26 November 2018
To differentiate how the Global Fund provides funds and performs oversight of grants, different portfolio categories were created, taking account of the size of country allocations and disease burden, and adapting staff resources to a country’s context. A major strategic initiative, Differentiation for Impact, undertaken in 2016 to enhance portfolio differentiation, sought to organize Grant Management processes, controls, systems and Country Teams according to a differentiated model to achieve maximum impact against the three diseases.
Through the project, the Secretariat reallocated staff from smaller portfolios with low disease burdens, referred to as Focused portfolios, to Core and High Impact portfolios. Certain grant management processes such as reporting requirements, risk assessments and assurance arrangements were also refined to reduce the administrative burden on internal and external resources and increase efficiencies in oversight of smaller portfolios.
While progress has been achieved through these initiatives, grant management processes and procedures in Focused portfolios still remain largely the same as for Core and High Impact portfolios. This is due to gaps in defining organizational strategic priorities for Focused portfolios. Country Teams do not consistently leverage the flexibilities created by the differentiated processes and inefficiencies remain in areas such as the high number of grants, implementers and performance indicators, all of which hamper the ability to realize the efficiencies envisaged under the Differentiation for Impact project. This has led to Focused portfolios having disproportionately high program management costs at the country level and operational costs at the Secretariat level, relative to the size of the investment, disease burden and risk.