GAO Reports Recommend Better Data Collection Practices For PEPFAR

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published two reports on PEPFAR. “As PEPFAR partner countries assume greater responsibility for managing their treatment programs, fully functioning monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems are critical for tracking results and ensuring treatment program effectiveness,” one report notes, according to the summary. The report recommends “[t]he Secretary of State should direct [the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC)] to (1) develop a method that better accounts for PEPFAR’s contributions to partner-country treatment programs, (2) establish a common set of indicators to measure the results of treatment program quality improvement efforts, and (3) establish a set of minimum standards for data generated by partner countries’ M&E systems,” the summary states (4/12). A second report found that “[u]sing an OGAC-developed budgetary formula, PEPFAR has met the legislative requirement that more than half of its funds be spent each year to provide specific treatment and care services for people living with HIV,” and “recommends that State develop a plan for (1) expanding the use of in-depth cost studies to additional countries and sites, where appropriate, and (2) broadening expenditure analysis to include non-PEPFAR costs, as feasible. State generally agreed with the report’s recommendations,” according to the summary (3/15).

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