15 January 2021
982 individuals responded to the Global Fund Applicant Survey in 2020. An overwhelming majority of applicants (nearly 95%) were positive about their overall experience applying for Global Fund financing. This sentiment was strongest among Program Continuation, Tailored for Focused Portfolios, and Tailored for National Strategic Plans (NSPs) applicants, as well as among returning applicants irrespective of application approach.
The vast majority of returning applicants agreed that the funding request submitted in 2020 was simpler to fill in than the one used for the 2017-2019 funding cycle. Returning applicants who submitted tailored requests, in particular, highlighted improved clarity and efficiency in their remarks. These applicants also highlighted the value of their increased familiarity with the process and expressed appreciation for the support they received from the Global Fund Secretariat.
However, the time necessary to complete the funding request continued to be a challenge, including extra time for annexes and the level of detail required irrespective of portfolio type, and challenges coordinating and achieving an inclusive funding request development process in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these, nearly all respondents assessed their overall experience in country dialogue positively—with almost half of them sharing that country dialogue was their favorite part of the entire application process.
As a whole, applicants responded consistently 90% positively or higher when asked if they felt free to express their views, if they felt prepared to participate and add value to the discussion, and if those organizing the country dialogue actively reached out to civil society. While applicants expressed that integrated funding requests required more effort, they were appreciative of the level of support received from the Global Fund and Partners. An added bonus was that the resulting funding request was more inclusive as a product of the necessary consultations.