CGR issues in GF’s new Strategy 2017-2022

Community, rights and gender issues have a higher profile, but challenges remain in demonstrating impact

The Global Fund has been successful at raising awareness about the importance of community, rights and gender (CRG) and promoting the inclusion of CRG issues in country dialogues and concept notes. However, challenges remain in translating these achievements into impact in programs on the ground.

This is a central theme of the Community, Rights and Gender Report (2016) presented to the Board at its recent meeting in Abidjan. This is the second annual CRG report to the Board (click here to view the first report).

Community responses, human rights, and gender equality have been heavily prioritized by the Global Fund Secretariat throughout the rollout of its new funding model (NFM). The growing capacity of the Fund’s Community, Rights and Gender department has enabled its CRG advisors to provide direct support to 83 of the 113 countries receiving funding and to 20 of the 32 regional applications.

The CRG special initiative demonstrates further commitment to these issues. The initiative is a $15 million set-aside for technical assistance, capacity building of key populations and the establishment of six regional platforms – all aiming to ensure that community, rights, and gender are central to how The Global Fund does business.

The Global Fund’s new Strategy for the period 2017-2022 enshrines this focus going forward. After a widely consultative process the new Strategy significantly strengthens The Global Fund’s dedication to supporting community responses, human rights, gender equality, and programming for women and girls as well as key and vulnerable populations. The CRG report praises the new Strategy, pointing to several sub-objectives that prioritize these issues.

There are however certain concerns as to which extent does the significant progress in terms of policies, processes, portfolio analyses, and coordination on CRG issues actually has translated into more and better investments in gender equality and key populations at country level. Indeed, the 2016 CRG report flags several persistent challenges around measuring impact and tracking investments on the ground.

The issue of impact

According to the CRG report, while there is evidence of greater inclusiveness in country dialogue, and some evidence of improved concept note content as a result, work is needed to show how this translates to more effective programs at country level. It is especially necessary to demonstrate how having communities engaged on these issues results in greater impact against the three diseases.

The CRG report notes that new key performance indicators have been proposed to accompany the 2017-2022 Strategy which promise to improve documentation of impact for community responses. Specifically, the proposed new KPI framework aims to strengthen the previous indicator on human rights by changing the focus from reported human rights violations to measuring progress in reducing human rights barriers to services. The new KPIs would also document increasing programming for key populations and measure the extent to which programming for key populations and human rights are increasingly absorbed by domestic funders, particularly as countries approach transition from Global Fund support.

The issue of investment

There is evidence of insufficient funding for community responses in several areas. The CRG report highlights that less than 20% of country concept notes submitted in Windows 1 to 7 of the NFM requested funding to support community monitoring. Similar gaps in funding requests for community responses have been previously identified.

There are also problems with using funding requests as proxy measures for actual investments in signed grants. The CRG report suggests there is a need for better resource tracking to get a more accurate picture of how The Global Fund is supporting community responses. The report points out that not all Global Fund investments in community responses are consistently categorized or captured within the CSS module in Global Fund grants.

The Community, Rights and Gender Report 2016, Board Document GF/B35/15, should be available shortly at

Source: Aidspan