What is the G-FINDER survey?

Who's involved?

Doing the survey

The basics

Making changes

Finding and adding organisations

Inclusions and exclusions

Help functions

What is the G-FINDER survey?

1. Why do we need a survey on neglected disease R&D investments?

Donors interested in funding R&D of neglected disease products must currently make substantial investment decisions in the absence of accurate data regarding funding flows, gaps and duplications. Information that is available is often out of date, patchy, unreliable or cannot be compared across surveys due to different accounting and reporting methodologies. In some areas there is an almost total lack of information.

The goal of the G-FINDER survey is to help funders to better target their investments into neglected product R&D. We track global investment annually in this area, and provide the results to funders in easy-to-read annual reports.

We hope that, by providing funders with better information, the G-FINDER survey will stimulate increased efficiency and investment into neglected disease product R&D, and thus improve global health.

2. What is the scope of the survey? What information are you collecting?

The G-FINDER survey includes 36 neglected diseases, and the pharmaceutical tools used to prevent, control and treat these, including drugs, preventive and therapeutic vaccines, diagnostics, microbicides and vector control products. The survey encompasses R&D funding for these products from basic research through to the trials needed to introduce a product for public health use.

In 2016, following consultation with our Advisory Committee (AC), G-FINDER has been expanded to include a new grouped disease category: African viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs). In addition to Ebola, which was included in last year's survey, this new category will allow respondents to report R&D funding for Marburg and Other and/or multiple African VHFs.

As a special supplementary activity, we will also be tracking investment in Zika virus R&D in this year's survey (this data will be analysed and reported separately from G-FINDER, as the disease does not match the G-FINDER criteria for neglected diseases).

The reproductive health R&D data collected in 2014 resulted in a one-off report, Reproductive health: R&D for the developing world. This data will not be collected this year.

3. Is this a one-off survey?

4. How does this survey fit in with other R&D funding surveys?

While the G-FINDER survey is unprecedented in its coverage of neglected diseases and products, several other groups are working to analyse R&D funding for selected neglected diseases and products. G-FINDER is working collaboratively with these groups to consider a longer-term solution that will allow data collection to be centralised; in the meantime, all groups have been working closely to align survey design, share data and avoid duplicating requests to funders.

5. How were the product and R&D areas chosen?

There is no generally accepted definition of what constitutes a 'neglected disease' and, for many diseases, there is no agreement on what new products are needed, if any. We therefore used a number of steps to reach a consensus position. In year one of the G-FINDER report, we created a list of all diseases classified by major health bodies or publications as a 'neglected disease'. This list was then assessed by an international Advisory Committee (AC) of 17 neglected disease and R&D experts who were asked to filter it against three criteria, with a disease only being accepted as 'neglected' for the purposes of the G-FINDER survey if it met all three criteria.

These criteria were:
1. The morbidity and mortality burden of the disease or condition disproportionately affects people in developing countries;
2. There is no existing product to treat/prevent that disease or condition, OR a product exists but is poorly suited for developing country use; AND
3. There is no commercial market to stimulate R&D by industry.

Where there was disagreement between experts, their decisions were supplemented by advice from further technical and R&D experts.

Over the past nine years of G-FINDER, we have maintained ongoing consultation with our AC to advise on G-FINDER inclusions. In our seventh year we established a new AC to enable a thorough review of the scope of G-FINDER.

6. How was the survey tool designed?

The survey tool was designed with the guidance of an international Stakeholder Network of key investors in neglected disease R&D, who will also complete the survey. The Stakeholder Network comprises 30 public, philanthropic and private representatives, whose organisations stand out as the largest funders of product R&D for neglected disease R&D, or who have key significance in the field. Their input has helped ensure that the information collected in the G-FINDER survey is the most feasible, reliable and useful it can be in terms of capturing global expenditure on neglected disease product R&D.

7. Financial reporting systems differ between many organisations - how will you account for these differences?

We recognise that there will be differences in both financial year periods and accounting systems between organisations.

Financial year periods often do not match the calendar year and vary between organisations. For the purposes of the G-FINDER report, 'financial year 2015' will refer to the financial year occurring predominantly in the year 2015 (e.g. a financial year of April 1, 2015 - March 31, 2016 will be considered as financial year 2015 for this survey). Note: Please just enter your actual financial year dates, and we will do the necessary conversions.

