After a decade of operations, the Global Fund is an institutional form in flux. Forced to cancel its eleventh round of funding due to a shortfall in donor pledges, the Fund is currently in firefighting mode, overhauling its leadership, governance structures, and operations. Drawing on a case study of Uganda, we look at how the original Global Fund vision to be a simple financial instrument has played out at the country level. Even prior to the cancellation of round 11, the proliferation of partners required to sustain the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria experiment led to increasing bureaucratization and an undermining of the Fund’s own intentions to award life-saving grants according to need. Understanding these effects through the ethnographic material presented here may be one way of reflecting on the Fund’s structure and practices as it struggles to reinvent itself in the face of criticism that it has impeded resource distribution.

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Categories: Knowledge