FAQs

I. About the G-FINDER survey

II. Who is involved

III. Completing the survey

IV. Making changes

V. Finding and adding organisations

VI. Inclusions and exclusions

VII. Emerging infectious diseases

VIII. Resources

I. About the G-FINDER survey



Q1. Why do we need a survey on neglected disease R&D investments?

The G-FINDER survey aims to help donors and funders to better target their investments into product R&D for neglected diseases. This comprehensive survey is sent to more than 900 organisations globally each year, across the public, private industry, not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors. It provides an up-to-date analysis of how R&D investments are being allocated across diseases and product types, funding trends over time, and where the potential gaps lie. The survey data is used by Policy Cures Research to create detailed analytical reports on neglected disease R&D funding, including the annual G-FINDER report. G-FINDER is the primary source of neglected disease R&D funding data for both the World Health Organization’s Global Observatory on Health R&D and Donor Tracker, and helps support the work of many other groups in the broader global health community.


Q2. Is this a one-off survey?

No. The G-FINDER survey has been conducted annually since 2008, and Policy Cures Research currently has funding to continue the G-FINDER survey until 2018. We envisage that the survey will continue in future years, subject to stakeholder interest, although this will also depend on securing additional funding support to allow G-FINDER to continue to be provided as a global public good.


Q3. 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. Wherever possible, Policy Cures Research works closely with these groups to align survey design, share data and avoid duplicating requests to funders. Policy Cures Research is also heavily involved in global efforts to coordinate and harmonise the collection and reporting of data for neglected disease R&D.


Q4. What information are you collecting? What is the scope of the survey?

The G-FINDER survey includes 33 neglected diseases, and the pharmaceutical tools used to prevent, control and treat them, including drugs, preventive and therapeutic vaccines, diagnostics, microbicides and vector control products. The G-FINDER survey encompasses R&D funding for these products from basic research through to the trials needed to introduce a product for public health use, detailed in the G-FINDER neglected disease R&D Matrix.

In addition to collecting data on investment in R&D for neglected diseases, the 2017 G-FINDER survey will also collect data on investment in R&D for ten priority emerging infectious diseases. See Section VII. Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs).


Q5. How were the neglected diseases, products and R&D areas chosen?

Prior to G-FINDER, there was no generally accepted definition of a 'neglected disease' and, for many diseases, no agreement on what new products were needed, if any. A number of steps were used when establishing the G-FINDER survey to reach a consensus position. For year one of G-FINDER, a list was created 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. The AC filtered it against three criteria. A disease was only 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.

Policy Cures Research maintains ongoing consultation with our AC for advice on G-FINDER scope inclusions. Where there is disagreement between experts, their decisions are supplemented by advice from further technical and R&D experts.


Q6. How has the G-FINDER scope changed over time?

Since the inception of G-FINDER in 2007, we have maintained ongoing consultation with our Advisory Committee regarding changes to the survey's scope. Changes over the course of the survey include:

In response to feedback, from year two (financial year 2008) diagnostics for lymphatic filariasis were included, and we broadened the typhoid and paratyphoid category to include other Salmonella infections, specifically non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica (NTS) and multiple Salmonella infections.

In our seventh year (financial year 2013), we established a new Advisory Committee to enable a thorough review of the scope of G-FINDER. As a result, the list of neglected diseases expanded to include cryptococcal meningitis, hepatitis C genotype 4 and leptospirosis. The review also identified that there had been increased commercialisation of dengue vaccine R&D, with many pharmaceutical firms conducting commercial dengue vaccine programmes. As a result, dengue vaccine R&D was removed from the scope of the survey, and data on these investments excluded retrospectively. Other dengue products continue to be included.

In 2015, the hepatitis C category was broadened to include genotypes 5 and 6. In 2015, the scope for Streptococcus Pneumoniae vaccines was revised to better reflect current approaches to developing pneumococcal vaccines for low-resource settings.

For the 2017 survey (financial year 2016), the G-FINDER survey scope was updated for bacterial pneumonia & meningitis (to include low- and middle-income country (LMIC) focused basic research) and for HIV/AIDS (to update the scope restrictions for LMIC-focused basic research and drug development; and include LMIC-focused R&D on therapeutic vaccines).

Supplementary survey activities outside the traditional scope of G-FINDER: In 2014, data was collected on investments in R&D for the reproductive health needs of developing countries, with the findings published in a one-off report, Reproductive health: R&D for the developing world. This data was not collected in 2015 or 2016 and will not be collected in 2017.

In 2017, data will be collected on investments in R&D for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) that have been identified as priority pathogens by the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint. Although data on R&D investment in EIDs is being collected in conjunction with the G-FINDER survey of R&D investment in neglected diseases, this data will be analysed and reported separately.


