Workshop to Strengthen Advocacy on HIV/TB financing

AIDS Rights Alliance for Southern Africa and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition hosted a workshop for activists titled “Strengthening Key Population Advocacy for the Best Use of Global Fund Resources and Sustainable Funding for HIV & TB in Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania”.
The five day workshop in March 2015, aimed to equip leaders and activists from key populations, human rights and treatment activist leaders from Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania with knowledge, skills and tools so they could ensure that Global Fund resources are used for evidence based interventions that support those most affected by HIV in their respective countries.
Participants were drawn from strategic organizations led by and serving people who use drugs, sex workers, women and LGBTI populations in the three focus countries.
Key issues that emerged during the course of the five days included:

  • Key population groups require sustainable support to ensure active, informed and consistent participation in the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and other funding platforms and processes. This support should include investment in communications mechanisms, which facilitate consultation and feedback to members of their constituency at all levels;
  • Participation of key population groups on Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and other funding platforms and processes should move beyond discussion of challenges faced by key populations to translate into political will and allocation of resources for programming that addresses the needs of those most affected by HIV and TB;
  • Advocacy for investment of GF resources in interventions that address challenges faced by key populations should not only focus on the concept note development stage and should continue throughout the entire GF grant-making process and beyond to ensure that there is actual programming, budgeting, implementation as well as ongoing monitoring and evaluation of interventions addressing the needs of key populations;
  • Although there are isolated efforts underway in the three focus countries to advocate for investment of domestic resources for sustainable HIV and TB responses, this advocacy should be strengthened; and
  • There is a need to build capacity of key populations and their allies to undertake health finance and budget analysis and tracking as a means to strengthen the evidence-base for effective advocacy for domestic HIV and TB financing.

The meeting culminated with representatives from each country developing (either joint or by organization) a peer- and facilitator-reviewed advocacy work plan that formed part of their application for direct support through a closed request for proposals from ITPC/ARASA.
Experts from the Global Forum on MSM (MSMGF), the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa (CEGAA) and the GF itself also contributed to the workshop. ARASA staff and ITPC’s Regional Coordinators in West, Central and East Africa, who are leading community monitoring projects supported by the German Backup Initiative (GIZ) also supported the facilitation of the meeting and group discussions.
Read the full report here.