Case studies of Global Fund engagement with communities worldwide

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 12.06.21 AMThe Global Fund has issued an interesting document “How we engage: Stories of effective community engagement on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria”, formatted as a series of eight case studies, that illustrate how expanded dialogue and participation in the development of grants are leading to more focused and responsive programming in many countries.

The case studies are named based on the geographical area, where the action took place or the specific initiative described. One of the case studies tells the story of strengthening community engagement in dialogue and governance for an HIV/TB grant in Kyrgyzstan, one – about the Regional Communication and Coordination Platforms, including some information on Regional Platform-EECA and it’s activities, another one – on the Global Fund partnership with the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund – also includes some examples of work done by partners in EECA.


As the Kyrgyzstan case study states, with financial support provided by the Community, Rights and Gender Special Initiative, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Technical Support Hub (EECA Hub) undertook a comprehensive review of Kyrgyzstan’s existing harm reduction program in late 2014. With the support of the EECA Hub, civil society organizations identified six major priorities for harm reduction programming in the new concept note:

1.  Increasing program coverage, especially of harm reduction services run by community organizations using peer-led approaches instead of abstinence and drug rehabilitation;

2.  improving access to HIV and TB screening and strengthening linkages to treatment and care for key populations, including through the use of peer-driven case management;

3.  ensuring that a standard package of harm reduction services be available across the country;

4.  improving program quality and validating contested service coverage figures in government-run needle and syringe exchange services;

5.  measures to mitigate human rights violations by police, such as police targeting of sites offering harm reduction services, along with appropriate legal support services, and

6.  the need for adequate budgets for key population programming.

Following a series of other assignments implemented by EECA Hub and other TS providers, the final HIV/TB concept note for Kyrgyzstan was submitted in August 2015. Following a further round of clarifications as requested by the Technical Review Panel, the Global Fund Board approved the HIV/TB grant for Kyrgyzstan in May 2016.

Kyrgyzstan’s experience strongly illustrates how strategic investments in a wide range of technical assistance can greatly enhance civil society engagement in Global Fund processes, including dialogue on concept note development, Country Coordinating Mechanism representation, grant implementation and innovative peer-led approaches to service delivery.

You can read a more detailed description of the case in the report on pp. 12-15.

Each of the regional platforms is hosted by an organization with extensive experience and deep networks among civil society organizations and communities in its region. Situation analyses or needs assessments conducted by each platform have helped to ascertain knowledge gaps among civil society organizations and communities with regard to the Global Fund, determine local technical assistance needs and further map the capacities of regional partner organizations to provide technical assistance. Results of the survey conducted by the regional platform in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, for example, found that one of the biggest barriers for civil society and communities seeking to access technical assistance was the lack of capacity to develop technical assistance requests, highlighting the importance of longterm capacity building beyond the process of Global Fund concept note development.

Together, the regional platforms have undertaken a wide range of activities to increase knowledge of the Global Fund and facilitate access to technical assistance to support civil society and community participation in Global Fund processes, such as country dialogues and concept note development. All six regional platforms have undertaken a mapping and/or established databases of civil society organizations in their region and have created mechanisms – such as list-servs, websites, e-learning tools and Facebook pages – to provide regular updates and information on Global Fund-related activities and to link organizations in need of tec

The Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional platform is a consortium of six organizations with diverse expertise and wide networks across a region in which civil society organizations face signifi cant challenges because a number of countries are no longer eligible for or are transitioning from Global Fund financing. The platform has undertaken a mapping of more than 300 organizations in 29 countries and distributes a regular newsletter on technical assistance opportunities for civil society in the region. The regional platform has developed a bilingual (English and Russian) resource center with key documents and tools on community, rights and gender, technical support and other Global Fund-related issues. It is also developing two e-learning courses for civil society and community representatives to increase their awareness and engagement in Global Fund processes and the response to epidemics as a whole and technical assistance provision. Recognizing that the provision of information on technical assistance does not address the core challenge of limited capacity to complete and cost technical assistance requests and proposals, the platform also provides ad hoc, long-distance support to organizations requesting and providing technical assistance.

To ensure that the regional platforms do not work in isolation and have a coordinated approach to sharing knowledge and information on Global Fund processes, the platforms participate in regular, joint conference calls convened by the Global Fund to share information, materials and best practices, and they participate together in regional and international fora.

The Community, Rights and Gender Special Initiative regional platforms have helped to fi ll longstanding gaps in information about the Global Fund among civil society and community organizations and have enabled more meaningful participation in the Global Fund’s work.

The information on Regional Platforms is presented on pp. 22-25 of the report.