Lessons from the Community Advocacy Initiative

The report contains lessons on the implementation of the Community Advocacy Initiative (CAI), a partnership between APCASO and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), with China HIV/AIDS Information Network (CHAIN), China; Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI), Vietnam; HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC), Cambodia; and Lao Positive Health Association (LaoPHA), Lao PDR.

CAI’s goal was to improve the capacity of communities affected by HIV and peer-based groups to participate in national and regional HIV responses. Its aims included increasing the capacity of regional and national HIV CSOs to conduct policy analysis and engage in policy advocacy; strengthening community-led regional and national platforms & linkages between communities and decision-makers; and facilitating the incorporation of the Investment Framework principles into regional and national HIV strategies, financing and programming.

This report cites the timeliness of capacity-building initiatives in the areas of HIV financing and advocacy based on the Investment Framework. It notes ‘step changes’ for CSOs in CAI areas that support increasing investment on in-country HIV responses:

  • In Cambodia, improved CSO capacity on investment framework resulted the production of a Cambodian version of the framework, which was endorsed by the National AIDS Authority.
  • In China, evidence on the priority needs of the civil society created a collaborative relations between CSO and the government, which was foregrounded by a government commitment to fund CSOs following the departure of Global Fund support for the country.
  • In Lao PDR, the collaboration of different CSOs on HIV financing enabled a robust community engagement in the response, resulting in the inclusion of key population interventions in the National AIDS Strategy and the country’s Global Fund Concept Note.
  • In Vietnam, an improved understanding of the Investment Framework facilitated the inclusion of HIV treatment in Vietnam’s universal health coverage scheme and the increase in the proportion of funds given to given populations in the country’s Concept Note to the Global Fund.

The report also emphasises on the ‘side benefits’ from the initiative, especially in the improved capacity to engage in the Global Fund’s new funding model and in national domestic health financing processes.