Q7. 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 includes more than 20 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.


Q8. Financial reporting systems differ between many organisations - how does Policy Cures Research 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 2016' will refer to the financial year occurring predominantly in the year 2016 (e.g. a financial year of April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017 will be considered as financial year 2016 for this survey).

Note: Please enter the organisation’s actual financial year dates, and Policy Cures Research will undertake the necessary conversions.


Q9. How will G-FINDER convert currencies from different countries?

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 2017 G-FINDER report will be based on 2016 US dollars.


Q10. The flow of funds is very complex in this field. How is double-counting avoided?

We understand the complex nature of funding in this field. Recognising the importance of avoiding double-counting, the survey was designed 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.


Q11. Can I get the survey results? When?

Yes. The results of the G-FINDER surveys are available on the Policy Cures Research website (G-FINDER page)

Survey reports will generally be published in the same year as the year of data collection.


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II. Who is involved?


Q12. Who is conducting the survey?

The G-FINDER survey is conducted by Policy Cures Research. Policy Cures Research is a not-for-profit global health think-tank based in Sydney, Australia and headed by Dr Nick Chapman. The Policy Cures Research team had previously conducted the G-FINDER project as part of Policy Cures, before becoming a separate organisation in September 2016.

 

Q13. Who is funding the survey?

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

 

Q14. 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 more than 900 organisations in around 60 countries.


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III. Completing the survey

 

Q15. 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 however, it is impossible for you to complete online, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

 

Q16. 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. To make it easier to input your data, before you start,

  • identify repeating grants
  • sort data into grant levels
  • collate ‘funds disbursed’
  • collate ‘funds received’
  • sort data by disease and product.

If you have repeating grants from the immediate past financial year, you have an option to upload and update previous grant amounts which saves time.

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

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.

 

Q17. What if I have continuing (repeating) grants?

If you have continuing/ongoing funding under grants you submitted to last year’s G-FINDER survey, you can quickly and easily enter your funding for the current survey year without having to re-enter any of the other grant information. Where applicable, the option to include these continuing grants will appear below your financial tables as a link after logging in to your homepage and selecting ‘Start survey’ or ‘Continue survey’. More details are available in the tutorial.

 

Q18. 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 selecting the "Exit and return to survey later" button. You will be returned to the same point when you next open the survey.

 

Q19. Is the online survey process secure?

Yes. 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 concerns related to confidentiality, please see our privacy and security policies or contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.
G-FINDER Privacy Policy
G-FINDER Security Policy

 

Q20. What if my organisation has additional concerns related to confidentiality?

Concerns related to confidentiality are important to us. Refer to our privacy and security policies. If you have additional concerns, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.
G-FINDER Privacy Policy
G-FINDER Security Policy

 

Q21. What if I don't know what something means?

A glossary of key terms is available at the Glossary tab at the top of the page. For a list of all R&D terms and what they mean for either neglected diseases or emerging infectious diseases, select the R&D Scope tab at the top of the page.

Note: For an explanation of a specific category within the online survey, select the "?" help button to the right of that term. This will take you to the relevant section of the R&D scope document. If you still have questions, contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

 

Q22. What if I can't allocate my funding to a specific area?

You may not know which diseases you are funding or what the research is for, OR are unable to allocate funding 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 more information see the section in the relevant scope document: ‘Can not be allocated to one disease’ in the scope document for neglected diseases or ‘Multiple emerging infectious diseases’ in the scope document for emerging infectious diseases.

Note: If, after Step 1 in the survey, you are unsure of the correct product or R&D area to allocate funds, select the unspecified option in Step 2 (you do not know the product) or the unspecified option in Step 3 (you do not know the R&D area) and continue entering funding or research (for example, if you gave funds to an organisation for a specific disease, but do not know how they plan to use it).
If you still have difficulties or questions, contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk.

 

Q23. My organisation funds its own research. How do I include this funding?

For details on how to include funding for your own research, 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.

 

Q24. My organisation receives funding from other organisations and then distributes it to researchers. How should I report this?

The first financial table you see will be a table to record the funding you received from others. You will now need to go through the 3-step process to enter grants you received. If your organisation also gives funding to other organisations and/or incurs internal R&D expenses (e.g. staff directly involved in R&D projects, or internal product development facilities), you will also need to enter data in the relevant tables. If possible, please provide an identifier (either in the grant field, or in notes) that will allow us to link the two financial flows.



Q25. Can I check my progress entering data in the survey?

Yes. Click on the 'Check my data' tab to 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.



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IV. Making changes


Q26. I need to edit or delete information that I entered previously. Can I do this?

