Global Fund Secretariat updates the Board on the development of the M&E Framework

8. NEWS
10 Nov 2021
Technical consultations are currently ongoing and will end mid-2022

During a pre-Board session, the Secretariat updated the Board on the progress of the technical consultations it has organized to provide inputs into the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Framework and guide the identification of best, new, and emerging measurement approaches against the objectives and sub-objectives of the post-2022 Strategy. The Secretariat has nominated and oriented internal and external subject matter experts with experience in measurement and M&E to participate in these consultations.

The source of information for this article are the documents for the Board meeting held on 8-10 November 2021, constituencies’ feedback, and pre-Board discussions.

The consultations came after the Board endorsed a set of principles for the development of the post-2022 key performance indicators (KPI) based on lessons learned from the current KPI Framework during the 45th Board meeting held in May 2021. One of these key principles was that the Global Fund should develop future KPIs as a part of a comprehensive M&E Framework that will holistically monitor and evaluate progress towards the post-2022 Strategy.

(For a detailed description of the lessons learned as reported by the Secretariat to the Board during the 45th Board meeting, see The Global Fund Secretariat reports to the Board lessons learned from implementing the 2017-2022 KPI Framework.)

These consultations started in September 2021 and will end in mid-2022. The Secretariat has organized a series of three to four workshops for each of the ten broad thematic or measurement areas identified. It aims to identify holistic approaches to monitor and evaluate the progress of the post-2022 Strategy. These consultations will help identify KPIs for the new Strategy based on the Board-approved guiding principles and define appropriate targets for proposal to the Board in 2022. They will also contribute to developing other measurement approaches such as evaluations, grant performance indicators, Strategic Initiatives metrics, internal process performance metrics, etc.

The new comprehensive approach to build on lessons learned

The Secretariat is leveraging the opportunity provided by the development of the Global Fund  post-2022 Strategy to define a comprehensive approach to measuring progress in the fight against the three diseases. According to the Secretariat update, the process will build on the lessons learned from current approaches to defining a clear and accountable performance measurement framework for the Global Fund.

For the new approach, the Global Fund envisions:

  1. A clear view of progress through an integrated performance framework: providing comprehensive oversight of critical pathways to deliver on Strategy objectives.
  2. Common language and accountability for performance: building and driving accountability across the organization and with the partners.
  3. Mechanisms to support decision-making: enabling management action and course correction.
  4. Supporting learning and program improvement: through systematic performance measurement approaches and informed decisions.
  5. Rigorous and consistent assessment of performance: communicating successes and failures in a timely and transparent manner.

 

Standard key questions to guide the consultations

The consultations are based on a few standard key questions to guide the identification of the measurement needs and measurement approaches:

  1. What are the approaches/indicators currently used that should be continued?
  2. What are the data gaps at the Global Fund? What is it not measuring now?
  3. What are important factors to track, but not under Global Fund control, and who is driving performance?
  4. Are there any recent developments or new areas in the Strategy that would require new approaches/indicators?
  5. What does performance mean at different levels of Global Fund accountability?

The consultations will define the best approaches for measurement at each level of performance in three main ways. First, the consultations will be used to develop the future KPI Framework, including the metrics, cohorts, methodologies, and targets. Second, they will help define other contextual information to be reported to the Board regularly, such as strategic assumptions. Finally, they will feed into developing other performance frameworks, including the grant performance framework, the evaluation calendar, and approaches.

Consultations to define the best mechanism to track progress

The consultations will define the best mechanisms to track progress for each key measurement area, mapping them to accountability levels. The mechanisms include either KPI, grant performance framework indicators, evaluation, strategic initiative metrics, internal process metrics, or Board contextual information. The Secretariat has defined ten measurement areas that are mapped to the post-2022 Strategy Framework: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH)/integration/community systems strengthening, market-shaping, supply chains/procurement, data generation and use, equity/human rights/gender equality, community engagement and leadership, resource mobilization, and pandemic preparedness and response.

There are currently four levels of accountability (described in the Conifer of Control approved by the Board in May), ranging from level 1, where the indicators will highlight the impact of the Global Fund Partnership, to level 4, where indicators will measure the performance of processes that support the functioning of the Secretariat. However, level 4 indicators are not within the scope of the KPI Framework.

