How national stakeholders are engaging with The Global Fund’s regional grants in Botswana

When it comes to The Global Fund’s regional grants in Africa, Botswana is a pretty popular country. Currently, there are five regional programs which include Botswana – two HIV, two TB and one malaria – all from the first wave of regional concept notes (see table).

Table: Regional grants that include Botswana

Name
Disease Focus
Amount
($ million)
Date of Grant Approval
Principal recipient
Countries Covered
KP REACH
HIV
11.5 m
11 Oct 2015
Hivos Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSAF)
Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Removing Legal Barriers
HIV
10.5 m
11 Oct 2015
UNDP
Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
TB in Mines
TB
30.0 m
23 Dec 2015
Wits Health Consortium
Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Regional TB Lab Project
TB
6.1 m
11 Oct 2015
East, Central & Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA HC)
Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Elimination 8
Malaria
17.8 m
10 Sep 2015
E8 Secretariat
Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

With so many regional grants involving one country, there are bound to be challenges. This article provides an overview of the perspectives held by national Global Fund stakeholders in Botswana towards the regional grants in their country.

Although all five grants include Botswana, none of the principal recipients are located there. ROSAF is in Zimbabwe; UNDP is in Ethiopia; Wits is in South Africa; ECSA HC is in Tanzania; and the E8 Secretariat is in Namibia. 

The Secretariat has provided an update on Special Initiatives to the Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee and the Financial and Operational Performance Committee. The update has not been made public, but Aidspan has received permission to report on its contents.

In the last issue of GFO, Aidspan reported overall spending updates for the six special initiatives (see Table 1 of GFO article). This article provides more details on progress to date.

Emergency Fund

The Emergency Fund is set up to ensure continuity of essential HIV, TB, and malaria services which are at risk of interruption in situations such as conflicts, natural disasters, or other disease outbreaks. The $11.6 million committed to date for this special initiative has been granted to five countries: Liberia ($1.62 million), Sierra Leone ($1.63 million), Syria ($3.32 million), Nepal ($2.13 million), and Ukraine ($2.97 million).

The emergency funds for Liberia and Sierra Leone are for malaria prevention in the context of the Ebola crisis. In Liberia, the funds are dedicated to procuring 448,084 long-lasting insecticide treated nets to close the gap in the national campaign after the Ebola crisis altered the distribution strategy. In Sierra Leone, the support is for the country’s mass drug administration campaign, which aims to treat more than 2.3 million people in select chiefdoms with antimalarial drugs, regardless of their disease status. The objective of the drug campaign is to reduce Ebola transmission among malaria patients, which can happen if malaria fever is mistaken for early symptoms of Ebola and patients are quarantined together. 

In Syria and Ukraine, the emergency funds are for HIV and TB service maintenance in the context of political instability. In Syria, support is provided for TB prevention among refugee populations, while in Ukraine funds are used for HIV service provision in areas affected by military conflict.

Lastly, the Emergency funds in Nepal are for responding to HIV in the aftermath of the April 2015 earthquake.

There are 15 pre-qualified implementers for the Emergency Fund. These are: the International Organization for Migration, Save the Children, the World Food Programme, UNICEF, World Vision, GIZ, the International Rescue Committee, UNDP, UNOPS, Plan International, Catholic Relief Services, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Population Services International, the International Medical Corps, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Community, rights and gender

In addition to this article, GFO has published two previous progress updates on the CRG special initiative (in March and September 2015). Linking these three updates, Figure 1 below shows a timeline of progress for the provision of short-term technical assistance.

Figure 1: Progress over time on short-term TA provision through CRG Special Initiative

Figure 1: Progress over time on short-term TA provision through CRG Special Initiative

The Global Fund Secretariat has recently indicated that every TA assignment funded through the CRG special initiative has had a key populations focus. Many have also had scopes of work touching on human rights, community responses, youth, and gender.

eannasoThere is lesser participation from key populations than from civil society organizations in country and regional dialogues, according to survey conducted by the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Services Organizations on civil society and community perspectives on Global Fund processes. EANNASO has released a short report on the survey.

The report was produced by the Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination for Anglophone Africa, which EANNASO hosts. The Regional Platform is funded by The Global Fund as part of the Community, Rights, and Gender (CRG) Special Initiative.

The regional platforms (of which there are six, globally) are intended to build knowledge and capacity of civil society and community groups on the Global Fund, as well as to promote access to technical assistance. The aim of the survey was to guide the CRG Special Initiative in Anglophone Africa, providing important information on knowledge gaps and capacity development needs in the region.

 New report measures impact of civil society participation in priority-setting in NFM concept notesMeaningful participation of civil society in country dialogue has been a central pillar of the Global Fund’s New Funding Model (NFM). Money has been invested, meetings have been held, and documents have been published. But did it matter?

A new report released by the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO) measures the impact of civil society consultations on the final concept notes submitted. Notes submitted by Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe were examined for how responsive they were to priorities identified by civil society during country dialogue.

The civil society priorities charters, published by AIDS Accountability International, were used as a measure of what national civil society organizations wanted to see included in the concept notes. Using a three-point scale, alignment was assessed between priorities in the civil society charters and interventions that were included in the concept notes (2 – included; 1 – partially included; 0 – not included). Each country was then given a score, expressed as a percentage. All the concept notes that were analyzed were integrated TB/HIV concept notes except for Zimbabwe, where a standard concept note for TB was used (due to early applicant status).  

The analysis demonstrates wide variations in responsiveness (Table 1). Malawi’s concept note was by far the most responsive to civil society priorities (at 87%) while Zambia’s was the least (at 38%).  

Eight countries in Eastern and Southern Africa were evaluated for the report
 

Meaningful participation of civil society in country dialogue has been a central pillar of the Global Fund’s New Funding Model (NFM). Money has been invested, meetings have been held, and documents have been published. But did it matter?

A new report released by the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO) measures the impact of civil society consultations on the final concept notes submitted. Notes submitted by Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe were examined for how responsive they were to priorities identified by civil society during country dialogue.

The civil society priorities charters, published by AIDS Accountability International, were used as a measure of what national civil society organizations wanted to see included in the concept notes. Using a three-point scale, alignment was assessed between priorities in the civil society charters and interventions that were included in the concept notes (2 – included; 1 – partially included; 0 – not included). Each country was then given a score, expressed as a percentage. All the concept notes that were analyzed were integrated TB/HIV concept notes except for Zimbabwe, where a standard concept note for TB was used (due to early applicant status).  

The Global Fund has committed approximately $7 million of the $15 million budget for its Community Rights and Gender (CRG) Special Initiative. Each of the initiative’s three arms – technical assistance (TA) provision, key populations network strengthening, and regional communication and coordination platforms – have received relatively equal amounts.

The initiative runs until the end of 2016.

On the TA arm, 40 applicants for technical assistance, spanning 22 countries, have received nearly $2 million in funding. Thirty-four TA providers have been identified and 65 TA requests have been received to date. This is one example of the progress made since Aidspan last reported on the initiative.

Another example of momentum is the selection of eight grantees for long-term capacity building support, in partnership with the Robert Carr Network Fund (RCNF):  

  • Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN)
  • Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)
  • Global Network of Sex Workers Project (NSWP)
  • International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) / Asia Network of People Who Use Drugs (ANPUD)
  • AIDS Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (ARASA) / International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)
  • The International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
  • Positive Network Consortium (PNC+)
  • YouthLEAD

These grantees have received disbursements totalling $2.6 million for 2015 activities as part of the initiative’s key populations network strengthening arm.