Community-based monitoring offers the potential of increasing domestic oversight and advocacy for improvements to HIV treatment, particularly as it affects key populations. Affected communities consume most ART services but usually lack the necessary capacity and information needed to participate meaningfully in decision-making that shapes treatment programs that directly impact their lives.
By collecting data on barriers to access, community monitoring can empower evidence-based advocacy and improve HIV treatment access.
The Watch What Matters campaign
To improve access to optimal HIV treatment, our strategy is to gather data on access and quality of HIV treatment globally, using the same unique model that empowers communities to systematically collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data on these issues.
The campaign reflects a broad understanding of our work and acknowledgment of the strength and diversity of the entire treatment access movement.
“As activists, we Watch What Matters! This broad call to action leads the way on HIV treatment access, as well as other social justice issues. The work that ITPC has been doing over the last 15 years with our Missing the Target series and community treatment observatories has organically created a larger movement for community-led global accountability.” – Solange Baptiste, ITPC Executive Director
ITPC leads Watch What Matters
The Watch What Matters campaign represents the work of several community monitoring initiatives – at national, regional and global levels:
Community Treatment Observatories
Pioneered by ITPC in the early 2000s, a community treatment observatory is a mechanism that systematically collects data to monitor trends on treatment access along the HIV Cascade to be used for targeted action. Monitoring of health systems by communities increases government accountability and informs targeted advocacy actions that can improve HIV treatment, particularly for key populations. To date, ITPC region networks have organized community treatment observatories in Latin America, and West, Central, and East Africa.
Most recently, ITPC has launched the Regional Community Treatment Observatory in West Africa (RCTO-WA), a project led by ITPC Global and ITPC West Africa, and including partners in 11 West African countries. Funded by the Global Fund, the three-year project is empowering networks of people living with HIV to systematically collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data on barriers to access. The goal is to increase access to treatment in 11 West African countries: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Missing the Target
Missing the Target (MTT) is unique in empowering communities affected by HIV to understand research methodology and undertake community-led research. Rather than waiting to get the attention of outside researchers or development institutions, the MTT model puts the power in the hands of affected communities to document their issues. As a result, critical gaps in the HIV response are exposed earlier and people empowered to advocate for relevant solutions.