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
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Accreditation: strengthening the Alliance

1
JUL
2009

Aids Alliance

The Alliance Accreditation system, introduced one year ago, is helping to deliver quality HIV programmes supported by well-performing, sustainable and credible civil society organisations.

Using assessment teams from peer organisations, the system rigorously assesses Alliance members against high institutional and programmatic standards to improve their HIV responses and accountability to the communities they serve.

Built on the Code of Good Practice for NGOs Responding to HIV/AIDS, the system helps build donor confidence in the ability of Alliance members and is used to assess organisations wishing to join the Alliance as Linking Organisations (LOs).

The system provides a set of standards applicable across the Alliance, ensuring each member has a shared vision and values. An Accreditation Committee, composed mainly of Executive Directors of LOs and country offices, oversees the process.

“The Accreditation system is a step in the right direction for the Alliance and true to its sprit,” says Bai Bagasao, an Alliance trustee and Chair of the Accreditation Committee. “It enables Alliance members from diverse backgrounds to affirm a shared vision, values and processes to meet the ever evolving challenges posed by the AIDS epidemic.”

Ten organisations have been assessed since July 2008. The China Country Office, UK Secretariat, KHANA (Cambodia) and IPC (Burkina Faso) have met all 38 standards of the system and been formally accredited to the Alliance.

CISHAN (Nigeria), AAA (Kyrgyzstan) and KANCO (Kenya) have met all 30 essential criteria for joining the Alliance and have become new Linking Organisations, signing the Alliance’s Charter and Linking Agreement.

Peer review is an essential part of the process. For example, the team assessing KHANA included staff members from Alliance members in Myanmar and India; the team assessing IPC came from Senegal and Trinidad.

Accreditation provides a vital opportunity for Alliance members to learn from each other. Assessment teams identify areas where strengthening is needed to meet good practice standards, feeding this into each organisation’s Integrated Development Plan.

“We were a little apprehensive at the prospect of being ‘assessed’ but our fears were soon allayed,” says Graham Smith, Country Director of the China Country Office. “It was an extremely supportive process that highlighted our organisational strengths and some concrete steps we could take to grow and develop further.

“The opportunities it afforded for horizontal learning from other members of the Alliance family were particularly appreciated.”

According to Oum Sopheap, Executive Director of KHANA, “Being accredited to the Alliance means we’ve lived up to both our expectations and those of the communities we serve.

"It tells us about our maturity in organisational development and indicates we have all the necessary processes in place to respond efficiently and effectively toward delivering quality programmes at scale.”