Established as a partnership in global health, the Global Fund works closely with a wide diversity of partners –implementing governments, donors, civil society, international development organizations, the private sector and communities living with and affected by the diseases. This partnership model actively supports country-owned approaches that develop and implement effective, evidence-based programs to respond to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Posted on: 03 July 2012
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Strategic planners at the Global Fund are designing a new funding model, and have been seeking suggestions and comments from committee members and some outside partners. In an effort to modify the way countries apply for grants, the new funding model will replace the old ‘rounds-based’ system with a procedure that allows dialogue and early feedback, which should strengthen proposals and increase overall success rates. Early preparation for grant implementation, built-in to the system, is expected to speed up the entire process. Instructions from the Board are to make the funding model more flexible and more effective. Senior staff in the Global Fund’s Strategy Investment and Impact division have been reaching out to partners and committee members to canvass their views, gathering input for the designing the new funding model. “It’s important that we hear views from different stakeholders,” said Ruwan de Mel, Head of Strategy and Access to Funding at the Global Fund. “We will be consulting broadly over the coming weeks.” A meeting of the Board’s Strategy and Investment and Impact Committee starting 9 July will consider aspects of the new funding model. The principles being followed in the design include a commitment to remaining global while focusing on interventions, countries and populations most in need, and simplifying the grant process while maintaining high standards of technical review. More flexibility on timing, and more predictability on available funding, are other improvements. Consultations are expected to continue. The aim will also be to figure out how to best forecast true need or demand for support treating and preventing disease, and how other funding models or donor processes might improve the design of an allocation and application process.
The Japan Center for International Exchange announced last week that its new President, Ken Shibusawa, would also become Director of the Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ). Mr. Shibusawa, a prominent businessman and strong advocate for corporate social engagement and international cooperation, will now lead an organization dedicated to encouraging greater Japanese support for the Global Fund and its goals. Even though Japan—as the host of the 2000 G8 Summit in Okinawa—has often been considered the birthplace of the Global Fund, people in Japan have a limited awareness of their country’s role in creating this innovative body. FGFJ raises awareness about the leading role Japan has taken in supporting disease treatment and prevention assisted by the Global Fund. Japan’s contributions to the Global Fund have more than quadrupled since the Friends Japan was launched eight years ago. This year’s contribution of US$340 million brings Japan’s cumulative contributions to US$1.6 billion. Sadly, Tadashi Yamamoto, the founder and president of the Japan Center for International Exchange, who also founded FGFJ, passed away on 15 April this year, leaving a gaping hole in the nongovernmental foreign policy field in Japan. Now succeeded by Mr. Shibusawa, Tadashi’s spirit remains integral to everything that FGFJ does. Global Fund General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo visited Japan on 13–15 June to see supporters of the Global Fund and to discuss the reform process that is underway. Meeting with high-level politicians, ministry representatives, civil society and business leaders, Mr. Jaramillo was able to reaffirm the strong connection between Friends Japan and the Global Fund. Both organizations are undergoing periods of transition, yet it is clear that many influential actors in Japan express unwavering commitment to the Global Fund’s efforts to treat and prevent AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Dr. Ade Fakoya has little patience for those who say the world is failing to get on top of the AIDS pandemic. “People forget where we have come from,” said Ade. “I remember when dying of AIDS was the norm.” Ade is a doctor who worked for over ten years as a medical adviser to aid organizations in the United Kingdom, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe before joining the Global Fund in 2010. He vividly recalls attending to a patient in London in the early 1990s who complained of suffering from chest pains and was convinced it was a symptom of AIDS. “He seemed relieved to find out he was having a heart attack,” remembered Ade. Many people forget that AIDS was a death sentence as recently as the mid-1990s, he observes. As the Global Fund’s senior HIV specialist, Ade sees his main role as making sure that programs supported by the Global Fund are technically strong and that resources are invested to achieve the greatest impact. By the end of this year, Ade will have provided technical, guidance and reprogramming advice on Phase 2 grant renewals totaling more than US $3 billion. “Our programs need to be aligned with the latest scientific findings. For example, we have to make sure that our prevention interventions are more targeted at most-at-risk-populations,” he said. By the same token, new evidence suggests that starting HIV-positive women on treatment immediately following diagnosis may be the best way to keep them alive and to prevent onward transmission of the virus to their unborn children and to HIV-negative partners. Ade, who was born and raised in London, was a medical adviser to the AIDS Alliance in its capacity as a Principal Recipient for the Global Fund’s HIV grant in Ukraine beginning in 2004. Ukraine was one of the first places where a civil society organization took over coordination of a national HIV treatment program. “Part of the reason I joined the Global Fund was its support for civil society,” he added. “This is a disease that affects marginalized populations and people with no voice. I believe in access to health services for everybody.” He is optimistic that an end to the HIV pandemic is achievable. But one factor in getting there will be improving the Global Fund’s own ability to support prevention and treatment. “If we want countries who receive our money to improve their performance, then we also need to get better too.”
Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, praised the reforms being undertaken at the Global Fund, saying they would help attract new financial resources and help achieve an AIDS-free generation. In a speech last week at the Brookings Institution in Washington, in which he set the stage for the International AIDS Society conference in the U.S. capital later this month, Goosby said that the Global Fund had taken steps to recommit to the goal of using resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. “The Global Fund’s new General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo has dramatically reoriented the Global Fund to assume a role as an active investor. I’m very optimistic about the impact of the Global Fund moving forward,” said Goosby. A robust multilateral response is crucial in helping to achieve an AIDS-free generation, a health policy objective which U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced on World AIDS Day 2011. Goosby described the Global Fund as “an indispensable tool” that “remains a single conduit through which other countries that will never have a bilateral program can funnel resources to those countries in need.” Goosby said that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund were engaging in joint planning and now co-finance many components of country responses. He added that global health was a shared responsibility between governments, the private sector, civil society, faith-based organizations and communities “who together contribute financially and otherwise to the fabric that is needed to establish a responsive and sustainable health care delivery system.” Country ownership, he said, is central to efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
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