The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and its partners could save more lives with the same amount of money by allocating it in ways designed to maximize the positive impact on health. That is the central message of CGD’s Value for Money Working group report – More Health for the Money: A Practical Agenda for the Global Fund and Its Partners – now available as a consultation draft [PDF] through July 12.
More health for the money is not about reducing costs or cutting budgets, but rather about maximizing the health impact of every available peso, pound, or pula to reduce human suffering and save lives. This is crucial as governments and other global health funders are under increasing pressure to secure greater “value for money” returns on their investments, and are forced to make tough decisions about where to commit their scarce resources. And as the Global Fund asks its donors to commit $15 billion to its upcoming replenishment, it is imperative that the money invested achieves the greatest health gain possible.
To that end, the Global Fund has taken aggressive steps in the last two years to strengthen its financial oversight, overhaul its operations, and reshape its funding model. Those steps may deter financial misconduct, but they don’t necessarily create direct incentives for fighting disease and saving more lives.
Recognizing that gap, CGD convened the Value for Money Working Group to analyze evidence, pose questions, and offer high impact recommendations to help the Global Fund and its partners get more health for their money.
Its report focuses on four domains of the Global Fund’s grant cycle where the working group identified opportunities for improved efficiency:
Allocation—how to distribute resources among interventions and commodities.
Contracts—how to structure grant agreements to align the incentives of all actors around the same health goal.
Costs and spending—how to use information on commodities, supply chain, and service delivery to reduce costs.
Verification—how to verify performance to assure accuracy.
The Working Group makes recommendations in each domain for how the Global Fund can help align incentives to encourage allocation of funds to highly cost-effective interventions that are executed in a cost-effective manner.
The report’s recommendations apply to other global health funding agencies, such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. But the Global Fund’s unique mandate, flexible model, and broad range of partners—including governments, civil-society recipients, and Board constituencies – make it particularly well positioned to lead the more health for the money agenda. And its New Funding Model, put in place in 2013, offers an opportunity for quick and flexible adoption of value for money principles and practices.
What do you think? The Working Group wants your views on the recommendations and will take them into consideration for its final report. We are especially interested in answers to these questions:
What parts of the report are vague or confusing?
Are there any other tools or opportunities to realize value-for-money gains that we have missed?
Are there any case studies or examples of value-for-money gains that we have missed?
Do you see potential areas of overlap or opportunities for engagement with existing or planned activities being undertaken by other organizations (including your own)?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I also hope you’ll join us for a twitter chat on June 12 at 2:00 p.m. (#valueformoney). We’ll use your questions and ideas to continue the conversation through online forums and blogs throughout the summer.
For more information, listen to this Global Prosperity Wonkcast and check out CGD's Value for Money Initiative.