Strengthening the capacity of national entities
An essential component of UNDP’s mandate when managing grants for the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria (Global Fund) is capacity-building with the aim to transfer full responsibility for the management of Global Fund grants to national and regional entities. This support often includes programme management, financial management and oversight, sub-recipient management and governance. As such, UNDP’s role as PR is an interim role, as it seeks to build the capacity of partners to assume leadership of the grant or to manage domestic resources in cases where external financing is ending. As PR, UNDP has worked closely with CVC over the past two years, to address challenges and enhance project management systems and controls. In March 2018, the Global Fund formally assessed the capacity of CVC to manage the grant and advised that CVC has demonstrated the required capacities.
This important milestone was achieved through close coordination and strong collaboration between UNDP and CVC, with support from the Centro de Orientation e Investigacion Integral (COIN) in the Dominican Republic.
Achievements through strategic partnerships
To ensure a smooth transition, UNDP worked with CVC and the Global Fund to develop a roadmap for change in the PR role with key milestones to monitor progress. A transition working group was established under the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which regularly monitored progress against the roadmap. Through a proactive, solution-oriented approach by all partners, transition of the PR role has been achieved.
During the period for which UNDP served as PR (Oct 2016–Sep 2018), significant results have been achieved: six country specific legal literacy manuals have been developed and disseminated; and 208 key population (KP) leaders were trained in legal literacy and use of the regional Shared Incident Database (SID) for reporting Human Rights Violations. Through the combined efforts of 24 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), 967 incidents of human rights violations have been reported into the regional SID. In addition, 83 community and religious leaders have been sensitized on sexuality, sexual diversity and sexual health and two CSOs are implementing initiatives to prevent/ respond to gender-based violence. Under the grant, seven national joint CSO/ National AIDS Programme meetings have also been held to address gaps within the continuum of care for specific key population groups.
In partnership with CSOs and the TAG, UNDP has helped CVC to assume this important regional role and to contribute to a sustainable and resilient HIV response in the Caribbean.
Continued work with key populations
Recognizing that key populations account for nearly 70% of all new HIV infections in the Caribbean, UNDP will continue to support HIV initiatives in the region that address the legal, social and economic barriers to accessing health services that key populations, including men who have sex with men, sex-workers and transgender people face on a routine basis. Stigma and discrimination violate basic rights, and affect key populations’ access to prevention, treatment and care services. This may include individuals’ ability to find work, obtain legal representation, and access housing as well as healthcare.
Towards 90-90-90 targets
UNDP’s work recognizes that stigma and discrimination against key populations is seriously hampering the global effort to tackle the HIV epidemic.
The Global Commission on HIV and the Law emphasizes that “governments must take urgent action to ensure rights-based responses to HIV and its co-infections”.
The need for evidence and rights-based laws and policies is essential to drive progress and ensure the achievement of the ambitious 90-90-90 targets whereby by 2020; 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy will have viral suppression.
UNDP and CVC continue their successful partnership
UNDP’s partnership with CVC will continue to be important. Through its human rights work, UNDP will continue to work with CVC, COIN and other leading NGOs in the Caribbean to identify opportunities for synergies in removing human rights barriers to accessing health services for key populations. UNDP will also continue to provide useful, relevant resources and knowledge sharing.