GF new policy on sustainability, transition, and co-financing

The Global Fund’s new strategy for the period 2017-2022 has a strong focus on the sustainability of investments. This includes supporting countries that are transitioning from Global Fund support to domestic reliance for their disease programs.

Board approves new policy on sustainability, transition, and co-financing

The Global Fund has developed a sustainability, transition, and co-financing policy. This policy was approved by the Board at the 35th Board Meeting on 26-27 April 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The figure below gives a high-level overview of the new policy.

Figure - The Global Fund’s new sustainability, transition and co-financing policy

The sustainability, transition, and co-financing policy is based on four key principles:

  • Differentiation – the policy and associated processes should be tailored as much as possible to a country’s income level, epidemiological context, disease burden, human rights and gender contexts, and other context-specific factors.
  • Alignment – requirements related to sustainability and transition should be linked with existing national systems and/or processes.
  • Predictability – countries should have as much advance notice and time as possible to adequately plan for transition, including accessing resources for the process.
  • Flexibility – countries and the Global Fund should have the leeway to adapt certain elements of this policy to better suit a particular country and/or regional context.

The policy encourages countries to be planning for future sustainability challenges, including transition, long before they must do without Global Fund support.

With the new policy, The Global Fund will invest in and support countries to institutionalize sustainability planning in their national health strategies, national strategic plans for the three diseases and health financing plans.

The policy will also introduce transition workplans, which can be used as the basis for funding requests in countries that are preparing for transition. This approach will be paired with support to countries to assess their readiness to transition, both programmatically and financially.

The Fund will also provide direct transition funding once a country becomes ineligible (see article in the same Aidspan newsletter issue on the Fund’s new eligibility policy). Transition funding will be made available for up to one three-year allocation period.

In order to incentivize countries to increase their domestic funding ahead of a transition, the policy also contains new co-financing requirements to ensure that countries are assuming responsibility for interventions for key and vulnerable populations as they move closer to transitioning.

There are other elements of the new sustainability policy which aim to encourage greater prioritization of key populations within the context of transition.

While many aspects of this new policy are welcomed by stakeholders, there are still some uncertainties, which are briefly described in the Aidspan article.

Ivan Varentsov, Global Fund Advocacy Adviser at the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network, noted that previous consultations from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region identified four critical areas for transition: finance, policy, program, and governance. Others have said transitions need to be considered across six tenets (see GFO article). This shows a gap in the policy which requires further clarity.

The Global Fund Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing Policy, Board Document GF-B35-04, should be available shortly at A copy of the MSF letter is on file with the author.