The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is an international financing institution working with over 1,000 organizations across more than 140 countries. Channeling an estimated 21% of the world’s funding for HIV/AIDS, 50% for malaria, and 82% for tuberculosis, the Global Fund is the world’s largest funder of programs to combat these diseases. The organization has helped to fund a rapid scale-up in the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, disbursing $3.3 billion in 2012 alone and contributing to millions of lives saved.
Based in Geneva, the Global Fund does not maintain a country presence outside its headquarters, meaning that all on-the-ground review and verification processes for its grants are conducted by Local Fund Agents (LFAs), which track the progress of programs in their designated countries. The process for budgeting for LFA services relied on more than 130 annual spreadsheets, each undergoing numerous iterations. To drive forward its New Funding Model, the Global Fund needed a way to streamline and automate its grant application, planning and management processes.
Vera helped to build a system that provides a central, one-stop-shop for budgeting and managing LFA Work Plans. One of the first new components to be widely released was an application to simplify and centralize the budgeting and negotiation process for LFA services performed on Global Fund grants. Instead of using several versions of 100+ Excel spreadsheets, the back-and-forth negotiation process is now automated through Salesforce Communities.
Vera has continued to help streamline the grant application and grant-making processes. Grantees will use the system to select what type of interventions they will deliver with the Global Fund funding, which organizations will be responsible for implementing these interventions, and what impact and outcomes will be achieved through the programs. The portal looks to save the Global Fund and its stakeholders hundreds of hours and reduce the time it takes for countries to prepare and submit grant applications. Recent applicants in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, and El Salvador, which have successfully applied for more than $600 million to fund HIV, TB, and Malaria programs, pilot-tested the portal and provided valuable feedback on how to improve the portal prior to its global launch.