The process whereby the Secretariat and the Board decide which grants to approve for "Phase 2 renewal" (that is, for Years 3-5) during the second year of each grant has led in recent weeks to considerable friction. In particular, when the Secretariat recommended that an HIV grant to Honduras should not be renewed, many people lobbied board members to over-rule the Secretariat recommendation.
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Last year, the Global Fund established a procedure, known as "Phase 2 renewal," for determining which grants should receive three more years of funding after reaching the end of the two years covered in the original grant agreement. The Global Fund Secretariat suggested that these renewal decisions should be made by the Secretariat alone, given that each grant had originally been approved in principle for up to five years.
One month late, the Global Fund Secretariat today released the PDF version of the Round 5 application form. This version involves some "smart technology," whereby answers provided in one part of the form determine the questions asked in other parts, where numbers provided in some tables are automatically carried over into other tables, and where totals and percentages are automatically computed.
During the past month, the Global Fund Secretariat has presented 26 grants to the board for consideration for Phase 2 renewal. For each of these grants, the Fund has provided the board with the results of an extensive and candid review of the grant's performance thus far.
- Assessing the Executive Director and board
[Adapted by the author from a presentation she gave on July 14 at the Bangkok International AIDS Conference, at a satellite session entitled, "The Global Fund: How CCMs Can Be More Effective," organized by Aidspan and other NGOs. A translation of this article into Spanish will shortly be posted at www.aidspan.org/gfo/docs/gfo62.pdf.]
The Global Fund Secretariat is developing an "early warning system" to identify grant recipients that are at risk of being placed in category "C" in the Phase 2 decision process (which would mean that their grants would not be renewed at the end of Year 2).
The board agreed to set up a new committee, chaired by the Board Vice Chair, to make policy recommendations regarding the provision of technical assistance and capacity development for and through Country Coordinating Mechanisms, Principal Recipients, and Sub-Recipients.
Three years ago this week, the world's governments endorsed the UNGASS Declaration. This called for a vastly increased global commitment to the struggle against HIV/AIDS, and endorsed the setting up of the Global Fund as a key financing tool.