BACKUP Health – Support for partners in their work with the Global Fund

Project description

Title: BACKUP Health – Support for partners in their work with the Global Fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Global
Overall term: 2015 to 2020


HIV, tuberculosis and malaria cause several million deaths each year and are responsible for a high burden of disease in many countries around the world. In 2002, the international community founded the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund currently supports over 100 countries with a budget of around eleven billion US dollars (2017-2019). In addition to preventing and treating the three diseases, the main focus is on strengthening health systems, human rights and gender equality.

Thanks to grants from the Global Fund, recipient countries have been able to improve and expand their health services in recent years. This has made a crucial contribution to the fight against the three diseases. In order to use the grants effectively and efficiently, the countries must be able to submit project applications to the Global Fund that meet the criteria for support, and comply with requirements in terms of good governance and appropriate risk management. Additional challenges include mainstreaming the supported programmes in the health sector and providing access to basic health services for key and vulnerable populations.


Selected countries implement their programmes financed by the Global Fund better as regards coordination in the health sector, strengthening of the health system and management.


BACKUP supports better implementation of the programmes financed by the Global Fund. The project helps to ensure that grants are used in an efficient manner that focuses on the target groups and strengthens the health system. In this way, it boosts the effectiveness and sustainability of the funded measures. Indirectly, people’s access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment measures for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as to other health services, is also improved.

The project supports cooperation partners primarily in three intervention areas:

  • Governance of Country Coordinating Mechanisms for Global Fund programmes and their coordination in the health sector

Country Coordinating Mechanisms are strengthened in terms of managing applications submitted to the Global Fund and the programmes to be implemented. BACKUP also helps to improve coordination with other bodies in national health sectors.

Within the framework of a consulting contract, Euro Health Group provides technical advice to support selected countries so that the work of the Country Coordinating Mechanisms is better harmonised with other coordinating bodies in the health sector.

  • Use of Global Fund grants to strengthen health systems

The partners are supported in mainstreaming health systems strengthening in the funding applications and implementation plans for the Global Fund. This increases the contribution of the Global Fund to achieving strong, adaptable and sustainable health systems and also offers greater protection against diseases and outbreaks of illnesses.

  • Management capacities of Global Fund grant recipients

BACKUP strengthens the systems of grant recipients to ensure that programmes are implemented in line with agreements and to minimise the misuse of grants. In particular, the areas of risk and financial management, monitoring and reporting are supported, as is the management of sub-recipients.

Participation by civil society and key and vulnerable populations, human rights and gender equality are cross-cutting issues in the three intervention areas.

BACKUP works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since 2013, this programme has been co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


Since 2002, BACKUP has supported public and civil society partners with over 600 measures in around 90 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. In all of its support measures, BACKUP’s focus has been to examine the needs of partners and target groups. The following examples illustrate the work of BACKUP and the results it has achieved.

Thanks to BACKUP support, members of Country Coordinating Mechanisms in Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal and Peru have been able to meet the requirements of the Global Fund. In Georgia, Ghana, Guinea and Kyrgyzstan, BACKUP helped the bodies to coordinate their work with other processes in the national health sector.

Cooperation with international non-governmental organisations, such as Aidspan and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, helped to improve the capacity of grant recipients to manage risk and prevent the misuse of funds. A country study by Aidspan investigated the opportunities for better integrating national audit institutions into the evaluation of Global Fund country programmes and organised a round-table forum in which supreme audit institutions were able to share their knowledge. Analyses of the situation regarding the integration of mother-and-child health, adolescent health and HIV have been carried out in Cameroon, Guinea, Malawi and Togo in cooperation with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, with the aim of promoting needs-based health services.

BACKUP is contributing significantly to participation by civil society and to the promotion of human rights and gender equality. In Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Malawi, BACKUP has been promoting the participation of key and vulnerable groups – such as sexual minorities and prisoners – in Global Fund processes at country level. HIV measures have been defined to prevent the infection of young women and girls in Cameroon.

The management capacities of grant recipients have been improved in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Togo) as a result of activities supported by BACKUP. A dashboard helps recipients by presenting important information on project progress in a simple manner. The project also contributes to the improvement of risk management. BACKUP has carried out workshops in Burkina Faso and Togo where grant recipients have identified the risks they face and made binding agreements on mitigation and protection measures.

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