The Global Fund does not have a country-level presence outside of its offices in Geneva, Switzerland. Instead, it hires Local Fund Agents to oversee, verify and report on grant performance. Local Fund Agents are selected through a competitive bidding process.
The Global Fund normally has one Local Fund Agent in each country [ PDF - 49 KBEnglish ] where it has approved a grant. This gives the Global Fund access to local knowledge that may be relevant to grant performance. There are some cases, however, where it is not possible to have a Local Fund Agent in the country. In these cases, the Local Fund Agent is based in a nearby country and flies in from time to time to verify grant implementation.
The role of the Local Fund Agent is described in a comprehensive reference guide, the LFA Manual.
The Global Fund follows the principles of performance-based funding in making funding decisions. The aim is to ensure that investments are made only where grant funding is managed and spent effectively on programs that achieve impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Global Fund's grants are initially approved for two years (Phase 1) and renewed for up to three additional years (Phase 2) based on the performance of grant-funded programs. Funding is disbursed incrementally every three to six months throughout the grant's lifespan, and each disbursement is based on performance. Local Fund Agents play an important role in verifying the performance of grant-funded programs each time recipients report results.
The Local Fund Agent works closely with the Global Fund, and in particular with the relevant Fund Portfolio Manager, to provide the following services:
The Local Fund Agent is an important part of the Global Fund's fiduciary arrangements. However, it is not an "agent" in the true sense of the word and is not empowered to represent the Global Fund's views or make decisions regarding grants.
The Local Fund Agent is also not permitted to undertake a number of activities with respect to any grants that it oversees. The Local Fund Agent:
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