Figure 1: Global Fund’s Conifer of Control

The actual discussions will be guided by a cascading approach using standard questions, starting with defining the key interventions or activities that need to be tracked:

Figure 2: Global Fund’s cascading approach for the technical consultations

The first series of workshops is already ongoing

The Secretariat coordinates and participates through relevant internal technical teams to prepare and lead the consultations. It has engaged a diverse group of internal and external experts from across regions and sectors.

By September 2021, the Secretariat had oriented 150 external experts:

  • Many experts recommended for Equity/Rights/Gender and Disease topics.
  • Most nominations are for people working for partner organizations, but a strong representation of academics and government staff.
  • Approximately one-third of the experts nominated are from implementing countries (mainly Asia and Africa).
  • Experts from implementing countries are better represented in communities and disease topics, lower representation in topics related to RSSH-data, RSSH-PSM and Resource mobilization/sustainability, transition and co-financing (STC) / value for money

The first series of workshops is already ongoing and will end in December (Table 1). The subsequent workshop will build on the outcomes of the previous. The Secretariat has already held the workshops for TB (21 September), malaria (14 October), and AIDS (26 October). The TB workshop had 42 participants, of which 16 were external experts from the Gates Foundation, the International Union against TB and Lung Disease, Stop TB and the World Health Organization (WHO), among others. The malaria workshop had 48 participants, of which 25 were external experts from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA),  National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and WHO, among others. The HIV workshop had 47 participants of which 17 were external experts from Coalition Plus, the Gates Foundation, Karolina Institute, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), among others.

The Secretariat is providing a package of materials that include relevant information from the draft Strategy Narrative and an inventory of current indicators used in Global Fund performance frameworks related to the topic area.

Table 1: Timelines and next steps

Workshop

Focus of Workshop (approx. 2-4 hours duration depending on need)

Approximate timing

1

Determining the measurement needs aligned to the post-2022-Strategy and identifying potential metrics and measurement approaches.

Sep – Dec 2021

2

Finalizing metric definitions and measurement methodology, including the selection of final KPIs and identifying approaches to baseline and target setting for KPIs. Discussions on other measurement approaches continue with respective teams/groups.

Jan – Apr 2022

3

Finalizing KPIs targets for Board approval in November 2022 (may not be relevant for all subject areas if no KPIs are identified for that area). Discussions on other measurement approaches continue with respective teams/groups.

Apr – Aug 2022

 

Feedback from the constituencies

The constituencies commended the Secretariat’s extensive efforts and commitment to the consultative process aimed at developing a robust monitoring framework and identifying KPIs and appropriate targets in the new Strategy. They also commended the Secretariat for engaging technical experts from diverse backgrounds for the ten defined measurement topics. The constituencies underscored that successful implementation of the new Global Fund Strategy relies on a robust monitoring framework designed to monitor and evaluate its progress in meeting the KPI targets linked to the Strategy’s objectives.

The constituencies requested the Secretariat for more information on the approaches that address areas where it is difficult to measure performance, such as gender and human rights, where qualitative analysis will be more beneficial. They noted that regular measurement and evaluation of these areas would ensure countries remain focused and deliver effective programs to improve results. The constituencies also sought additional information on how the Secretariat is planning to develop KPIs for pandemic preparedness and response.

They made several recommendations and highlighted several points for consideration, including:

  • They underscored the need for gender balance and equal representation of experts from implementing country partners, including civil society and community representatives in each Working Group.
  • Recognizing the many intersections and cross-cutting issues that thread across the Working Groups, the constituencies sought clarity on how coordination and cross-fertilization will be or is being facilitated and encouraged during and between the Working Group workshops and consultations.
  • They highlighted the need to develop an M&E Framework and KPIs that can track progress in mitigating or reducing the negative impact of climate change on the Global Fund and the potential risks posed by Global Fund programs to climate and the environment.  The M&E Framework and KPIs also need to mitigate the negative impact of Global Fund investments and help achieve climate or environmental co-benefits.
  • All the objectives in the Strategy should be supported by objectively measurable targets and performance indicators.
  • They highlighted the need to systematically evaluate the Global Fund investment focusing on value for money and outcomes, not only monitor grant-related performance
  • The need to align the KPIs as much as possible with indicators in global strategies, in order to reduce the M&E burden on countries, as well as to harmonize with the ongoing work of technical partners, and donors

 

The Board Document GF/B46/14, Update on M&E & KPI 2023+ Framework Development, should be available shortly at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/46


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