8. How will G-FINDER ensure that currencies from different countries are translated accurately?

Figures in our annual report are converted to US dollars (US$) using exchange rate data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and adjusted for inflation using country-specific Consumer Price Index (CPI data) from the IMF and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in order to allow meaningful analysis across multiple funding years. All analysis in the 2016 G-FINDER report will be based on 2015 US dollars.

9. The flow of funds is very complex in this field. How will you avoid double-counting?

We understand the complex nature of funding in this field, and the importance of avoiding double-counting, and have designed the survey with these issues in mind. The survey is quite detailed so that we can trace the flow of funds through organisations with a high level of accuracy. Your organisation may play one or more different roles in neglected disease product R&D; therefore, before starting the survey, we will question you on the roles your organisation carries out. Your answers will determine what information we subsequently ask from you.

10. Can I get the survey results? When?


Who is involved?

11. Who is conducting the survey?

The G-FINDER survey is being conducted by Policy Cures.

12. Who is funding the survey?

The G-FINDER survey is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

13. Who has been asked to complete the survey?

G-FINDER aims to survey all key public, private and philanthropic organisations involved in neglected disease R&D. Although our primary focus is on funders, we are also surveying key research, intermediary and industry groups to allow us to better track funding flows. In its first year, the survey was sent to 551 funders, research intermediaries, product development partnerships (PDPs) and industry entities in 43 countries. Today, the G-FINDER survey is sent to nearly 900 organisations in 59 countries.


The basics

14. Do I have to do the survey online? Can I do it on paper or over the phone?

The survey has been designed to be completed online, and is compatible with Internet Explorer 9 and 10, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. If it is impossible for you to complete online, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

15. How long will it take me to complete the survey?

This depends on the data availability in your organisation, and your organisation's level of involvement in neglected disease R&D. For some, this data may be readily available, while others may require a bit of groundwork to collect the necessary data. Please refer to the Before you start tips checklist on the home page for advice on the data you will need to have to hand and how to collate it to make data entry as quick and easy as possible once you start the survey.

If you have repeating grants from FY2014 already submitted to G-FINDER that you would like to include in your FY2015 data, you will be able to use a function to update grant amounts. Please see the option after logging into your home page and clicking 'Start survey' or 'Continue survey' and details in the tutorial.

If you have many grants and are concerned about the size of the task, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk to see how we can help.

Please note that multiple people within an organisation can simultaneously enter data into the survey using their organisation specific logins and passwords.

16. I am not able to complete the survey in one sitting. Can I save my data and come back to it later?

Yes. Once you have completed a data entry session you can Save and Exit by clicking on the "Exit and return to survey later" button. You will be returned to the same point when you next open the survey.

17. Is the online survey process secure?

The online survey process is very secure. We use a secure, SSL encryption and multi-level username and password access to determine the level of access and functionality. If you have further concerns related to confidentiality, please see our privacy and security policies below, or contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

G-FINDER Privacy Policy
G-FINDER Security Policy

18. What if my organisation has additional concerns related to confidentiality?

Concerns related to confidentiality are important to us. Details of our privacy and security policies are accessible via the links below. If you have additional concerns, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

G-FINDER Privacy Policy
G-FINDER Security Policy

19. What if I don't know what something means?

A glossary of key terms is available at all times - to see these, click on the Glossary tab at the top of the page. For a list of all R&D terms and what they mean, click on the R&D Scope tab at the top of the page. For an explanation of a specific category within the online survey, click on the "?" help button to the right of that term. This will take you directly to the relevant section of the R&D scope document. If you still have difficulties or questions, contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

20. What if I can't allocate my funding to a specific area?

Sometimes you don't know what DISEASE your funding or research is for, or you cannot allocate it to a single disease. For example, core funding, funding for cross-disease technologies such as adjuvants and platform technologies, or joint funding for more than one disease (e.g. TB/ HIV co-infection). For information on how to enter this funding, click here. If you still have difficulties or questions, contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

Sometimes you don't know the PRODUCT or R&D AREA. For example, you gave funds to an organisation for a specific disease, but don't know how they plan to use it. In this case, select the unspecified option in Step 2 (you don't know the product) or the unspecified option in Step 3 (you don't know the R&D area) and you will be able to continue entering your funding or research.

