Today we had the opportunity to visit the Global Fund and speak to Beatrice Bernescut from Communications and Patricia Kehoe from Grant Management. We learned that the Global Fund was started in 2002 with the main goal of investing the world’s money to save lives of people suffering from HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria.
In the late 1990s, all political leaders started to acknowledge that HIV/AIDs was a problem and they had the responsibility to do something about it. Thus, there was a huge movement to get antiretrovirals to people; however, they were very expensive and unaffordable by the developing countries. In 2002, HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria were still huge problems in many countries around the world and the Global Fund has had a profound influence in reversing this epidemic.
The Global Fund is an innovative financing organization that provides funding to countries to support treatment and care of HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria. Since its inception, the Global fund has supported more than 100 programs in 151 countries, provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.6 million people, tuberculosis treatment for 9.3 million people, and provided more than 270 million bednets to prevent malaria infections.
The Global fund facilitates partnerships between public and private sectors, civil society, and communities affected by the diseases. The Global fund does not go into countries and manage or implement specific programs. Instead it relies on the expertise of each country to ensure that money is spent in the most affective way to have the most impact on the individuals suffering from any of these three diseases. What was interesting to me most was the fact that a person suffering from any of the three target diseases has a sit on the board of the Global Fund. I find this highly important for gaining information specific to the needs of the target population.
The Global Fund operates via three main objectives: country ownership, performance based funding, and partnership. Country ownership means that countries decide for themselves what their best practices are. Performance based funding means that money is given based on the strength of the proposal each country writes. In addition, countries must provide reports of where the previous money was spent and demonstrate positive impact. Lastly, partnership refers to involving all stakeholders in decision making processes in the fight against these three deadly diseases.
The Global Fund closely monitors all programs that funded countries implement to ensure that there is no fraudulent activity and corruption and that the money is spent in the most effective way. The Global Fund expects countries to spend 7-10% of their budget on monitoring and evaluation of the program. This is highly important to track progress, evaluate the effectiveness, and learn what worked and what didn’t work.
Overall, it was very interesting to learn the operational structure of the Global Fund. I am looking forward to visiting the World Economic Forum tomorrow!