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
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
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.
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
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:
donor funding should be done carefully;
support will be required to fund CSOs and key population interventions after
provision will need to be made to ensure the participation of CSOs and key
populations in decision-making and capacity building; and
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
Unfortunately, time did not permit a moderated dialogue.