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Title: The Global Fund : an experiment in global governance
Author: Clinton, Chelsea
ISNI:       0000 0003 5425 8413
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created as a new type of international organisation. Its founders uniquely enfranchised non-state actors on its Board, hoping that decision would attract new resources to combat these diseases. Funding decisions would be evidence-based rather than politically-driven. And, the institution would be deliberately ‘lean’ to promote ‘country-ownership’ of grant proposals and implementation. The Fund’s Board (‘principals’) made deliberate choices to constrain the autonomy of its Secretariat (‘agent’). Delegation was strictly limited. In theory, this was to ensure the Fund remained a catalyst for donor funding, evidence-based decision-making and country-ownership. However, the research adduced for this thesis suggests inadequate delegation opened opportunities for direct donor influence in recipient countries. This thesis assesses three specific dimensions of the Fund’s performance in its first decade. The first concerns whether the Fund successfully mobilised more resources, from more funders and did so more reliably. The second is whether the Fund made initial and continued funding decisions in an identifiable evidence-based way. The third centres on ‘country-ownership:’ whether recipient and donor countries on the Fund’s Board had equal influence and whether grant writing and oversight can be assessed as being recipient country ‘owned.’ Data is aggregated from several sources, including: the Fund’s grant portfolio, individual grant agreements and Board documentation; the U.S. PEPFAR programme; and, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The research reveals the Fund likely gave a ‘kick-start’ to resources flowing to its diseases but PEPFAR’s arrival a year later contributed relatively more. Broad-based support did not emerge though the Fund proved relatively more successful in converting pledges to contributions. The Fund made evidence-based decisions for initial and continued funding, but the latter is a less robust conclusion given missing grant performance data. Equal donor and recipient Board representation was insufficient to ensure recipients had influence equal to donors. The Secretariat never developed an in-country presence but donors embedded themselves in-country, through grant oversight mechanisms and providing technical assistance to implementers. Principal-agent theory generally assumes agents have more information than principals, a key source of their authority. In the Fund, that asymmetry was in the principals’ favour. The scant delegation of authority to the Secretariat left donors in a position to exert control at all levels. The Fund was an experiment in global governance but has not yet proven to be a success in establishing a new model for cooperation.
Supervisor: Woods, Ngaire Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International studies ; Global Fund ; global governance