By the end of the 1980s, there was clear evidence that HIV was a global development crisis of enormous proportions, that its social and economic consequences were threatening attempts to address poverty in developing countries, and that it was inseparably bound to the challenges of poverty.
In 1991, a group of donor agencies and international organisations began a series of discussions about how to give more support to community groups in developing countries that were carrying out work around HIV. These discussions recognised that, at that time, virtually all official development assistance (ODA) for HIV went to national governments for information and education campaigns (IEC), with virtually no resources to community groups or to home and family care.
This process resulted in the creation – in November 1993 - of the 'International Alliance Supporting Community Action on AIDS’ – later renamed the ‘International HIV/AIDS Alliance’ as a mechanism to transfer funds from donors to non-governmental organisations.
From the beginning, the idea of the Alliance was to support community action on AIDS. We agreed our model would:
- put communities at the centre of the response by enabling them to make funding decisions in their own country based on an understanding of their own needs;
- provide technical support and facilitate learning amongst community-based organisations;
- enable the development of national leaders and voices within the community HIV response.
By 2000, the Alliance had helped bring about a greater recognition of the role of civil society. The following year, the way that international funding for HIV was set up changed too, as more money went directly to southern countries and non-governmental organisations through mechanisms such as the World Bank Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Programme and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This had a big impact on the next phase of our development.
Our third strategic plan (20012004) proposed that we intensify our contribution to sustainability and scaling up activities, and make a concrete impact on the policies and programmes of other key stakeholders in the struggle against the epidemic.
Our fourth strategic plan (2005–2007) proposed four strategic directions. The first three addressed what we would do and the fourth how we would do it.
‘What’ we do is to enable communities to help reduce the spread of HIV and lessen the impact of AIDS. ‘How’ we do that is by developing a system of national linking organisations, supported by our secretariat in the United Kingdom, which has global and community outreach.
Together, the organisations and initiatives within our system combine to create something far greater than the sum of our parts.
The Alliance's fifth strategic plan (2008–2010) proposed four strategic directions:
- Scale up quality responses: deliver scaled-up, quality community-based HIV programmes and increase access to health and social services
- Strengthen civil society: increase civil society capacity to implement effective community responses
- Improve HIV policies: strengthen communities’ ability to influence national programming and national and international HIV policies
- Build an effective Alliance of national linking organisations working effectively together
Our sixth strategic framework, HIV and healthy communities (2010-2012), proposed three aims: protect human rights, increase access to health services and support secure livelihoods.
To achieve the three aims, we are pursued four strategic responses:
- Scale up integrated programming
- Support well-functioning community-based organisations
- Help form engaged, inclusive societies
- Create a learning Alliance
To read more about our achievements visit our impact site.
The latest global strategy, HIV, health and rights: sustaining community action, responds to a number of critical external factors: the unfinished Millennium Development Goals; the rapid withdrawal of development financing from middle-income countries; a more inclusive model of country ownership; and scientific breakthroughs that present new opportunities to end AIDS.
We have set out three results and three responses to drive forward our strategy. A fourth response addresses the common factors that underpin our strategy and will make it happen. Browse these slides for a quick overview.