GMS strives to create teams of consultants with talent and experience from across the globe. These teams provide technical support to grantees of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). The right mix of expertise, country-specific knowledge, language skills, and personal commitment characterize GMS teams, and they are integral to the overall success of the technical support GMS provides. The success of these teams, which have helped unblock millions of dollars of aid from the Global Fund, reflects the importance that GMS places on selecting the most qualified candidates who also know local conditions and regulations. Consultants must also understand the importance of diplomacy and confidentiality, and favor collaboration. GMS’s support is a team effort and thus relies on these qualities, since consultants work closely with country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) and principal recipients (PRs).
GMS has over 500 active consultants, based in 102 countries. Consultants specialize in one or more technical areas relevant for Global Fund–related technical support: Governance and oversight (CCM) (195 consultants, 39%); PR management (191 consultants, 38%); monitoring and evaluation (159 consultants, 31%); and health products management (89 consultants, 18%). As of September 30, 2016, 52% of all GMS consultants who worked on at least one assignment were African, 19% were Asian, 8% were Latin American, and 2% were from the MENA. Approximately 20% of consultants were from other regions.
Consultants bring a wide breadth of experience from working at a variety of organizations:
- the Secretariat of the Global Fund
- ministries of health
- UN agencies
- financial organizations
- international nongovernmental organizations (or iNGOs)
Training and Certification
GMS trains and certifies its consultants so they may develop their knowledge and skills on a development continuum.
Training. GMS consultants all bring specific technical expertise to the technical support GMS provides. GMS alone, however, recognized the need for knowledge and skills building in Global Fund–related policies and procedures as well as in working in teams. Meeting this need, GMS felt, would ensure the high-quality technical support that GMS demands and for which GMS maintains its strong reputation. Using an experiential approach, GMS builds and refines the skills of its consultants specifically for work in the Global Fund environment arising from the unique needs of grants and implementers. GMS training and certification is a process through which consultants may develop their knowledge and skills along a continuum.
Certification The consultant development pathway enables consultants to continuously pursue virtual, face-to-face, and on-the-job learning throughout their careers with GMS. By establishing different levels of certification—for team members, team leaders, and coordinating team leaders—in single technical areas or using a cross-cutting approach, GMS recognizes the evolving skill level and successes of its consultants.
The GMS consultant certification program formally recognizes that a consultant has met GMS’s standards reflecting the project’s philosophy of “capacity in action.” Professional certification is a process by which individuals are evaluated against predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, or competencies. GMS certification is based on clearly defined knowledge, skills and abilities—core competencies—that consultants need during GMS assignments to resolve concrete, functional issues affecting performance of CCMs and PRs.
Competencies are demonstrated through successful completion of GMS consultant training and successful performance on technical support assignments in multiple countries.