The processes in the Global Fund Funding Model offer different opportunities for the inclusion of community, key population, human rights and gender related priorities. Here’s a walkthrough of the process, with some insights on how community groups can maximise the processes to push for their CRG priorities.

Note that the Global Fund Community, Rights and Gender Strategic Initiative (CRG-SI) has a technical assistance programme to enable greater access to technical support for community groups,key population networks, and civil society. Read about it here.

Introduction

FUNDING PROCESS

This walkthrough aims to explain the different stages in the funding process, from the mechanisms involved in determining a country’s eligibility and the allocation for every disease component to grant-making, grant implementation and reprogramming. The sections below also explain country processes, such as the national strategic plan development and country dialogues, that underpin funding requests and grant implementation.

Each section also includes recommendations for civil society organisations, community groups, and key population networks on how they can promote interventions for key populations, human rights, and gender equality across different stages of the funding process.

Please note that the Global Fund is continuously evolving as an institution, and the processes outlined below are subject to further change. Please visit the Global Fund website regularly for updates, or contact us at APCRG for inquiries or clarifications.

Eligibility and Allocation

Before the start of a three-year allocation period, the Global Fund determines which countries are eligible for Global Fund support.  Eligibility policy in access to Global Fund resources is determined by the Global Fund Board and is currently based on the country’s income classification (measured through a three-year average of GNI per capita) and disease burden (based on WHO and UNAIDS indicators).

The Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022 prioritises investment in countries with the highest levels of disease burden and lowest economic capacity; scale up of responses for adolescent girls and young women where this community faces extreme and disproportionate burden of HIV with high burden of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, scale up of evidence informed programs for key and vulnerable populations that are disproportionately impacted by  the three diseases; and scale up of programs that remove human rights related barriers in access to services. Community systems and responses, key populations, gender and human rights are all elevated in priority under the new Strategy.

After determining eligibility on the basis of the above criteria,  the Global Fund produces and makes publicly available a list of eligible countries and their respective eligible disease components (HIV, TB, and/or malaria). It is important to understand that a country can be eligible for funding for one disease but not another. The eligibility list is updated annually. (Read: the 2017 Eligibility List)

funding-cycle-diagram_en

Funding allocation periods are for three years. The next cycle is for the period 2017 to 2019. Prior to the commencement of this period, allocation amounts are calculated for all eligible disease components in all eligible countries. Allocation amounts are calculated using formula based on a country’s ‘disease burden’ and ‘gross national income’. A number of qualitative factors are then applied to refine the amounts. These factors include capacity to absorb funding and potential for impact. In the 2017-2019 allocation period HIV funding levels will be adjusted to better reflect contexts where HIV prevalence is concentrated among key populations.

“Disease split”

Once final amounts are determined,  Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) receive communication indicating  the amount of funding available for each disease  component. A country may decide to adjust the communicated “disease split” and reallocate funding from one eligible disease component to another, or apportion some funds for programmes that support resilient and sustainable systems for health, which include community systems. CCMs are required however to notify the Global Fund of these changes and, if significant,may not receive approval.  CCMs are required to hold inclusive multi-stakeholder consultation in any decision to revise the disease split. (Read: FAQs on Engaging the CCM)

Countries can submit their funding request (formerly known as “Concept Note”) throughout 2017 and early 2018 and within the planned Submission Windows.  This is to ensure that grants can start immediately after an existing grant ends. The standard implementation period for grants is three years from the point at which the grant was finalised and signed. However, all funding requests for the 2017-19 must be finalised within that period.  Funding requests need to be carefully planned because allocations cannot be consolidated and cannot overlap. Extensions to grants approved in the 2014-16 Allocation Period may be permitted for but it is critical to understand that any funding required for the extension will be deducted from the country component’s 2017-19 allocation.

“Differentiation framework”

NEW: From the beginning the 2017-2019 allocation period, the Global Fund will follow a “differentiation framework” across different parts of the funding process, and this influences the processes an eligible country needs to undertake.

Eligible countries are differentiated through three investment portfolio categories: Focused, Core and High Impact. “Focused countries” are those with lower disease burdens and with less than $75 million in allocation. “Core countries” have higher disease burdens, higher investment risks, and with allocations above $75 million but less than $400 million. “High impact countries” represent 75% of the world’s disease burden and have allocations above $400 million.

The application process and review are differentiated into three approaches:

Program continuation – country components that have no material change, which will be determined through separate evaluations by the Global Fund secretariat (based on existing information gathered and analysed) and the CCM (based on national strategy, investment priorities, and performance), have substantially shorter funding application process and fewer application materials. A funding request under this approach will need validation from the Technical Review Panel (TRP), and then will proceed immediately to grant-making phase.

This will be recommended for “focused countries” and core components with less than 2 years of implementation or those with good performance and no material change. High impact components may be considered on a case-to-case basis.