21. My organisation funds its own research. How do I include this funding?

For details on how to include this funding please refer to the tutorial for full instructions on how to enter your data. If you are having any difficulties entering your data, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

22. Can I check my progress entering data in the survey?

Click on the 'Check my data' tab to enter a page where you can view a report of the data entered so far. You can view a subset of your data by disease and/or product. These reports are also available in PDF and Excel.


Making changes

23. I need to edit or delete information that I entered previously. Can I do this?

Yes. Simply click 'edit' in the row you wish to change or delete and then re-save your data by clicking on the 'Save' button. You will then be taken back to your current place in the table. If you have submitted all financial tables, you are not able to go back and edit or delete your information this way. In this case, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk for further assistance.

24. Can I change my selection in Steps 1-3 and continue to enter data within the same table?

Yes. At the bottom left corner of each financial table, there are four buttons that allow you to change your selection and continue entering data. For example, you can choose to change your disease, product or R&D area by clicking on the relevant button. If you do not want to change any settings, simply click on the button "New row (same selection)" and the survey will automatically bring up a new row for your existing selection.

25. I think I may have selected the wrong R&D role for my organisation and the survey instructions tell me that I can't modify the selection once it has been confirmed. What can I do to fix this?

Please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk and we will be able to reset your selection.


Finding and adding organisations

26. How do I search for the 'name of funding recipient' or the 'name of funding organisation' in the financial tables?

Start typing the name and a list of likely organisations will appear. However, be aware that the search engine cannot recognise non-English characters (e.g. é, ç or ã). We recommend searching for organisations by their English name, e.g. Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs.

27. An organisation I am funding, or an organisation that funds me, is not recognised in the predictive text when I try to enter their name. How do I add them?

If the name of the organisation you want does not appear in the predictive text list, you can type it in the space provided. Once you save your data you may be presented with a list of similar organisations. If the organisation you are looking for appears on this list, please select it. If not, you can continue creating a new organisation and you will be asked to enter data for this organisation i.e. organisation type, and key contact details. Please remember to SAVE these details. You will only have to enter these organisation details once - when this data is saved you will be able to continue entering your data, and this organisation will appear on our list in future.


Inclusions and exclusions

28. Not all support for neglected disease R&D is financial. Can I include in-kind contributions?

No, you cannot include in-kind contributions in the funding tables. However, the published reports will include a section highlighting the nature and value of in-kind contributions such as compound sharing, provision of expertise etc. (See the glossary for what constitutes an 'in-kind' contribution).

29. My organisation has committed future funding for neglected disease R&D, but has not yet paid it out. Can I include these figures?

No. You can only include funding that has already been disbursed (see Disbursements and Commitments in the glossary). However, as the G-FINDER survey runs annually, you will be able to enter your currently committed funding in future surveys, once it has been disbursed.

30. How do I know if my area of research or research funding falls within the scope of this survey?

Please refer to the R&D matrix to see which disease areas are included, and which product areas are included within these. Then consult the R&D scope document to determine if the R&D activity you are reporting funding for is included within a given product area. To see what is excluded, please see the final section of the R&D scope document (General Exclusions). You can go to the R&D scope document from any page of the survey, by clicking on the R&D Scope tab.


Help functions - what are they?

31. The glossary

The glossary is a list of key terms used throughout the survey. Use this if you need help with definitions e.g. financial year, or in-kind contribution. You can click on the Glossary tab at the top of the page at any time.

32. The R&D matrix

The R&D matrix provides a quick one-glance overview of the disease and product areas that are included in G-FINDER. Use this document if you are unsure if an area is within the survey scope. You can find the R&D matrix from the survey home page "Before you start" textbox, under the "3. Need help?" section.

33. The R&D Scope tab

For a list of all R&D terms and what they mean, click on the R&D Scope tab at the top of the screen. This document will assist you if you need help deciding how to classify your funding or research, and also set out which areas are outside the scope of this survey. Clicking on an entry in the list at the top of the document will take you directly to the more detailed sections below.

34. The tutorial

The tutorial is a simple step-by-step guided tour of the survey. It includes tips to help you fill out the survey more easily. The tutorial will save you time and help you move easily around the survey. You can access the tutorial once you have confirmed your organisation details and R&D role, and are ready to start the survey. Once you've started the survey, you can also go back to the tutorial at any time via the Tutorial tab.

35. The G-FINDER Helpdesk

If you have further questions after referring to the help functions listed here, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.