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.