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How to get funding for your public health project.

How to get funding for your public health project.


Welcome back to this Global
Health YouTube channel. My name is Greg Martin,
and in this episode we’re going to talk about money. So if you’re
looking for funding, be it for a public
health intervention, for technical support,
or for a research project perhaps, or even a scholarship
to study further, stay tuned and we’re going to talk
about how to get that. Now, raising money
is a gargantuan topic and can’t be covered entirely
in a short five minute video. So I’m going to divide this
up into a number of episodes, which we’ll put together
in a playlist that’ll be on YouTube channel page. So this is episode
one, an introduction. And we’re going to talk about
how funding agencies are structured, and about
the life cycle of funding decision-making. Firstly, to quickly
exonerate myself from any undue chastisement,
let me be clear, I am not a professional
fundraiser, and I’m not an expert. That said, I have worked for
two major funding agencies. I’ve worked for
UNITAID at the WHO, and they fund interventions
aimed at impacting the market dynamics for products
for HIV, TB, and malaria. And I’ve worked at the
World Cancer Research Fund where I was the head
of science research and oversaw a grant program. I’ve also worked in roles
where identifying funding was a big part of the job. So, for example, I worked
as the director of EMTCT at the Clinton Health
Access Initiative where I was working
with funders, and that was the major
part of my arena. So how do funding agencies work? Well, to start
with, most of them are governed by a
board of directors, and they oversee the
governance of the organization, and sign off on broad
funding strategies that the organization
undertakes. Next, you usually
have a secretariat, and they are the
full-time staff, and it’s their remit to
implement the strategies and decisions
taken by the board. And these are the nuts and
bolts of the organization. These will be the
people with whom you interact on a
day-to-day basis. Some funding agencies have an
additional technical advisory panel, and they don’t work
for the agency per se, but they convene
periodically to evaluate the technical and scientific
validity of funding applications, and they provide
technical and expert advice. Right. Now let’s talk about
process, the funding cycle. Most organizations will
have a board meeting at least once or twice a year. And at that point, they
take decisions as to, in broad strokes, what it
is that they want to fund. Now, this is important to know,
because most organizations will publish a strategy
document, and that outlines their objectives
and their goals for the year. So get hold of that document. It’s likely to be a chunky,
clumsy document, filled with garrulous
platitudes designed to mollycoddle their
own stakeholders. Remember, even funding agencies
get money from somewhere. But buried somewhere
in the gaudy noise of self-aggrandizing
piffle, you’ll find there’s a few paragraphs
that actually tell you what they’re looking for
in a funding application. If your proposal
doesn’t line up neatly with their stated
objectives, you’re not going to get any money no
matter how good your idea is. So what happens next? Well, the secretariat
will publish either a call for
finding applications, or a call for letters of intent. Now, these letters of intent are
basically a screening process. Afterwards, the
organization will invite applicants who are more
or less on the right track to submit a full proposal. In either event, there’ll
be a definite deadline at which point you need to have
your application submitted. Once you’ve submitted
your application, the process is relatively
straightforward. They’ll either
review it internally or send it to their
technical experts to review. And there might be
some back and forth and some requests for revisions. But at some point, however,
the secretariat or the board will take a decision
as to whether they’re going to fund your
project or not. If they’re going to
fund your project, then you’ll start
the arduous process of drawing up a memorandum
of understanding, which is essentially an agreement
between your organization and the funding
organization that outlines the schedule of payment, and
corresponding deliverables. Now, sometimes
interim payments are contingent on certain
milestones being reached. And quite often, a mid-term
review of the project is scheduled to check that
things are rolling out according to plan. The take-home message here is
understand the funding agency’s objective. And then get your proposal
either in line with them, or cross them off
your list and find a donor who you more
naturally align with. Now, that can be difficult,
especially if you’ve got an idea that’s genuinely
novel or out-of-the-box, but we’ll talk about how to deal
with that in a future episode. In the next video
in this series, we’re going to talk about the
actual business plan and budget that you’re going to
need to put together. And in future
episodes we’re going to talk about how to develop
a fundraising strategy. We’ll start to look
at specific funders and try to understand
a little bit about what it is that they’re looking for. So that’s all for now. Please put your thoughts,
ideas, suggestions, comments, pontifications, and questions
in the comment section below. I really appreciate
your feedback, and I’m going to try and
respond to all the comments that are there. Remember to subscribe
to this channel if you haven’t already
done so, and you’ll get an email alert whenever
there’s a new episode posted. Until next time,
always do your best, don’t ever change,
don’t do drugs, take good care of yourself. I’ll be back, so
speak to you soon.

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