|Grants Management Unit (GMU)|
Introduction to the Unit
The Grants Management Unit (GMU) was established in 2010, following the selection of TASO by the Uganda Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund in March 2010 to coordinate the implementation of Round Seven, Phase 1 of HIV/AIDS component of the grants to the Civil Society Sub Recipients in Uganda. The phase 1 of grants was for a period of 24 Months, effective 1st August 2009.
The Round 7 application for Uganda was approved for two grants namely; HIV/AIDS, for Scaling up prevention, care, treatment and health systems strengthening and Malaria, for reducing morbidity and mortality due to malaria in the Uganda. This grant was for a total of USD 121Million, with the programmatic component for Civil Society amounts to USD 15 Million.
Mandate of the GMU
The GMU was established to provide leadership, management, support and to monitor and evaluate utilization of grants for HIV/AIDS by the selected civil society recipients in Uganda. This mandate is in line with TASO’s Mission of contributing to the process of preventing HIV, restoring hope and improving the quality of life of persons, families and communities affected by HIV infection and disease.
Management of the GMU
The GMU is integrated into the TASO infrastructure and has linkages with other key stakeholders of the Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund. The Unit is headed by a Project Coordinator who is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the unit. There are three departments in the unit namely; Programme Support and Performance Evaluation; Finance and Audit.
The grant implementation for Round 7 Phase 1 involved 52 CSOs out of a total of 58 that had earlier been selected by CCM before TASO was selected to coordinate these grants. TASO subjected all the 58 CSO to a pre –award assessment in April 2011 and 52 qualified and signed contracts with TASO.
After the pre-award assessments, TASO held orientation meetings with all the sub recipients to discuss and agree on grant implementation guidelines including financial management, training and procurement guidelines. The contract documents were also reviewed and agreed upon. Work plans and budgets of the sub recipients were critically reviewed to ensure quality, efficiency, effectiveness, value- for -money and their achievability within the agreed time frames.
TASO then signed individual Contracts with the CSOs that fulfilled the minimum requirements under the terms and conditions of the agreement before any funds were disbursed. Disbursement of the grants commenced in July 2011 and were based on compliance to the terms and conditions of the award and performance. Funds were disbursed in two tranches; with the second being advanced only after implementation of some of the activities as well as submission of the financial reports.
The total grant received by TASO for disbursement to the CSOs was Uganda Shillings of 3.2 billion. These funds were promptly disbursed to 52 CSOs to implement the planned activities. Most of the set targets under this project were achieved. Accountabilities on the utilization of the funds were submitted to TASO. Only a few CSOs got some challenges and could not absorb all their funding, a balance of which will be returned to the treasury. Internal audits that were conducted by contracted Audit firms and the TASO Team have shown high adherence to financial guidelines and value utilization of funds.
Key activities and Achievements for Round 7 Phase 1
The core activities for Round 7 Phase 1 were three and these included;
- HIV/AIDS Related Trainings
- Condom Distribution(including social marketing)
- Procurement of computers and accessories to facilitate web-based reporting.
The Key achievements realized include the following among others;
Training of health workers. A total of 6,155 health workers were trained on PMTCT service provision; 119 Village health team members and mentor mothers (PLHIV) were oriented on infant and young child feeding, 371 health workers (nurses, clinicians, doctors and midwives) were trained on STD management and 109 peer educators were trained as trainers (TOTs) for peer educators for People with disabilities. Other trainings conducted are; Couples HIV Counseling and Testing, Counseling Children and Adolescents for HIV testing and Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC).
Sensitization of Communities. A total of 6,664 community members were sensitized on TB/HIV co-infection during social mobilization events where Voluntary counseling and testing was also offered to members of the community.
Condom social marketing. Over 10,434 individuals were reached through condom social marketing activities. A total of 13,835,116 male condoms were distributed at community level.
Infrastructure development. Each of the participating 52 CSOs acquired new computers with related accessories and 12 month internet connectivity or its equivalent courtesy of this grant.