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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Helping to scale up national HIV responses

24
APR
2012

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Rooted in the Alliance’s approach to community mobilisation, and drawing on the diverse experience across the global partnership on health, human rights and HIV programming, this article reflects on how our Technical Support Hubs are successfully responding to civil society demands for support.

The Hubs

Since the Alliance was formed in 1993, it has been committed to strengthening the skills and resources of civil society organisations to enable them to take effective action on HIV.  

As part of this commitment, in 2008 the Alliance established Regional Technical Support Hubs to offer a more sustainable model of south-to-south technical support.

Key achievements

By the end of 2011, the Hubs had collectively provided 11,200 days of support (4,200 in 2011 alone).  The support provided covers a broad range of health and HIV programmatic areas as well as organisational development, research and evaluation and Global Fund grant management.

Clients and assignments

Clients and recipients of the Hubs include both Alliance linking organisations and external agencies, including national and regional community organisations and networks, and UN or bilateral agencies.  The range of assignments has included:

  • The Eastern Europe and Central Asia Hub provides support to the five-country Community Action on Harm Reduction programme.  Activities in 2011 included situational and capacity assessments in all five countries; training for trainers on outreach and counselling, and development of an M&E database in Malaysia
  • The Latin America Hub conducted a study of stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV, MSM, sex workers, gay and transgender populations in Guatemala
  • The South Asia Hub evaluated the RFSU’s regional programme which aims to improve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender rights and health through strengthening civil society organisations
  • The West, North and Central Africa Hub provided training in the costing of community systems strengthening interventions
  • The East and South Africa Hub trained civil society Global Fund CCM members in Zambia on how to improve engagement and representation of their constituencies
  • The South East Asia Hub facilitated a capacity building workshop for the transsexual community in Malaysia – read more.

Sustainability

The Hubs endeavour to recover their costs through management fees on assignments.  However, because most clients are civil society organisations who lack funding themselves, the income generated remains limited.  

As a result, the Alliance pro-actively looks for donors willing to invest in the hubs through contributing to their core costs, and for grants and contracts for large scale technical support projects.  Donors to date have included UNAIDS and Ausaid, and large grant and contracts have been delivered to agencies such as the German BACKUP Initiative, USAID (through AIDSTAR 2), UNDP, WHO, UNFPA, and Positive Action for Children Fund.

Individual Hubs have also built partnerships at the regional level (ie with UNAIDS Technical Support Facilities) in order to coordinate responses to technical support needs in their respective regions.

Continuing to build the capacity of the Hubs

The Alliance continues to invest in the Hubs to develop strong pools of local and regional technical support consultants:

  • We are currently implementing a comprehensive Global Fund capacity development programme for technical support providers in South and Southeast Asia, with funding from the German BACKUP Initiative.
  • The Alliance continues to promote the use of and to develop further Good Practice Guides on HIV programming to ensure that assignments meet high technical standards.  The Good Practice Guide on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and the one on Harm Reduction are currently being developed into e-learning courses.
  • Four horizontal learning exchanges – a key knowledge sharing tool developed within the Alliance – have allowed the Hubs to learn from each others’ experiences.

To contact your nearest regional hub, click here.