Yes. If you have not yet selected‘submit’, select '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 will not able to go back and edit or delete your information. If this is the case, please contact the G-FINDER Helpdesk for further assistance.

 

Q27. 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 the disease, product or R&D area by clicking on the relevant button. If you do not want to change any settings, click on the button ‘New row (same selection)’ and the survey will automatically bring up a new row for your existing selection.

 

Q28. I selected the wrong R&D role for my organisation and the survey instructions tell me 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 can reset your selection.


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V. Finding and adding organisations


Q29. 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. NOTE: The search engine does not 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.

 

Q30. 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?

For each grant entry, if the name of the organisation does not appear in the predictive text list, you can type it in the space provided. Once you have saved your entry, similar names of organisations may be presented. 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.

Note: You will only have to enter the organisation details once - when the data is saved you can continue entering your data and the organisation will appear on the predictive text list in future.


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VI. Inclusions and exclusions

 

Q31. 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 financial reporting. However, the published G-FINDER reports 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).

 

Q32. 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). If you have a continuing grant with no disbursements in the current year, but for which future year commitments exist, the grant should be edited and uploaded in the continuing grants section with a $0 amount. This will retain the grant information in the survey and allow disbursements to be easily entered the following year (once made). However, as the G-FINDER survey currently runs each year, you can enter your committed funding in future surveys, once it has been disbursed.

 

Q33. How do I know if my area of research or research funding falls within the scope of this survey?

Refer to the relevant R&D matrix or scope document to see which disease areas and product areas are included, restricted or excluded.

R&D matrix for neglected diseases R&D matrix for emerging infectious diseases

R&D scope for neglected diseases R&D scope for emerging infectious diseases

 

Q34. Why are some types of research into neglected diseases excluded from the survey?

The G-FINDER survey is focused on understanding global investment in R&D to develop new health technologies aimed at preventing, diagnosing, treating or curing neglected diseases for patients in developing countries, where these tools either do not already exist, or are inappropriate for use in developing country contexts.


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VII. Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs)

 

Q35. Why is data being collected for emerging infectious diseases?

In addition to collecting data on investment in R&D for neglected diseases, the 2017 G-FINDER survey will also collect data on investment in R&D for priority emerging infectious diseases. The decision to expand our data collection efforts was made in consultation with the G-FINDER Advisory Committee (AC), in response to the increasing global focus on R&D to address the threat posed by EIDs and the need for a comprehensive landscape of investment in this field. Investment in R&D for emerging infectious diseases will be analysed and reported separately to investment in R&D for neglected diseases.

 

Q36. How did you decide which emerging infectious diseases to include?

The survey scope was determined in consultation with the G-FINDER Advisory Committee (AC), and includes all emerging infectious diseases identified as ‘priority pathogens’ by the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint in its January 2017 review.

The 2017 survey includes the following ten emerging infectious diseases: arenaviral haemorrhagic fevers (including Lassa fever); bunyaviral diseases (including Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever [CCHF], Rift Valley Fever [RVF], and severe fever with thromboytopaenia syndrome [SFTS]); highly pathogenic coronaviral diseases (including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus [MERS-CoV] and severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS]); filoviral diseases (including Ebola and Marburg); henipaviral diseases (including Nipah); and Zika.

The emerging infectious disease R&D matrix provides an overview of diseases and products included in the survey, which have been grouped by pathogen family for data collection purposes.

 

Q37. Will EID data be collected in a separate survey or for a different survey period?

R&D funding data for emerging infectious diseases will be collected via the same survey and for the same financial year as the neglected disease R&D funding data. However, the findings of the emerging infectious disease R&D funding survey will be reported separately from the G-FINDER survey of R&D funding for neglected diseases.


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VIII. Resources

 

The Glossary

The glossary is a list of key terms and definitions used in the survey (e.g. financial year). Refer to the Glossary tab at the top of the G-FINDER page at any time.

 

The R&D Matrix

The R&D matrix for neglected diseases and the R&D matrix for emerging infectious diseases provide summary overviews of the surveyed disease and product areas. Use these documents to clarify if an area is within the survey scope.

R&D matrix for neglected diseases
R&D matrix for emerging infectious diseases


The R&D Scope

The R&D Scope tab hosts the R&D scope documents to explain how to classify inclusion and exclusion areas for funding or research for neglected diseases and emerging infectious diseases.

R&D scope for neglected diseases
R&D scope for emerging infectious diseases

 

The Tutorial

The tutorial gives a step-by-step guided tour with tips to help you fill out 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 access the tutorial at any time via the Tutorial tab.

 

The G-FINDER Helpdesk

Questions can be directed to the G-FINDER Helpdesk at any time.



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