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Author:  Gemma Oberth

Most high impact countries must submit a full application

When countries received their allocation letters on 15 December 2016, a lot of critical information was shared about the next funding cycle (2017-2019). Along with vital information about eligibility for matching funds (see GFO article), the allocation letters also reveal the application type that a country is invited to submit (Table 1).

With the 2017-2019 grant cycle, there is a differentiated application approach which involves three different kinds of funding requests: program continuation, tailored applications and full applications (see GFO article). For tailored applications, there are four different variations: tailored to material change, tailored to transition, tailored to challenging operating environments and tailored to national strategy-based pilots.

Aidspan has accessed the allocation letters from the 25 countries presented in Table 1 through CCMs and other partners in country. We are unable to report on all countries, because the allocation letters are not public on the Global Fund’s website. Aidspan has already made a call for these letters to be made public (see GFO article). There is nothing secret or sensitive in the letters and by not making them public, the Global Fund is failing to live up to its commitment to transparency.

Table 1: Application approach, by disease component, for select countries over the 2017-2019 grant cycle 

Country Disease Component Application Approach
Belize TB Tailored – Transition
Botswana TB/HIV Program continuation
Malaria Tailored – Transition
Burkina Faso HIV Program continuation
TB Program continuation
Malaria Program continuation
Central African Republic TB/HIV Tailored
Malaria Program continuation
Colombia HIV Program continuation
Congo (Democratic Republic) TB/HIV Tailored – Material change in defined areas
Malaria Program continuation
Ghana TB/HIV Program continuation
Malaria Tailored – Material change in defined areas
Guinea HIV Program continuation
TB Tailored
Malaria Program continuation
Jamaica HIV Program continuation
Kenya TB/HIV and malaria Full
Lesotho TB/HIV Program continuation
Malawi TB/HIV Tailored – Material change in defined areas
Malaria Full
Morocco TB and HIV Tailored – National Strategic Plan (NSP) Pilot
Mozambique TB/HIV Full
Malaria Program continuation
Namibia TB/HIV Tailored
Malaria Tailored
Niger HIV Program continuation
TB Tailored – Challenging operating environment
Malaria Program continuation
Nigeria TB/HIV Full
Malaria Full
Rwanda HIV, TB and Malaria Tailored – National Strategy Pilots
Senegal HIV and malaria Program continuation
TB Full
South Africa TB/HIV Full
Swaziland TB/HIV Tailored – Material change in defined areas
Tanzania TB/HIV Full
Malaria Full
Uganda TB/HIV Full
Malaria Full
Zambia HIV Full
TB Full
Malaria Full
Zimbabwe TB/HIV Full
Malaria Full

 

*Source: allocation letters

Among the 65 disease components presented in Table 1, 24 will require a full review, 21 will take a tailored approach and 205 will request program continuation.

Program continuation is by far the least onerous of the three options (Table 2). The other two application types require longer narratives as well as a series of core tables and annexes. For tailored applications, the narrative component will shorter than for full applications.

In the instructions for filling in the funding request templates, all application approaches express strict word and page limits in an effort to keep them as concise as possible. For example, in the previous concept notes from the 2014-2016 grant cycle, guidance was given in the application templates that the funding request section could be “4-5 pages suggested” in length. In many cases, countries submitted concept notes that were far longer than the suggested length. Now, with the new templates, the guidance is firm that each section has a maximum length. All application materials and instructions can be found on the Global Fund’s website.

Table 2: Description of contents of the three kinds of application approaches

Contents of  Program Continuation Funding Request Contents of a Tailored Funding Request Contents of a Full Funding Request
Letter: requesting program continuation

Self-Assessment:

·       Completion of a short template (approximately 4 pages and 3500 words) requesting for an additional three years under substantially the same goals, strategic objectives and similar programmatic interventions of the current grant(s).

