Author: Secretariat

Mental Health Issues of Activists: A Silent (but Growing) Concern

(October 10 is World Mental Health Day. This 2017, according to the World Health Organization, the theme is Mental Health in the Workplace. To observe this, APCASO’s Deputy Director, Jennifer Ho, shares her reflections as she raises awareness on the mental health issues of activists and the need to discuss them.) I was in Amsterdam last September attending a meeting with some of the activists who have been in the advocacy for more or less a decade. Over lunch, one of our conversations centered on a friend’s invitation to a 10-day meditation retreat in Bali, Indonesia. I know her for almost a decade now from the HIV advocacy and I was both intrigued and curious on this new venture that she’s into. I asked her about it and she explained about the need for activists like us to spend some time taking care about ourselves, especially to those who have been involved in the advocacy for almost all their lives. In particular, with all the craziness that is happening in the world right now, it is very important, now more than ever, to take a step back and recollect our strengths and re-establish our inner core. Some of my friends who were sitting on the same table eventually jumped into the conversation and was even making fun of one of our peers who should be immediately signing up to that retreat! Thinking...

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Mobilizing and reigniting community participation in the Global Fund processes in Sri Lanka

By Roshan DeSilva, Executive Director, Diversity and Solidarity Trust The civil society engagement in the National Global Fund processes have been minimized to tokenistic level over the years. To date, out of the 25 seats at the CCM, only 2 seats are allocated for people living with diseases and one seat for key affected populations. Civil society actors have also become hesitant to engage in the Global Fund processes and reluctant to voice their concerns due to the fear of losing their SR and SSR positons. At the same time, civil society stakeholders lack the capacity to strategize their...

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SHIFT holds Two-Day Regional Forum on Financing Mechanism for CSOs and KP Networks

By Ha Cassell, Program Officer, APCASO Kuala Lumpur – Understanding how community-inclusive financing mechanisms works in Asia Pacific has not been fully explored especially in countries that will soon be transitioning out of The Global Fund and other external donors. This was the basis for the two-day regional forum held from September 5 to 6 in Malaysia. Hosted by Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC), SHIFT country sub-recipient, the forum aims to discuss existing financing models, its prospects and opportunities, and explore new financing models in supporting advocacy and service delivery responses of civil society and communities through domestic funding. Around 35 participants from four SHIFT countries, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, attended the forum. These include representatives from key population networks and civil society, Ministry of Health, Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanisms, Regional UNAIDS and FHI 360 representatives. At the forum, a SWOT analysis was conducted and presented to show how countries such as Malaysia and Thailand financing models for CSOs work. Consequently, similar approaches for other SHIFT countries, Indonesia and the Philippines will be explored. The forum also served as a venue to show best practices across all partners and explore areas and models that can be replicated, as well as potential strategies for advocacy within SHIFT country partners. In my perspective, I did find this forum beneficial, especially, the sharing of good practices of approaches from other countries...

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Consultations on Sustainability of the HIV Response begins in Cambodia

by Choub Sok Chamreun, Executive Director, KHANA; APCASO Cambodia focal point Phnom Penh -The National AIDS Authority (NAA), UNAIDS, and PEPFAR held a Consultative Workshop on Sustainability of the National HIV/AIDS Response in Cambodia last August 22, 2017. The workshop was attended by 75 people from different institutions: government, CSO, communities and private sectors. This workshop came at the right time, in which Cambodia was officially announced by UNAIDS at the recent International AIDS Conference in Paris, as one of the success countries out of the seven countries in the world achieving the three 90s. Those seven countries include: Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore,...

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The Global Fund holds the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Evolution Workshop for EECA/Asia in line with CCM Model Review

Siem Reap –  The first of a series of workshops on the evolution of CCM was organized by The Global Fund Secretariat from August 29-30. The workshop invited CCM members from nine countries: Bhutan, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Kazakhstan, and Montenegro. APCASO was invited as a one of the two non-CCM members present at the meeting. The workshop intended to provide a platform to discuss alignment of the CCM with the new Global Fund Strategy, specifically looking at CCM models that worked in different contexts and country scenarios, reviewing of CCM roles in the country, and identifying areas of strengthening in light of country transition from Global Fund financing. To prepare for the meeting, APCASO led an informal online discussion with its focal points and partners a week before the meeting took place to get their perspectives and viewpoints to bring into the Siam Reap meeting. At the meeting, key points that surfaced and were raised by APCASO and key population communities and civil society representatives are the following: While CCMs guarantee spaces for key population communities and CS to participate, there is a need for stronger policies, processes, and guidance, and more investments towards strengthening KP and CS participation within CCMs, given the low rated eligibility performance across many CCMs under this area. Spaces and seats for key population communities and CS must...

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