementers from meeting requirements for reporting to national oversight structures. These two conclusions drove two days of strategic discussions at an Aidspan roundtable in early August drawing participants from 10 countries.


2. NEWS: An ever-greater number of watchdogs are becoming Global Fund recipients

During an Aidspan regional roundtable held in early August, watchdogs representing more than 30 organizations spoke candidly about their struggles in securing funding – making their engagement in the Global Fund system a lifeline for their futures. How to manage conflicts of interest now that there is that engagement, however, remains relatively unclear. 


3. INTERVIEW: Creating links between the OIG and local watchdogs

Etienne Michaud is a senior strategy and policy manager at the Office of the Inspector General for the Global Fund. According to him, there are links to be made between watchdogs at local level as part of the OIG effort to consolidate its network of front-line advocates for transparency and accountability.


4. COMMENTARY: Country-led and community-owned? How cultural imperatives at the global level translate on the ground

After the recent Partnership Forum in Bangkok, the second in the series of consultations to support the development of the Global Fund’s new strategy, Anna Maalsen reflects on how the principles of community leadership and country ownership that are at the heart of the Fund’s culture actually translate on the ground.


5. NEWS: New report measures impact of civil society participation in priority-setting in NFM concept notes

A new report released by the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO) measures the impact of civil society consultations on the final concept notes submitted. Notes submitted by Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe were examined for how responsive they were to priorities identified by civil society during country dialogue.


6. NEWS: Civil society urges responsible transition towards domestic funding of HIV and TB in EECA

A workshop jointly run by the Global Fund and Eurasian Harm Reduction Network aimed to provide more nuanced guidance to EECA countries on sustainability as they prepare to transition some or all of their programming to domestic funding sources.


7. NEWS: In Malaysia, innovative but vulnerable work to reach MSM with HIV testing

AIDS advocates warn that given its low disease burden and relatively high GDP, Malaysia may become ineligible for Global Fund support after 2017, imperiling prevention efforts. Especially vulnerable, they say, are those that target MSM. 


8. NEWS: In Kenya, devolution is interrupting monitoring and evaluation

Devolution in Kenya has since 2013 caused some interruptions in the supply chain, stockouts at health facilities and has prevented consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs: all of which could have an impact on interventions supported by the Global Fund.


9. NEWS: Sustainability at core of new HIV strategy in Moldova

In developing its new national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, Moldova is preparing for a transition away from Global Fund support to prevention, treatment and care interventions.


10. ANNOUNCEMENT: A new chapter for GFO editor

Dear subscribers,

This is my final issue at the helm of Global Fund Observer. It’s been an extraordinary two years of watching, and listening, as the Global Fund evolves and matures into a dynamic and responsive financing mechanism. I hope that GFO has, equally, evolved and matured to respond to and document the concerns and vision of grant implementers, partners and the people who benefit from Fund-supported programs.

We have, in response to reader suggestions, sought to expand GFO’s reach in these last two years, pivoting away from an exclusive focus on what is happening in Geneva to explore more broadly the impact of those policies on countries and actual programs. Expanding our roster of correspondents to all of the regions in the Global Fund system has allowed us to delve more deeply, and monitor more closely, how the NFM is translating into effective impact and strong results.

As I return the editor-ship of GFO into the strong hands of David Garmaise, Aidspan’s Senior Analyst, assisted by Stephanie Braquehais, I am confident this implementation-level analysis and insight will continue as GFO enters its 14th year and encourage you all to maintain your support for the vital work done by Aidspan as the independent watcher of the Global Fund.


Lauren Gelfand

The following articles have been posted on GFO Live on the Aidspan website. Click on an article heading to view the article. These articles may or may not be reproduced in GFO Newsletter.

NEWS : Global Fund greenlights regional TB program for miners in Southern Africa

The Wits Health Consortium has been approved as the principal recipient on a new, $30 million regional grant to address the growing problem of tuberculosis among Southern Africa’s miners. 


This is issue 269 of the GLOBAL FUND OBSERVER (GFO) Newsletter. Please send all suggestions for news items, commentaries or any other feedback to the Editor in Chief, Lauren Gelfand ( To subscribe to GFO, go to

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Aidspan ( is a Kenya-based international NGO that serves as an independent watchdog of the Global Fund, aiming to benefit all countries wishing to obtain and make effective use of Global Fund resources. Aidspan finances its work through grants from foundations and bilateral donors. Aidspan does not accept Global Fund money, perform paid consulting work, or charge for any of its products.

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