About Us

Functions and Governing Structure

Terms of Reference

The UNAIDS/World Bank HIV Economics Reference Group (ERG) provides strategic analysis and advice related to the economics of AIDS to the UNAIDS family and key stakeholders. Its main functions include:

  • Strategic global HIV economics agenda setting and prioritization, through a review and assessment of existing evidence relating to the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of HIV responses, and the identification of priority areas for new research
  • Improving the quality of HIV economics methods and products, by assessing and harmonizing existing tools and methodologies for HIV related economic analysis in priority areas as determined by the ERG
  • Providing strategic thinking and consolidated and coherent advice to stakeholders on how to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of HIV responses, and how to address relevant issues related to their financial sustainability, using the principles of shared responsibility
  • Defining the terms of reference and scopes of work for its technical working groups

ERG structure

The ERG is comprised of a strategic advisory group of 15 independent experts including two co-chairs, and an ex-officio group, comprised of nominees of five key agencies including: the UNAIDS Secretariat (the Secretariat of the ERG), the World Bank , US President Emergency AIDS Programme (PEPFAR), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM).

The ERG members are appointed by the UNAIDS Executive Director. He also appoints a co-chair from among the independent experts. The other co-chair is nominated by the World Bank.

ERG members will serve in their personal capacities only and will not represent their employers’ or government views. ERG ex-officio members represent their organizations and their nomination is determined by each organization as appropriate.

The term for ERG members (including the co-chairs) will be for two years with the possibility of renewal twice. After the initial two year term, at least three ERG members will rotate out annually to allow for replacement with new members. Selection of the members to rotate out will be based on voluntary opt-out, or through draw of lots if necessary. The ERG may decide to terminate the membership of any member if they have not participated in two consecutive meetings. Terminated members of the ERG, or ERG members that decide to retire before the end of their term, will be replaced by new appointees.
Under the leadership and guidance of the ex officio group chair (nominated by the World Bank), the ex-officio group will coordinate specific inputs relevant for the deliberations of the ERG with the support of the ERG Secretariat. Specifically, the ex officio members of the ERG will jointly be responsible for the following tasks:

  1. Coordination of HIV economic research and data collection and analyses across major HIV funding agencies
  2. Setting of agendas for future ERG meetings, for inputs to the ERG co-chairs
  3.  Logistics concerning ERG meetings and ERG WG meetings (UNAIDS as secretariat)

The UNAIDS Secretariat will serve as ERG secretariat in support of the ERG strategic body, the two co-chairs and the ex-officio group. The secretariat will have three main functions:

  • In close collaboration with the 2 ERG chairs, to coordinate the timing and logistics of ERG meetings or discussions
  • In support of the ex-officio group, to coordinate or  assemble the necessary preparatory documentation
  • On behalf of the co-chairs and the ex-officio group, to coordinate rapid responses from members or from a wider professional pool of experts including IAEN members to emerging issues, where appropriate

ERG modus operandi

  • The ERG will meet twice yearly. The ERG may establish working groups to support its mandate in specific areas, as appropriate. Working groups may be time limited, or on-going. For an initial period of two years three work groups have been agreed on focusing on: costs, expenditure and technical efficiencies (chaired by UNAIDS), effectiveness and allocative efficiency (chaired by World Bank) and sustainability of financing (chaired by BMGF).
  • The ERG works on a consensus basis among its independent experts. In cases where a consensus cannot be achieved, differences in views will be recorded and noted. Views of the ex-officio members will be recorded separately, where appropriate and as decided by the co-chairs.
  • With the support of the Secretariat, ERG shall develop an annual work plan and budget to be agreed upon at the end of the previous year.
    > ERG Membership April 2013 – March 2015