Narrative: Funding Request Tailored to transition, material change, challenging operating environments or learning opportunities (ie. NSP pilot) (approximately 15 pages)

Core documents:

·       Programmatic gap tables

·       Funding landscape table

·       Performance framework

·       Summary budget by intervention

·       List of health products when relevant

 

Key annexes

Narrative: Funding Request – Full Review (approximately 30 pages)

Core documents:

·       Programmatic gap tables

·       Funding landscape table

·       Performance framework

·       Summary budget by intervention

·       List of health products when relevant

 

Key annexes

 

The Global Fund has grouped countries according to the type of portfolio, which has some bearing on the kind of application approach the country must take. The three kinds of portfolios are: Focused, Core and High Impact. Focused portfolios are smaller portfolios (country allocations of <$75 million) with lower disease burdens (7.4% of global disease burden). Core portfolios are larger portfolios (country allocations of between $75 and $400 million) with slightly higher disease burdens (16.7% of global disease burden). High Impact portfolios are very large portfolios (>$400 million) with very high disease burdens (75.9% of global disease burden).

Table 3: Classification of portfolio type for the 25 countries in Table 1

Focused Portfolio Core Portfolio High Impact Portfolio
Belize

Botswana

Colombia

Jamaica

Morocco

Burkina Faso

Central African Republic

Guinea

Lesotho

Namibia

Niger

Rwanda

Senegal

Swaziland

Congo (Democratic Republic)

Ghana

Kenya

Malawi

Mozambique

Nigeria

South Africa

Tanzania

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe

 

Most High Impact countries will be doing full applications, with case-by-case exceptions made for certain countries and disease components. Countries which are Focused or Core portfolios are more likely to be doing program continuation or tailored applications.

Among the countries in Table 1, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Arica, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe must all do full applications for their funding requests. All of these countries are considered High Impact portfolios by the Global Fund, except for Senegal which is a Core portfolio. Congo (Democratic Republic), Ghana and Mozambique are High Impact countries which have been given case exceptions not to submit full applications for all their funding requests.

Niger is the only country among our sample to be submitting a funding request tailored to challenging operating environments. This is only for the country’s TB component, as program continuation has been suggested for its HIV and malaria components. “In 2017, the National TB program will undergo a program review and changes in priorities and interventions may occur,” says Francesco Moschetta, Fund Portfolio Manager for Niger at the Global Fund Secretariat. “For this reason the country may opt for full country dialogue to ensure that Niger can achieve the greatest impact with the resources available.” The tailored request for challenging operating environments is a flexibility afforded to Niger due to the fragility of the country and the current security situation in the southern region, Moschetta told Aidspan.

Kenya and Nigeria are also classified as challenging operating environments by the Global Fund, but as High Impact portfolios they will be submitting full applications.

While all applicants are encouraged to develop joint applications for HIV and TB, there are some countries where joint applications are mandatory, due to high co-infection rates and the need for greater integrated and joint programming for the two diseases. Among the countries sampled in this article, Botswana, Central African Republic, Congo (Democratic Republic), Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are required to submit joint TB/HIV funding requests.

Guinea, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda and Senegal are not required to submit joint TB/HIV funding requests, though they have allocations for both diseases. The reason for this is the kind of applications these countries will be submitting.  Morocco and Rwanda will be submitting funding requests based on their national strategic plans (NSPs) in a pilot version of the tailored review approach. Guinea, Niger and Senegal will be submitting different kinds of applications for their HIV and TB programs, so these cannot be combined in an integrated funding request.

The allocation letters do not contain the window when countries will submit their funding request. Aidspan has learned when some African countries are planning to submit their funding requests through discussions with country partners (Table 4).

 Table 4: Estimated submission dates for TB/HIV funding requests

Window 1

20 March 2017

Window 2

23 May 2017

Window 3

28 August 2017

2018
Mozambique

Uganda

Malawi

Lesotho

Rwanda

Zimbabwe

Kenya

Tanzania

Zambia

Swaziland Botswana

South Africa

 

It is expected that the Global Fund will soon publish a complete list of registrations and submissions for the three windows in 2017.