Global Fund: Structure and Actors

Global Fund Structures

The Global Fund purpose is to raise, manage and disburse additional funding to countries to support them in their fight against the three diseases. As such, it does not implement or manage programs on the ground, relying instead on the expertise of partners. The partnership model of the Global Fund rests on certain core structures at a global level and at a country level.

Global Level

  • Board
    • Composed of representatives from donor and recipient governments, civil society, the private sector, private foundations, and communities living with and affected by the diseases, with 20 voting constituencies and eight non-voting advisory seats.
    • The six main areas of work of the Board are: strategy, governance, financial, performance, risk, and external relations.
  • Secretariat
    • Responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organisation including management of the grant portfolio; disbursement of funds to countries; monitoring and evaluation of programme results; relationships with current and potential donors; and communications and resource mobilization activities. The Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland and has no staff located outside its headquarters.
    • Fund Portfolio Managers (FPMs) manage the Global Fund’s relationship with each country, including serving as liaisons with CCMs, PRs, LFAs, civil-society organizations, and other bilateral and multilateral partners. FPMs are accountable for the disbursements to a country, and make the final decisions on behalf of Secretariat Country Teams.
  • Technical Review Panel
    • An independent panel of international experts in health and development with expertise in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, health systems, and cross cutting development issues.
    • Responsible for reviewing eligible grant applications for technical merit based on soundness of approach, feasibility, and potential for sustainability and impact and making funding recommendations to the Global Fund Board.
  • Office of the Inspector General. An independent unit which carries out:
    • Diagnostic Reviews to identify key risks to grant programs and make recommendations for risk mitigation
    • Audits: to provide assurance regarding the proper use of grant funds and the achievement of program objectives
    • Investigations: to understand the full nature and extent of an identified red flag.
  • Grants Approval Committee
    • The GF’s governance mechanism for reviewing and determining funding levels for concept notes submitted under the New Funding Model. If the TRP recommends that a concept note proceeds to grant-making, it is sent to the GAC to determine the upper-ceiling for the budget and where relevant to award incentive funding.

Country Level

Country Coordinating Mechanisms

Composition and Representation

Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) are multi-sectoral partnerships at the country level that are central to the Global Fund's commitment to country ownership and participatory decision-making. CCMs have representatives from the public and private sectors including governments, multilateral or bilateral development agencies, NGOs, faith-based organisations (FBOs), academic institutions, private businesses, key populations and people living with and affected by the diseases. All CCM members participate fully and equally in CCM activities on a voluntary basis, and CCM members make decisions preferably based on consensus, or through voting, or both. CCMs should have equal representation of men and women and possess strong expertise on gender balance in order to ensure effective responses to the three diseases.

The composition and size of each CCM varies according to the country context and should be based on the socio-epidemiological situation in country.

CCM Core Functions

CCMs are responsible for

  1. Coordinating the development and submission of national proposals.
  2. Nominating one or more organisations to serve as PRs of Global Fund grants.
  3. Oversee implementation of the approved grants.
  4. Approving any reprogramming.
  5. Ensuring linkages and consistency between Global Fund grants and other national health and development programs.

CCMs meet on a regular basis to review documents and reports that the PRs produce, to conduct oversight activities, to communicate with the Global Fund Secretariat, and to address any issues related to grant implementation that are beyond the PRs’ capacity.

CCMs usually develop founding/framework documentation, which can be in the form of dedicated terms of reference (TORs) describing their structure and operations, or in the form of by-laws, a governance manual, or Standard Operating Procedures. These should include detail on any working groups or committees established to perform CCM functions, such as concept note development or oversight. CCMs should align their functioning and operations in accordance with the Global Fund guidelines for CCMs.

CCM Eligibility and Minimum Standards

The Global Fund has outlined six eligibility requirements, which CCMs must meet in order to obtain Global Fund financing, and provide minimum standards in these requirements that are compulsory for grant signing. The CCM Eligibility and Performance Assessment Tool details the minimum standards for each eligibility area, and provides indicators to measure compliance to these minimum standards.

Requirements 1 and 2 are assessed at the time of Concept Note submission Requirements 3 to 6 are assessed annually through the CCM Eligibility and Performance Assessment tool, with the support of a Technical Assistance (TA) provider.

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Principal Recipients

The Global Fund appoints one or more Principle Recipients (PRs) in each country to be legally responsible for implementation results and financially accountable for the Global Fund grant. They can be government agencies (e.g. Ministries of Finance or Health), NGOs, or private-sector entities. Each country can have multiple PRs. The Global Fund recommends ‘dual-track financing’, which means that CCMs nominate both a government entity and a non-governmental entity to be PRs of the CCM’s grants, given that comprehensive national programs are best implemented through a multi-sectoral approach.

The PRs receive funds periodically from the Global Fund for the implementation of the approved concept note, and they must report on progress made in grant implementation and use of these funds within a specified period. It is the responsibility of PRs to ensure that effective arrangements are in place for:


  1. Disbursement of funds to all intended SRs at the country level.
  2. Procurement and supply management.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation, including reporting on results and financial accountability to the Global Fund.


In order to successfully assume these implementation responsibilities and reliably account for grant funds, PRs need certain minimum capacities and systems.


Sub-Recipients

Each PR may be responsible for several Sub-Recipients (SRs), who will receive funds and are responsible for specific programme activities. The SRs themselves are often responsible for other service delivery partners, such as small CSOs, who are known as Sub-sub-recipients (SSRs). SRs are usually local or national entities and can be from the governmental, civil-society, or private sectors.

Local Fund Agents

The Global Fund does not have a country-level presence outside of its offices in Switzerland. Instead, it hires Local Fund Agents to oversee, verify and report on grant performance. LFAs are typically audit and accounting firms that the Global Fund Secretariat hires to assess the financial management and administrative capacity of nominated PRs and to verify and report on grant performance. A comprehensive reference guide, the LFA Manual, describes the LFA’s role.

The LFA provides local knowledge and context that might be relevant to grant performance and works closely with the Global Fund Secretariat. They are known as ‘the eyes and ears of the Global Fund’.

Their tasks include:

  • During Grant-making: assess the PR’s capacity to implement the grant, review proposed budgets and work plans, and otherwise assist the Global Fund in the grant-making process.
  • During Programme Implementation: independently oversee programme performance and the accountable use of funds (known as verification of implementation), including reviewing the PR's periodic requests for funds, undertaking site visits to verify results, and reviewing PRs’ annual audit reports.
  • Grant Closures: help the Global Fund close grants that have ended.
  • Ad-hoc assignments undertaken at the Global Fund’s request: can include investigations related to the suspected misuse of funds.
  • During Grant Making: including assessing the implementer’s capacity and track record and the effectiveness of internal controls and systems, as well as reviewing the proposed detailed budget, work plan and other grant related documents.
  • During Grant Management. The LFA independently reviews the implementers’ progress in achieving the performance targets and appropriate use of funds in accordance with the grant agreement. This includes reviewing the Principal Recipient's periodic requests for funds, undertaking site visits to verify results and performing other tasks at the request of the Global Fund.
  • Grant closure. When a grant ends, the LFA may be required to review the activities relating to the closing of the grant and advise the Global Fund on issues and risks related to grant closure.