Project Governance and Programme Management

Programme Management

Programme management is the capacity to successfully direct the operations of an organisation to meet its objectives.  It requires clear lines of accountability, information and systems to track operations and inform decisions, and the ability to manage staff and partnerships.


The Global Fund has defined the scope of programme management to include overall management of the grant, including the ability to carry out other key functional areas:

  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Procurement of health products
  • Financial management
  • Governance


Essential Capacities required for Principal Recipients


Capacity Area and Scope



Legal Status – to ensure the authority to enter into a grant agreement; and mechanisms for tracking and complying with national regulatory and policy changes.

· To have the legal capacity, status and authority to enter into the grant agreement with the Global Fund

· To have in place the Regulations and/or Decree(s) required to provide the legal framework.

· To have mechanisms in place for tracking and complying with national regulatory and policy changes.

· Level of integration of contractual systems with national 

· Policies and procedures in place for contracts and legal authorities. 


Management and Organisation – to ensure effective programme implementation; support and commitment within the organisation; clear organisational leadership, accountability and responsibilities; effective human resources practices; and strong planning and monitoring processes.

· To have in place an operational plan that is aligned to national strategic plans to ensure effective implementation, to support coordination, based on national and international guidelines and taking into account issues related to accessibility of products and services for Key Affected Populations.

· To have a transparent decision-making and accountability system and processes in place.

· To have an operations manual, which includes indicators for Programme and SR Management to allow performance to be measured, with standard templates and guidance to support the implementation of programmes.

· To have work planning processes and templates in place.

· To design and conduct a Functional Analysis to identify the leadership and functions required to implement programmes.

· To identify structures, roles and responsibilities and accountability and, where relevant, potential SRs to implement the programmes.

· Existence of an up-to-date national health strategy linked to national needs and priorities. 

· Operations manuals in place.

· % of staff trained in operations manual.

· Management reviews and reports include tracking against plans. 

· Plans include results-based targets and indicators. 

· Frequency of plan reviews and updates.

· Defined management performance indicators.

· Regular reporting on implementation progress to CCM.

· Improvements in management performance indicators reported to CCM. 

· GF Implementation mapping completed.


Human Resource Management – to have in place adequate staffing and skill levels; adequate structures, roles and responsibilities; plans for addressing human resource gaps; effective staff retention and staff development strategies.

· To have organograms with clear reporting lines and accountability.

· To have HRM policies (including guidance on ethics, oversight, accountability and conflict of interest).

· To have recruitment policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and TORs to ensure open, transparent, competitive and merit based recruitment.

· To conduct reviews of salary levels and financial and non-financial incentives to maximise recruitment and retention.

· To facilitate the development of a Staff Development Plan.

· To have adequate health expertise (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and/or malaria) and cross-functional expertise (finance, procurement, legal, M&E) to implement programmes.

· Costed and prioritized human resources management /development plan exists.

Percentage of health staff with appropriate certification levels.

· Percentage turnover per year.

· Percentage of staff who are on schedule with their individual Staff Development Plan.

· Percentage of staff with management certification. 

· Number of senior staff at primary health care facilities who received in-service management training (with nationally approved curriculum) in the past 12 months.

Infrastructure and Information Systems – to have in place functional information technology systems for communications; for programmatic reporting; physical facilities, offices, equipment, computers, transport etc. to implement programme activities.

· To assess information technology capacity and systems where required as increased systems move to online functioning, including hardware and software.

· To develop a comprehensive IT Policy and IT Capacity Development Plan, with costing.

· Use of computer systems and networks to improve processes

· Improvements in timeliness and quality of information.

· Infrastructure assets tracked and monitored.

· Infrastructure maintenance and upgrade schedules in place, with appropriate budgeting.





Key Considerations when assessing Project Governance and Programme Management


Management Arrangements for GF grant implementation  

The management arrangements and structure of the team supporting Global Fund grant implementation are important considerations to address. Management arrangements can range from a separate PMU to an ‘embedded’ unit of organisation staff, working within the location and structures of appropriate functional units. In this scenario PMU staff members are placed within their respective units of the proposed PR, and not restricted solely to Global Fund grant activities. This works through national systems and strengthens capacity. In determining appropriate management arrangements for a prospective PR transitioning from an SR, it may be useful to review various Global Fund PR management arrangements and models from several countries.  Such a review, followed by discussions with selected PR representatives, can help to identify which arrangements will suit the specific context of the country and organisation in question.

Human Resource Management

Effective communications, leadership, mentoring, and motivation skills are necessary and are often the most important in ensuring retention of staff.

Value for Money

An overarching objective of programme management is to achieve programme objectives (effectiveness) with least cost (effectiveness) while ensuring that resources allocated to do this do not substitute on-going investments (additionality).

Programme management in line with human rights principles

Effective and efficient programme management should ensure that programme planning and implementation respect the underlying principles of equality and non-discrimination. Activities should be implemented in such a way that all those in need of information and services can access them irrespective of age, gender, social status and sexual orientation.

Global Fund PR Responsibilities

The Global Fund PR is legally accountable for programme performance, including the activities and effectiveness of its employees, Sub-Recipients, all sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors, as well as commercial suppliers for pharmaceuticals and other goods and services. It is also responsible to provide, on a periodic basis, grant implementation progress reports to the CCM.

Integration of National Disease Programmes

Over the past few decades ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ implementation strategies have been used, with many countries implementing national programmes for each key disease; HIV, TB and Malaria. However, this has led to service duplication and overall fragmentation of the health system and it is now recognised that integration of programme management leads to significant savings and stronger service delivery. Integrated programmes ensure that:

· There are synergies among the three disease programmes; as well as between them and other health programmes, by promoting integrated approaches to planning, programme management and service delivery.

· The capacity of health systems is built to scale up integrated service delivery platforms and improve quality, equity, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of services, particularly in hard-to-reach areas and those targeting key affected and underserved populations.

· Managerial capacity of the entire health system is improved through support to procurement and supply chain management, integrated health information systems, human resources training and supervision and financial management.

For more information see the Global Fund Health System Strengthening Information Note