Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance

An evolving Alliance

2
FEB
2009

Aids Alliance

The New Year sees the International HIV/AIDS Alliance evolving in pursuit of its mission to support communities responding to AIDS. A process is underway to strengthen the Alliance as a partnership of strong national linking organisations working effectively together.

Here we look at some important steps in this journey.

New Alliance Charter
All Alliance country offices, linking organisations and the secretariat are due to have signed a new Charter and Linking Agreement by the end of January.

The Charter sets out a vision of what the Alliance is and seeks to do. It describes the Alliance’s values and commitments, and how these will be honoured.

The Charter symbolises the Alliance as a community of equals with a common ambition.

“This is a further step in the evolution of the Alliance,” said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We will be showing our individual and collective resolve to advance and defend the rights of civil society in the response to a global health emergency.”

Alliance Ukraine becomes a linking organisation
The Alliance, wherever possible, seeks to transform country offices (governed by the international secretariat) into self-governing linking organisations in the global Alliance partnership.

In December, Alliance Ukraine became the latest country office to make this transition.

Established in 2003, Alliance Ukraine supports more than 150 local organisations working in HIV prevention and care. It implements two of the largest HIV initiatives in Ukraine, financed by the US Government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Activities include improving prevention services for populations at high risk of becoming infected with HIV, such as injecting drug users, sex workers, prisoners and men who have sex with men. More than one in five injecting drug users is infected with HIV in Ukraine, according to UNAIDS, and as many as 30% of urban sex workers are living with the virus.

The transition sees the establishment of independent and nationally controlled governing bodies of Alliance Ukraine. Members include respected Ukrainian experts working for international and national organisations, and leaders in public health and good corporate governance.

KHANA is accredited
The Alliance’s new accreditation system aims both to guide the admission of new linking organisations and to guarantee quality across existing organisations and programmes.

The latest linking organisation to complete the process is KHANA of Cambodia, which was accredited on 19 December. Three organisations have so far been accredited: Alliance China, the Alliance international secretariat and KHANA.

Since its inception in 1999, KHANA has grown to become the largest national non-governmental organisation responding to AIDS in Cambodia. In 2007 it was working with 68 partners in 17 of the country’s 24 provinces and 3 municipalities.

The organisation is best known in Cambodia for its home-based care programme, implemented in collaboration with the government. This programme, which influenced the development and implementation of the government’s continuum of care model, makes a significant contribution to national Universal Access targets by supporting over 10,000 people living with HIV – 15% of all people living with HIV in Cambodia.

The Alliance’s support has also helped KHANA develop pioneering work with injecting drug users and men who have sex with men.