Frequently Asked Questions


TSF ESA supported 16 Concept Note applications to the Global Fund in 2014/15. Approved Concept Notes thus far amount to $1.13 billion in funding for Eastern and Southern Africa.

What is

The Technical Support Facility Eastern and Southern Africa (TSF ESA) is a UNAIDS-supported project managed by Mott MacDonald, working to improve access to timely, high quality technical support to strengthen national HIV programmes, health and community systems. TSF ESA serves 21 countries across the Eastern and Southern African regions; by providing comprehensive support across a wide range of programmatic, management, and policy HIV and AIDS responses at country and regional levels to all stakeholders, including civil society and key populations to support the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 90-90-90 targets by 2020.

How does

TSF ESA responds to partners’ requests for consultants to provide short-term technical assistance. Our Senior Technical Associates review requests, identify suitable quality-assured consultants for the work (from whom a client selects a consultant of choice), and then follow up each assignment to completion.

Consultants are sourced from an up-to-date database consisting of highly qualified consultants across the Eastern and Southern African regions. We at the TSF ESA have a commitment to building and strengthening local and regional technical support capacity. Over 80% of requests we receive for technical support are filled by local and regionally-based consultants.

The terms of the consultancy remain, at all times, under the control of our client organisations. As TSF ESA, our role is to assist in establishing workable conditions for clients and consultants, ensuring adherence to the terms of the consultant agreement, and monitoring outputs so as to identify good practices for similar consultancies throughout the regions. Specifically, this may include support from TSF ESA in the following areas:

  • Clarification of Terms of Reference (TORs)
  • Consultant selection- quality-assured, skills meet needs
  • Assistance in negotiating consultant rates and reasonable budget line items
  • Negotiating appropriate timeframes for deliverables
  • Support in ensuring delivery of good quality consultancy outputs

How do
I access TSF ESA services?

If you are based in one of the 21 countries in the ESA region, you can either contact the TSF ESA directly or get in touch with the UNAIDS representatives within your country with a request to use the TSF ESA for support. From there, our team will guide you through the process.

If we seek assistance from TSF ESA, do we get
to choose the consultant?

Yes, our Senior Technical Associates will manage your request and will send you a shortlist (matrix) of at least three suitable candidates who are available for the proposed work. The matrix includes details to aid your decision in selecting the correct consultant of your choice.

Is the TSF ESA
part of UNAIDS?

The TSF ESA works very closely with UNAIDS at the global, regional and country levels, but is not part of the UN system. TSF ESA is funded by UNAIDS but managed by Mott MacDonald, a private consulting services firm.

I'd like to choose a TSF ESA consultant.
What is the contracting mechanism?

Once you have selected a consultant, TSF ESA will contract your organisation and in turn contract the consultant. As part of the contracting process, we put you in contact with the consultant to interface directly. We provide ongoing support to ensure the assignment goes smoothly.

If you are concerned that your organisation’s procurement systems may make it difficult to contract through TSF ESA, please contact us and we can discuss how to satisfy your organisation’s requirements.

Does the TSF ESA
provide quality assurance?

TSF ESA helps to identify and manage risks at key stages of consultancies in order to improve results. This includes the following components:

  • Clarifying Terms of Reference (TORs)- ensure expectations and tasks are clear
  • Consultants are screened for appropriate skills, experiences and references
  • Careful consultant selection to match the technical support needs of the assignment
  • Monitoring progress of assignments and managing challenges
  • Review of assignment outputs- ensure technically sound
  • Consultant and client feedback for continuous learning and quality improvement

These QA procedures are intended to prevent problems, or identify and resolve them quickly if they do arise. We work with both clients and consultants on the factors under their control, to improve results of consultancies. We cannot guarantee that every assignment will be a complete success, but TSF ESA will work with you to address any challenges that may arise.

Clients have a key role in the QA process, to ensure positive results from the consultancies. In particular, TSF ESA asks their clients to provide regular, frank feedback during and after their assignments. If we are not aware of your concerns, it is difficult for us to manage them. TSF ESA also asks clients to request consultants in good time to ensure their availability, and we work to refine the TORs as much as possible, as these are often critical influencing factors on the outcomes of assignments.

What are
the fees for working with TSF ESA?

TSF ESA has several mechanisms for supplying services. Some assignments can be fully subsidized by UNAIDS funding, whereas others may apply a management fee on top of consultant costs. This fee enhances the sustainability of TSF ESA and provides resources for quality assurance, capacity development and risk management across assignments. Contact us for more information and to discuss the right mechanism for your assignment. We always endeavour to ensure that fees are not an obstacle to meeting imporant needs of the HIV repsonse.

I am a consultant,
can I work with you?

We are continuously tendering for new assignments and are frequently looking for new short and long-term consultants. We particularly seek to collaborate with national consultants in countries where we operate. All that is required of you is to contact us and we will provide further information on how to be included in our quality-assured database.