Kenya’s Saturday Nation reports that the country lost out on appeal for its Global Fund Round 9 malaria and HIV application rejection. “Late last year, Kenyaâ€™s (original) application for funding from the Global Fund on Aids, TB and malaria for $270 million was rejected on technicalities and the countryâ€™s poor record with the organisation.”
Apparently the rejection of the appeal was two pronged – proposal quality and past performance. First the Nation reports that, “On Kenyaâ€™s appeal for malaria funding for example, the panel upholds that the decision made initially by the technical team was sound and saw no need to reverse it.” Then the Nation quotes a Ministry official as saying, “Our under-performance has been the main undoing.”
To date Kenya has received only two malaria grants from the Global Fund – Rounds 2 and 4. Only 17% of the Round 2 funds were ever disbursed for the $27 million grant after start-up in 2003, and apparently the grant ground to a halt after about 3 years, never entering Phase 2.
So far 63% of the $162 million Round 4 grant have been disbursed since inception in 2006. Expenditures are only 60% of disbursement. On last review in November 2009 the grant scored a B2, meaning inadequate performance but potential demonstrated.Â The difficulties in performance and new grant success seem ironic since Kenya has recently made major strides in updating its malaria strategy and action plans to better reflect the country’s epidemiological and transmission profiles.
On top of these problems were reports from Kenya early last year that “the Government appointed a taskforce to trace the missing Sh13 billion grant from the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.”
Once grants have been made, the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General has a role in monitoring implementation and colating lessons learned to improve GFATM functioning. The most recent report notes that of 17 recommendations made to Kenya to improve the functioning of its grants, none were implemented. General problems across several countries included among others …
- Conflicts of interest with PRs and SRs sitting on CCMs
- CCMs micromanaging grants instead of overseeing them
- PRs not complying with grant agreement clauses
- Procurement not executed in line with best practices
- Weak financial management and internal control of PRs
- Unworkable monitoring/evaluation systems because of unattainable targets and poor data collection procedures (feature attributed to countring including Kenya)
None of the foregoing problems are secret, and yet countries like Kenya cannot seem to get out of the viscious cycle of poor performance leading to new grant rejection leading to funding shortages that lead to more poor performance in their malaria control efforts.Â Back in 2008 Kenya went through major efforts to democratize and improve the functioning of its Global Fund governance mechanisms.Â Maybe theÂ malaria partnership has not help Kenya accountable for the promises it made?
PS – the Global Fund is not Kenya’s only weak area for international assistance. According to the Nation yesterday, “Kenya has failed the eligibility test for (US) Millennium Challenge aid in each of the past five years because it falls short on governance standards.”