Since October 2008 the Alliance has provided technical support to forty civil society organisations (CSOs) and developed tools for systematic follow-up and support.
CSOs implementing projects who received HIV prevention materials from the TMA greatly appreciated the support, as many had been carrying out activities without knowledge of the national HIV and AIDS guidelines and standards.
The Alliance sits on the technical review committee for the Civil Society Fund to review and provide feedback on proposals submitted. More than four hundred organizations have received feedback on their proposals and the Alliance has led workshops for fifty-four who won funding.
In February this year the Alliance TMA manager Sheila Countinho represented the CORE initiative on a visit to Tanzania with the civil society fund steering committee and three implementing partners. They set out to discover how civil society is funded in the Tanzanian HIV response.
The visitors learnt how lead agencies are contracted to build the capacity of small CSOs and how key HIV interventions are coordinated to maximise linkages and synergies between projects and CSOs.
“No matter how effective the coordination of HIV and AIDS interventions is at national level, the national gains will only be achieved if this coordination is mirrored at lower levels,” explained Sheila Countinho.
A senior staff member at Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) echoed the importance of involving local government:
“If we are to succeed and reach the vast majority of our people and make impact on their lives we have to engage the district and local government structures and work through existing mechanisms.”
As the TMA, the Alliance has ensured that the following key lessons and best practices have been followed to ensure quality support is provided at community level:
- Selecting broad based teams, including professionals and other stakeholders familiar with HIV and AIDS in Uganda, ensures that the issues and concerns of the different members of society are addressed during support supervision initiatives.
- Partnering with members of the national HIV and AIDS prevention technical working group, line ministries and CSOs provides the necessary technical assistance that is critical for the sustainability of the Civil Society Fund mechanism.
- De-briefing meetings given to individual organisations, with action points developed, proved effective in providing programmatic direction regarding delivery of quality HIV and AIDS prevention services.
- Involving the districts in the process of providing support supervision was appreciated by the local governments and CSOs strengthening coordination mechanisms at district and sub-county levels.
- The Alliance will build on this learning and best practice to continue to coordinate technical assistance and support supervision for quality HIV and AIDS service delivery, integration and coordination between government and CSOs at national, local government and community levels in Uganda.
The Alliance also provides technical support to organisations throughout East and Central Africa via its Regional Technical Support Hub based in Uganda.