Country dialogue as a new feature of Global Fund’s grant-making process

In a recent post, Laura Lopez Gonzalez gave a beginner’s guide to the Global Fund’s new funding model. In a subsequent discussion hosted by Friends of the Global Fight, Mark Eldon-Edington, the Global Fund’s director of grant management, provided a deeper dive into one of the key elements of the new model: country dialogue.

If we were to consider the grant-making process as a chart, he explained, “country dialogue” would be drawn with an arrow from beginning to end, an element meant to underpin the entire process and encompass a wide variety of stakeholders: implementers, national governments, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, multilaterals, bilaterals, academia, the private sector, key affected populations, and other relevant stakeholders, depending on the country. While the process requires a lot of work, it will help ensure the most effective distribution of funds.

Engaging the key affected populations (KAPs) will be especially important for ensuring that the funds are applied to the health interventions that are most appropriate for their specific context. The national Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) will be responsible for engaging the KAPs, and the Global Fund will require evidence of two-way communication between the groups as part of the grant application.

In Zimbabwe, for example, gender inequity is a contributing factor to the HIV/AIDS disease burden, so women’s groups were a primary KAP taken into account for the country’s grant application. Zimbabwe worked with UN Women and UNAIDS and held several women’s caucus meetings to actively incorporate the gender perspective into its concept note.

The new funding model will face new challenges as it overcomes old ones, but early feedback has been encouraging.

To read an independent review of the new funding model, check out New and Improved? Examining the Global Fund’s New Funding Model by Open Society Foundations.

For frequently asked questions about country dialogue in the new funding model, click here.

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