Scaling up programs to reduce human rights barriers to services: GF strategy

Global Fund Strategy 2012-2016 committed to increasing investments in programs to address human rights barriers to health services.

 Action points are:

  1. Integrate human rights considerations throughout the grant cycle
  2. Increase investment in programs that address human rights barriers to accessing health services
  3. Ensure the Global Fund does not support programs that infringe human rights

Already GF successfully works in the following directions:

  • Integrate HR in grant cycle
  • Increase investment in Removing Legal Barriers
  • Ensure no violations

Unfortunately, GF was less successful in other activities. There are 7 key programs to reduce HR related barriers. They’ve been recommend and costed by UNAIDS and included into GF and UNAIDS strategies. There is huge evidence of need for these programs. However, GF concept notes often describe barriers, but rarely include programs to eliminate them. Such programs have been implemented on small-scale and they have not been M&E separately. They have not been sufficiently articulated for TB and malaria.

Current investments of GF for protection of human rights are not enough.

  • The most recent UNAIDS fast track update once again urged that, if we want to end AIDS, resources need to be spent in a smarter way.
  • By 2020, countries need to devote 8% of resources to programs to reduce human rights-related barriers to accessing services, including advocacy and political mobilization.
  • No evidence-based estimates of resource needs for critical enablers in the context of TB & malaria.
  • The Global Fund has recognized for a long time that it is not enough to make services available.
  • The many human rights barriers that people face in accessing services also need to be addressed – whether it is, e.g., stigma or discrimination, gender-based violence, police violence, bad laws and policies, etc.

GF was able to strengthen concept notes application requirements – all concept notes must include such programs for middle-income countries and recommendation for low-income countries. To increase inclusion of programs to remove human rights barriers, it is necessary to overcome number of challenges, such as need to increase political will and demand, need to get programs into grant proposal through budgets, need to ensure capacity at country level for scale up etc.

GF plans to do a baseline study to make a full mapping of barriers, existing programs, estimate and cost appropriate scale and estimate what impact they could have if scale up the programs in 5 years, increase community capacity to work with governments and other partners.