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    About the possibility of a corrupt component in the Global Fund grant for the 10M component “Support and Institutional Development of TB Communities”.

    About the possibility of a corrupt component in the Global Fund grant for the 10M component “Support and Institutional Development of TB Communities”.

    APPEAL

    «All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis «Stronger than TB» has been in operation for more than 2 years and is actively working at the national and regional levels for involving the community on TB control measures.

    The “Stronger than TB” Association has regional offices in a number of regions of Ukraine, on the basis of which Association activists conduct trainings and seminars for representatives of the community of victims of tuberculosis, health workers, representatives of ministries and departments that are tangible to the problem of tuberculosis.

    Association “Stronger TB” is recognized as one of the fastest growing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, its representatives take an active part in international forums, meetings, present their experience.

    The “Stronger TB” Association is a partner of Stop TV Partnership, the Stop TB Ukraine Partnership.

    The “Stronger TB” Association takes an active part in the elaboration of the Concept and the National Target Social Program for TB Control in 2018–2022, the introduction of a patient-oriented TB treatment model in the outpatient phase.

    The head of the “Stronger TB” Association Viktor Pylypenko is a member of the National Council for TB Control and HIV / AIDS.

    Association “Stronger TB” was created and developed with the support of CO “Ukrainians against Tuberculosis” within the framework of the TB-REP project funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

    CO “Public Foundation “Ukrainians against Tuberculosis” has been successfully working in the field of tuberculosis control for 17 years, fruitfully cooperates with the World Health Organization, USAID, Global Fund, implementing projects with the financial support of international donors.

    Representatives of the Association “Stronger TB” and CO “Ukrainians Against Tuberculosis” took an active part in the preparation of the application from Ukraine to the Global Fund for 2018–2020, which confirms their sufficient professional potential.

    We are pleased to inform you that a joint bid was submitted by two organizations: the “Stronger TB” and “Ukrainians against Tuberculosis” associations within the framework of the Global Fund grant for the 10M component “Support and Institutional Development of TB Communities”.

    We have to emphasize that on November 22, 2017, we received a letter from the main recipient of the application from Ukraine – CO “All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV / AIDS”, No. 1281, informing that according to the results of the meetings of the expert commissions the project application of the Association “Stronger than TB” and “Ukrainians Against Tuberculosis” “Support and Institutional Development of TB of Communities” was rejected by the components of the Network of PLWH.

    It should be noted that during the announcement of the competition the procedures for its conduct were violated in terms of the possibility of appealing to its results. That is, the competition announcement of the PLHA Network did not provide for the possibility of appealing against the results of the competition.

    According to the results of the 10 M “Support and institutional development of TB communities”, the regional organization, which mainly deals with the provision of social services to vulnerable groups of the population – CO “Light of Hope” from Poltava, was recognized as the winner.

    We appealed to the “Light of Hope” Foundation, and in the Project application of this organization, we did not see any activities that should be aimed at developing the community of people affected by TB and the Association “Stronger than TB”.

    We had the impression that the competition committee, which determined the winner of the 10M project application of the “Light of Hope” NGO, does not possess information on the activities in Ukraine of an organization created by the community of victims of tuberculosis – the «All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis “Stronger than TB”.

    The application of “Light of Hope” overlaps with measures already carried out in Ukraine and funded by the Global Fund.

    We believe that from the application submitted to the contest “Light of Hope”, it is obvious that this organization has no information about the current situation in the communities affected by tuberculosis, nor has a clear idea of how this community should develop, because in Task 1 of the given application, entitled “Strengthening the institutional capacity of TB communities”, only “the assessment of the institutional capacity of TB communities from 11 regions of Ukraine is foreseen”; development and adoption of TB community development strategy; creation and support of the communication system between leaders and the TB community at the regional level; holding a four-day Advocacy School for representatives of regional NGOs and TB community leaders. ”

    The application of “Light of Hope” organization indicates that the applicant does not fully understand the meaning of the concept of the “community of TB”. The peculiarity of the situation with those who became sick with tuberculosis as a cure for illness, in contrast to those who are infected with HIV, is that the former, after their recovery, try to forget about their illness and not disseminate information about themselves as such due to fears of social stigma and discrimination, since the activist’s public activity requires recognition of this status. At the same time, the “All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis “Stronger than TB” is already actively engaged in the search for activists from among the people who have suffered from tuberculosis in order to use their potential in creating a favorable situation for overcoming the TB epidemic in Ukraine, creates and develops its regional offices. Experience in this direction is confirmed by the fact that the number of such activists is limited and insufficient for the creation of several similar organizations, while the «All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis «Stronger than TB» already exists. Sprawling efforts will only reduce the potential and impact of the TB community on the development and implementation of a national and regional policy on tuberculosis control in Ukraine.

