Holding the Global Fund to account for its health spending

Written by
  • The Open Data Institute

An early application of open data has been the monitoring of aid spending, contributing towards greater donor transparency. Aidspan is an international NGO based in Kenya,working to enhance the effectiveness of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by serving as a watchdog of the fund’s programmes. It does this using open data from the Global Fund to publish information, analysis and policy advice for use by policy- makers, data scientists and health advocates alike.

Aidspan publications have covered topics such as procurement cost trends; levels of donor contributions to the fund; the costs and impact of investment in antiviral therapy; and the effect of investment in malaria treatment on child mortality. Impacts of Aidspan’s work include informing Global Fund governance reform efforts, influencing the Global Fund funding model, improving the quality and completeness of data through requests to the fund for information, and exposing the misuse of Global Fund money.

Open data initiatives provide motivation for government and intermediary actors to improve and harmonise internal procedures for creating, preparing and using data. Open data standards may lead to improvements in overall data management and the ability to reuse off-the-shelf tools, by providing a format and set of shared practices for collecting and sharing data. For example, in Sao Paulo, geocoding of government budget and spending data by the ‘Caring for my neighbourhood’ project, has inspired discussion within the city government about how to support more detailed geocoding.

View the report Supporting sustainable development with open data from The Open Data Institute.