Tailored – under this approach, the application materials and the review process are determined by specific contexts: if there are material changes in defined programmatic areas; if a country component is transitioning out of Global Fund support; if a country is categorised as a challenging operating environment; or if funding requests present learning opportunities, such as pilots  for direct funding of National Strategic Plans or  innovative financing.

Full proposal and full review –  funding requests go through standard procedures and review. The majority of  countries classified as “high impact” will follow this process but a volume of focused or core countries,  may also be recommended to follow this approach. All components that were not reviewed by the TRP in the previous allocation period will be required to submit for full proposal and review.


Community guide:
  • Start early. Get to know the Global Fund, its funding processes, the different stakeholders involved, and your country’s disease contexts and strategies.
  • Learn about issues around communities, key populations, human rights, and gender equality, and how they are related to your diseases. Get access to and familiarise yourself with country assessments on human rights and gender that may have been done on each of the disease components by groups like UNDP and UNAIDS. For example, UNDP has a compilation of reports on legal and policy barriers to access to HIV services in the Asia-Pacific region. UNAIDS has also developed this tool on youth participation and Global Fund processes
  • Develop your CRG priorities, and build evidence to support them. Document how CRG interventions (or the lack of) influence the effectiveness of current grant programmes. We have developed a tool you can use to develop your CRG priorities.
  • Develop your engagement objectives and strategies. Seek support to address gaps and challenges in your strategies from technical support providers. Check out if there are regional organisations representing civil society and key populations that could also provide support for your organisation.
  • Reach out to your CCM and Global Fund Country Teams, or development partners like UNAIDS and WHO, to access the information that you need to be able to participate and engage in the processes. Know who your CCM representatives are. 
  • Review existing guidelines on key populations, human rights, and gender equality. Learn how your existing Global Fund-supported programmes address CRG issues.

 

Country Dialogues

The Global Fund requires that periodic, open, and broad consultations prior to and during grant application, implementation, and oversight are conducted. These consultations should include not only relevant government agencies and private sector institutions, but also, more importantly, community groups, key populations, people living with the diseases, human rights advocates and organisations, and local civil society organisations. This is an integral feature of the Funding Model, and CCMs are required by the Global Fund to conduct Country Dialogues to inform country priorities, funding requests, grant implementation and grant oversight.


Community guide:
  • Mobilise community groups and key population networks for the country dialogues. Use this platform as an opportunity to influence national strategies or priorities on HIV, TB, or malaria and to lobby for the inclusion of community-focused, human rights-informed, and gender transformative programs as stand-alone interventions and as foundations for health-specific programs. Introduce evidence on why CRG interventions are necessary, and how they are aligned with new strategies to end the three diseases.
  • Talk to different stakeholders that influence program priorities and program implementation. Ask your disease programmes where they stand on your CRG priorities, and think about how you can get their support. During country dialogues, it is important for your allies to speak up and share their insights on why CRG interventions are important. It also critical that you are able to address concerns or issues raised about your CRG priorities.
  • Conduct preparatory discussions with similar groups, other key populations from other diseases, and potential allies. Strategise around your CRG priorities.
  • Take note of your country’s funding application timelines, and ask your CCM secretariat to present the timeline during the country dialogue. Use the timeline to prepare for your interventions and advocacy, but at the same time, ensure that you don’t cause unnecessary delays because you are not prepared to engage.
National Strategic Plans (NSPs)

Funding requests are expected to be based on robust and up-to-date national disease specific strategic plans, or, in their absence, on Investment Cases.

The strategies should be solidly constructed, with costed and prioritised interventions based on evidence-based standards and developed with the engagement of different stakeholders, especially civil society, communities, and key populations. They should also take into account different issues, from gender and human rights to legal and social factors that act as barriers to services.

If current national strategies or investment cases do not adequately prioritise or reflect or respond to issues facing communites, key and vulnerable populations, gender or human rights, stakeholders in the dialogue process have the right to raise these weaknesses and demand their inclusion in any funding request to the Global Fund.


Community guide:
  • In your advocacy planning, prioritise the inclusion of CRG issues and interventions in your disease National Strategic Plan. This is critical in ensuring that CRG priorities get funded in Global Fund-supported programmes, and an important first step to guarantee that CRG priorities are owned by the country. It is also an important advocacy tool to influence other policies on human rights and gender, and your country’s overall development plans.
  • NSPs are high-level, comprehensive documents. It should cover health-specific strategies, interventions to strengthen community systems, enabling environments such as policy reforms, human rights and gender equality. In operationalising NSPs, communities and key populations can also be considered as implementing agencies and should be capacitated to implement interventions.
  • Make sure that your NSP is up-to-date. Find out when your country is reviewing its disease NSPs, or creating a new one. Take part and engage in these processes.
  • If your CCM is using an investment case to submit a funding request, make sure that the interventions are not limited to service delivery or biomedical strategies alone.

Engaging in Global Fund processes can be challenging for civil society organisations, community groups, and key population networks. Here are some resources and tools to help you get ready.

Engaging in Global Fund processes can be challenging for civil society organisations, community groups, and key population networks. Here are some resources and tools to help you get ready.