    We believe that the implementation of the application of the “Light of Hope” organization is inappropriate and hopeless, as the aforementioned activity has already been successfully implemented by the “All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis “Stronger than TB” with the support of the NGO Foundation “Ukrainians Against Tuberculosis” Public Movement during the 2016–2017 years.

    We emphasize the fact that we were not provided with explanations on the reasons why the application for the Association “Stronger than TB” was rejected, but according to our information, one of the reasons for this was the absence of the previous significant project and financial history in the Association “Stronger than TB”.

    Dear ladies and gentlemen, it can not be questioned that no organization will have such a story unless it is financially supported!

    We also note that by the letter dated December 25, 2017, we turned to the PLWH Network for explanations on this issue, but we have not yet received answers to this question.

    We believe that in the fact of approval of the application of “Light of Hope” organization as a winner of the competition in the direction of 10 M there is a corrupt component and obvious falsification of facts. Thus, from the request of the “Light of Hope” organization, which was given to us by this organization after the announcement of the results of the competition was allegedly for establishing cooperation, it was noted that as the national partner in the implementation of their project, the organization determined the “All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis “Stronger than TB”. However, no appeal from the “Light of Hope” organization to our Association for partnership in the implementation of their project at the time of the announcement of the competition was not received, we did not do any necessary supporting actions in this case – recommendations, memorandum and other. Thus, the organization “Light of Hope” deliberately submitted to the competition commission false information, which, in turn, was not only not checked by the competition committee, but, eventually, the application of the organization “Light of Hope” was recognized as the winner in the direction of 10 M. This implies the possibility of a corrupt component, namely: forgery, intentional misleading, inactivity of decision makers.

    Also, the analysis of the application of the “Light of Hope” organization suggests that this organization prepared its application for a competition, not based on the content of the Proposal of Ukraine to the Global Fund for 2018–2020. For example, the Proposal of Ukraine, as well as the terms of the competition, provides for the creation and support of resource centers, which is not foreseen by the application of the “Light of Hope” organization. At the same time, the application of our Association stipulates a number of measures of informational, institutional, material and technical, methodological development of such resource centers.

    Another example. Ukraine’s application foresees a campaign aimed at protecting the rights of patients with tuberculosis, reducing their stigma and discrimination. This task includes: development and publication of information leaflets on patients’ rights, a patient-oriented model for the treatment of tuberculosis, the preparation of information materials for the affected community members who have died on tuberculosis, to protect the rights of patients. Thus, the application of our Association provided for the publication of two information materials on the topic “Patient-oriented model of falling services to patients with tuberculosis” and “Ensuring the rights of patients – a pledge of counteraction to the epidemic of tuberculosis”. In the contest application of “Light of Hope” organization, these indicators are absent.

    The weak element of the application of the “Light of Hope” organization is that its activities in the framework of the project submitted to the contest are not aimed, ultimately, to promote the organization of the community of people who became sick with tuberculosis, which is considered by the Concept of the national target social program of countering the disease on Tuberculosis for 2018–2021 as one of the important tasks of involving this community in TB control activities. As it is evident from the application of the «All-Ukrainian Association of people who recover from tuberculosis “Stronger than TB”, our project proposal is aimed specifically at the further development of such a community organization of people who fell ill with tuberculosis.

    These and other facts noted by us indicate that the “Light of Hope” organization has no clear idea of the current processes occurring within the community of people who have fallen ill with tuberculosis and its needs, and the genetic link between the requirements of the Proposal Ukraine to the Global Fund and their own project application. These disadvantages did not cause anxiety among the members of the competition committee, which resulted in an error in recognizing the organization “Light of Hope” as the winner of the competition in the direction of 10 M.

    Taking into account the aforementioned, we appeal against the decision of the tender commission on component 10 M “Support and institutional development of TB communities” within the framework of the Global Fund grant, and we ask to cancel the decision of the competition commission for this component and to announce a new competition.

     

    Heard of the Board

    of the “All-Ukrainian Association

    of people who recover from tuberculosis

    “Stronger than TB”                                              Viktor Pylypenko