GHIN Briefing Paper

Background to the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN)

Global funding for HIV/AIDS has increased dramatically this decade. Most of the direct external funding to scaling up HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care is provided by three Global Health Initiatives (GHIs): the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM); the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); and the World Bank’s Global HIV/AIDS Programme. In the high prevalence, low-income countries of southern and eastern Africa, the combined commitments from these initiatives can amount to over half of countries’ total health budgets. In the context of countries with concentrated epidemics the scale of funding is less, but the potential impacts on the containment of the HIV epidemic are still significant.

A network of researchers was established in 2006 to track the effects of this scale-up. Members of the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN) are researching the country effects of these GHIs at national and sub-national levels. The Network builds on two earlier studies: the Tracking Study, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2003-2004) and the System-Wide Effects of the Fund (SWEF) Research Network (since 2003) coordinated by Partners for Health Reformplus. Unlike these earlier studies, which focused primarily on the Global Fund, the new Network is examining the effects and the inter-relationships of the three major GHIs.

GHIN countries undertaking 2-4 year studies are as follows: Angola, Benin, China, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia. GHIN provides added value these individual country studies by:

  • Promoting comparability through common research protocols and tools
  • Sharing expertise across country study teams and building research capacity
  • Generating multi-country comparisons and context-specifi c policy lessons
  • Coordinating dissemination of fi ndings and recommendations and streamlining communication with global stakeholders

GHIN embraces a responsive model which moves beyond the traditional ‘hub-and-spoke’ model of northern institutions channelling funds to, and supervising research conducted in, the south. Participation in GHIN is voluntary and open to research groups that subscribe to the principles and purpose of the Network. The intention from the start was to adopt an organic knowledge-driven approach, where different types of linkages –including south-to-south ones – can evolve. GHIN has also fostered valuable linkages with other other large, multi-country evaluations of the major GHIs: the Maximising Positive Synergies between Health Systems and GHIs Consortium; the Global Fund Five Year Evaluation; and the Center for Global Development’s HIV/AIDS Monitor project. This has enabled close coordination with these programmes.

Further information can be found in the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network Briefing Paper (pdf).

Sponsored by DFID, Danida, Irish Aid