In the last decade, an increasing number of donors are withdrawing their support for healthcare. This has been especially true for middle-income countries, where the growth of domestic resources was one of the triggers for donor funding reduction. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has termed this process as “transition”.
Sustainability Bridge Funding (SBF) is an idea that has been discussed among donors and civil society organizations as a way of mitigating the negative effects of transition and in providing support for key essential services for communities and key populations. As a safety net mechanism, it should respond to gaps in funding and mitigate adverse effects of donor funding withdrawal.
Open Society Foundations (OSF) first piloted the idea of SBF in Southeastern Europe — a region where the withdrawal of Global Fund has led to the collapse of services in countries including Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia — by supporting civil society to navigate the transition process and engage in effective budget advocacy.
Building on this work, in 2018 OSF, through the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), initiated the project, Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe . It provided funding to ³ three transitioning countries in the Balkan region – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro, and Serbia — through the sub-regional network organization, Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE), to support budget advocacy for harm reduction services
“Sustainability Bridge Funding: Case Study from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia” looks at the implementation of this project as one of the demonstrations of the SBF mechanism, with the objectives to:
· Document the SBF pilot in 3 Balkan countries and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and to develop suggestions for improvement; and,
· Document the results, successes, and challenges of the budget advocacy projects supported through the SBF approach.
Please find the full version of the Case Study.