New tool distills guidance on writing strong Global Fund HIV proposals
02 February 2009
WHO and UNAIDS resource kit for writing Global Fund round 9 HIV proposals
As applicants prepare their proposals for the next round of HIV funding, Round 9, UNAIDS and WHO have jointly developed an online resource kit to provide guidance in planning and writing strong Global Fund proposals.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) is a financial mechanism that provides grants in support of evidence-informed, technically sound and cost-effective programmes for the prevention and treatment, care and support of persons infected and directly affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. By 1 December 2008, it had signed grant agreements worth US$ 10.2 billion for 579 grants in 137 countries around the world.
The aim of the fund is to direct money to areas of greatest need so that a real difference can be made in peoples’ lives. As a part of this process hundreds of pages of technical documentation on how to design programmes or write a grant proposal have been developed by a range of technical experts. The challenge for the country partners writing their proposals is sifting through these myriad long and complex guidelines.
To simplify this, the resource kit has been designed to focus on the essential points which are presented in a user friendly way. The information is structured in a way that echoes the development of a proposal. It is aimed to be a practical tool that country partners can use with ease.
Given all the guidance that exists on the application process, a user-friendly web-based tool such as this one, structured to compliment proposal development, can enable a country to navigate the complexities of the process and develop a strong proposal
Nancy Fee, UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Indonesia
People are already finding it useful. “In the jungle of technical guidance for writing proposals that’s out there, communicating the unique relevance of this tool is the biggest challenge. However, country teams across this region have already begun to benefit from this important resource.” said Geoff Manthey, UNAIDS Global Fund regional focal point, Asia Pacific Regional Support Team.
Compilation of guidance
The content of the resource kit is a compilation of existing guidance developed by different technical agencies including UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. In preparation of the kit, the team reviewed Global Fund feedback on previous proposals and identified recurring weakness areas so that the content of this kit could address these.
“This toolkit is the result of close collaboration between WHO, UNAIDS, and other UN and civil society partners,” said Mazuwa Banda, Medical Officer, World Health Organization.
“We hope that it is widely distributed and, most importantly, used; and we will continue to work together to improve it in response to feedback from its users.”
It includes a number of technical guidance notes on cross-cutting issues relevant in the design of any HIV programme. These include gender, human rights and law, sexual minorities and social change communication. A number of notes on health systems strengthening are also included as well as guidance on specific intervention areas including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
There are also a number of practical tools included on managing the proposal development process including a planning matrix and costing tool.
Know your epidemic
Country data is vital to knowing a country’s epidemic in order to design an effective response. Statistics on HIV interventions, links to latest epidemiological fact sheets and other useful country information are also included in the resource kit.
In addition to sharing guidance, the online kit includes a “Finding support” section which gives direction to assistance offered through WHO and UNAIDS as well as useful contacts and a list of focal points. While the response to and coordination of technical support to countries should be first addressed at country level within the UN theme group, WHO and UNAIDS can offer support by facilitating the proposal development process and providing general or specific technical guidance, to ensure that the proposal is technically sound and meets the other requirements. UNAIDS has established “Technical Support Facilities” across the world that help match countries technical assistance needs with most well suited technical assistance in the form of individuals and/or companies.
UNAIDS and the Global Fund
Given the complementary strengths and shared commitment to the global AIDS response, Global Fund and UNAIDS collaborate to accelerate progress towards universal access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support services.
By offering a range of support to country partners to help applicants prepare strong proposals for Global Fund resources UNAIDS, as the United Nations coordinating programme on HIV, also helps to make the resources of the Global Fund work. UNAIDS also supports the Global Fund in monitoring and evaluating the performance of its grantees through strengthening the capacity of principal recipients and sub-recipients to report on grant implementation.
This collaboration is leading to real results on the ground as Nancy Fee who works in Indonesia as UNAIDS Country Coordinator notes: “As Indonesia has seen, a successful application to the Global Fund results in a grant that can make a huge difference to a country’s AIDS response.”
“Given all the guidance that exists on the application process, a user-friendly web-based tool such as this one, structured to compliment proposal development, can enable a country to navigate the complexities of the process and develop a strong proposal,” she added.