20th International AIDS Conference - Melbourne, Australia

WESA02 Civil Society Response on Transitions to Country Ownership: Role of civil society in sustainable transitions and country ownership
  Non-Commercial Satellite
Venue: Room 103
Time: 23.07.2014, 07:00 - 08:30
Chair: Kieran Daly, United States

Organizer: ICASO, amfAR, Futures Group\Health Policy Project, PPFA
The objective is to engage stakeholders in a dialogue on CSO survival, engagement, and strengthening in sustainable transitions for country ownership. The session will open with a brief overview followed by a panel of civil society representatives describing challenges and successes with their own experiences in country transitions. Key issues the panelists will consider include how transitions affect scale-up of HIV services for key populations and civil society engagement and the status of the country “hand-off” plans. Respondents from major donor institutions who are charged with and have charged country transitions will comment on the panel presentations. Following the presentations, there will be a moderated dialogue with the audience for input and questions.

Country level policy trends on civil society engagement
F. Cleghorn, United States

Topline findings from research in South Africa on civil society participation, especially key populations, in HIV program planning and transition
N. Ndlovu, South Africa

Lessons learned from bringing in civil society into FP2020 and work to ensure access to comprehensive, quality and responsive AIDS and SRH services.

Topline findings from research in Vietnam on the participation of civil society, especially key populations, in HIV program planning and transition.

Powerpoints presentations
Country level policy trends on civil society engagement - Farley Cleghorn

Rapporteur report

Community report by Catherine Shepherd

Civil Society Response on Transitions to Country Ownership: Role of civil society in sustainable transitions and country ownership

Chair:    Kieran Daly, United States

In his introduction, Chris Collins, Chief, Community Mobilization Division, UNAIDS, described the transition to country ownership as a major trend in donor funding that will shift the ‘tectonic plates’ of the response to the HIV epidemic.  

While there is general agreement on the benefits of a country-owned response, four key concerns have emerged around:

1. Civil society engagement: signs that legal and financial curbs on civil society organizing have resulted in shrinking engagement.

2. Key population groups: a fear that legal and policy gains around key populations may be reversed.

3. Scaling-up evidence-based interventions: the scaling-up of treatment and targeted interventions have resulted in declines in incidence; how will the withdrawal of donor support in this area impact these results?

4.  Financing: donor funding towards the AIDS response has flat-lined at best.

Dr Farley Cleghorn, Chief Technical Officer, The Futures Group, noted the critical, pioneering role played by civil society organizations (CSOs) as treatment advocates in national-level HIV responses, particularly by drawing attention to stigma and discrimination andreaching key research populations.  In the changing landscape of aid for HIV/AIDS programmes, ensuring a strong, sustained role for CSOs is very important.  Guyana and Honduras offer promising models for planned and supported transition processes for CSOs, while the Sexual HIV Prevention Programme (SHIPP) in South Africa provides an example of collaboration between CSOs and government partners to target and expand condom availability. 

Dr Khuat Oanh, Founder and Executive Director, Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives in Vietnam, underlined the importance of effectively managing the transition to country ownership to ensure that key populations are not further marginalized.  Key concerns in this regard revolve around the policy environment, health and community systems strengthening, financing mechanisms, and the implementation of laws. 

Nhlanhla Ndlovu presented the findings of a study that sought to measure South Africa’s readiness for HIV/AIDS country ownership and assess civil society involvement in the process. Among the study’s findings are: 

  • reducing donor funding should be done carefully;
  • donor support will be required to fund CSOs and key population interventions after the transition;
  • sufficient provision will need to be made to ensure the participation of CSOs and key populations in decision-making and capacity building; and
  • PEPFAR and the Global Fund need to share their exit strategies with individual countries to better prepare them meaningful ownership. 

Dr Catherine Dawson-Amoah, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), shared lessons learned from bringing in civil society into the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative. The initiative aims to increase access to voluntary family planning information, contraceptives, and services to 120 million more women and girls in the world's poorest countries. She highlighted the PPAG’s experience in capacity-building, transparency and accountability, effective communication, advocacy and monitoring and evaluation.

Unfortunately, time did not permit a moderated dialogue.


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.