Office of the Inspector General

Removing Human Rights-related Barriers

27 November 2019

Human rights are important to the Global Fund. The organization recognizes that maximum impact in the fight against the three diseases cannot be achieved without taking the human rights of beneficiaries into account.

The Global Fund has elevated its commitment to removing human rights-related barriers to accessing services to the highest level as a strategic objective: the 2017-2022 Strategic Objective 3 is to Promote and Protect Human Rights and Gender Equality. The Global Fund is one of the leading organizations in not only including the removal of human rights-related barriers in its strategy, but also integrating human rights and gender principles in programming and allocating dedicated funding to operationalize its strategic commitments. Several ongoing projects aim to strengthen both internal processes and external programming related to the removal of human rights-related barriers.

A dedicated KPI (KPI 9) aims to measure, for the first time, the human rights-related investments.

The Global Fund allocates funding to support the removal of human rights-related barriers at country level. However, some of the countries where the Global Fund has the largest allocations have limited human rights-related investments. The OIG recommends developing differentiated support frameworks and requirements for human rights programming according to priority of countries needs to address human rights-related barriers. While most programming contributes to advance human rights considerations, the OIG recommends strengthening the collective and coherent understanding across the organization of what it means to specifically “remove human rights-related barriers”.

The Community, Rights and Gender department’s human rights team has until now provided both strategic direction and operational support, but with limited resources. The OIG also found that accountability structures on human rights could be strengthened. The OIG recommends formalizing organizational roles and accountability structures around human rights, to place dedicated human rights experts to support country teams with human rights programming, and to ensure human rights-related considerations are included in grant processes.

The KPI 9 aiming to measure human rights-related investments is an important improvement compared to the previous funding cycle, but focuses primarily on the level of investments rather than performance. There are limited mechanisms to measure the absorption and results of human rights-related investments and the process for reporting on KPI 9 is cumbersome. The OIG recommends reviewing KPI 9 to focus more on performance, refining methods for measuring investments and results, and reviewing the method for data collection and analysis for KPI 9.

  • Advisory Review: Removing human rights-related barriers: Operationalizing the human rights aspects of Global Fund Strategic Objective 3 (GF-OIG-19-023 - November 2019)
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For more information:

Dougal Thomson
Mobile: + 41 (0)79 717 6694


The Office of the Inspector General safeguards the assets, investments, reputation and sustainability of the Global Fund by ensuring that it takes the right action to defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through audits, investigations and consultancy work, it promotes good practice, reduces risk and reports fully and transparently on abuse.

Established in 2005, the Office of the Inspector General is an independent yet integral part of the Global Fund. It is accountable to the Board through its Audit and Ethics Committee and serves the interests of all Global Fund stakeholders. Its work conforms to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Uniform Guidelines for Investigations of the Conference of International Investigators.

The Global Fund believes that every dollar counts and has zero tolerance for fraud, corruption and waste. Through its whistle-blowing channels, the Office of the Inspector General encourages all to speak out to report fraud, abuse and human rights violations that prevent Global Fund resources from reaching those who need them.