Progress on the Global Fund’s New Funding Approach
Central elements of the new funding model, approved by the Global Fund Board in September, are now being more fully worked out by Global Fund staff. A series of consultations will take place in the coming weeks so that Board members and partners and other stakeholders can make suggestions. The Board’s Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee, when it meets in Geneva from 24-26 October, is expected to consider options on several aspects of the model. One is the optimum length of new grants. A second is how countries are grouped into bands, to allow the Board to prioritize funding to countries depending on need, as defined both by disease burden and ability to pay, among other factors. A third is how funding will be divided into core funding – in which each country is allocated a more predictable funding range – and incentive funding, which will reward ambitious investment cases, high performance and full expressions of demand. A fourth is how the new funding model will be piloted and tested in 2013, using available uncommitted money. After considering these issues, the Committee is expected to make recommendations to the Board for decision at its next meeting in mid-November.
The new funding model is part of a larger shift to a new business model that is being undertaken at the Global Fund, begun with a re-organization at headquarters earlier this year. One shift is to invest more strategically, while responding to demand from implementing countries. Another is to move toward a more cooperative process of interaction between the Global Fund and implementers, technical partners and other donors. Increased dialogue before and during the drafting of a concept note for each grant is likely to lead to increased accountability and responsibility by Global Fund staff, and a higher success rate of grant application. Beyond that, more effective leveraging of the funding and expertise of other organizations will improve the overall effectiveness and impact of Global Fund grants. These are significant changes. They are all guided by a collective determination to make grants in the most effective way, with the biggest impact.
Global Fund Translators Expand Their Reach
Pascal Brice is familiar with the old Italian adage “traduttore traditore,” which means “to translate is to betray.” As an in-house translator at the Global Fund, Pascal has made it his mission to strengthen internal translation services and to ensure that translated documents do not betray, but are faithful to the original, which can be critically important in the work that supports programs affecting the health of millions of people. Pascal and his colleagues are extremely busy translating documents, strategy papers, important correspondence and other materials into French, Spanish and Russian. They meticulously check texts and supervise the work of freelancers who are called upon to provide back-up and also translations into Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and German, among other languages. It is not logistically possible to translate Global Fund materials into the hundreds of languages used by those who implement Global Fund grants, but Pascal and his colleagues are doing a lot. One of the special challenges for translators at the Global Fund is the expanding galaxy of acronyms that can make any newcomer feel like a star gazer trying to make sense of the night sky. Pascal was surprised when he began his current job in 2010 to find that Country Coordinating Mechanism, or CCM, which an institutional building block of the Global Fund, did not have a standard French translation. Brice, who was born in Belgium, chose “instance de coordination nationale” and then worked to see that it was used consistently. In Spanish, the term for CCM is “mecanismo de coordinación de país” or MCP (an acronym that sounds innocent in Spanish, even though it had wide currency in the United States in the 1970s as shorthand for a “male chauvinist pig”). Pascal previously worked as a translator for the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome and the International Criminal Court in the Hague. He grasps the subtlety and the importance of finding the right phrase when moving from one language to another. “People have a sense of ownership over the language they use. If they cannot identify with what is translated they regard it as bad,” he said. Perhaps when translations are done well, they disprove “traduttore, traditore.”
Support From Australia
Australia has been a vigorous friend and supporter of the Global Fund since it was created in 2002, ramping up financial donations over the years and contributing to a steady flow of Global Fund grants to the Asia-Pacific region. These grants have helped produce great results, putting more than half a million people on lifesaving HIV treatment, distributing 46 million insecticide-treated nets and treating 6.6 million cases of tuberculosis in the region. Gabriel Jaramillo, General Manager of the Global Fund, recently visited Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, both to thank Australians for their support and also to provide them an update on the transformation underway at the Global Fund. He was joined by Mphu Ramatlapeng, Vice-Chair of the Global Fund, and Christoph Benn, the Global Fund’s Director of Resource Mobilization. They were welcomed by Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund. “The visit to Australia by Gabriel Jaramillo touched all the bases - from ministers and members of parliament and senior aid and development officials to civil society, researchers and clinicians involved at all levels in the fight against the three diseases,” said Mr. Bowtell. “Gabriel and the Global Fund team spoke frankly and directly about the necessary transformation of the Global Fund to respond to new global economic realities. Their visit laid excellent foundations for Australia to remain a significant contributor to the Global Fund.” On the visit, Mr. Jaramillo also met with officials at AusAID, the government agency that will host the 2012 International Malaria Summit in Sydney in late October. Simon Bland, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, will attend.
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