Capacity development with civil society groups
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Civil society groups in many countries have experienced a changing environment in HIV and health care over the last few years, which has resulted in a more centralized implementation by national ministries of health, stronger and different treatment approaches to HIV and other disease programmes, and a subsequent reduction in funding for civil society groups.
There is a need for civil society to review and redefine its role both in response to HIV and to other emerging health priorities—for example, as people living with HIV live longer on treatment, they are more likely to develop a non-communicable disease (NCD) such as cancer.
As government provides the majority of treatment civil society groups need to assess what is their role in supporting health programme implementation, such as adherence to treatment, supporting marginalized and key populations to enable access to both prevention and treatment, and advocating for policy change to reach universal health coverage (UHC).
There is also a need to assess the overall structure of civil society, asking if groups should consolidate or work more in networks to increase their power to advocate and to consolidate operational costs.
There is a need to define and clarify civil society's new role in supporting the achievement of the goals of 90-90-90 in HIV, expand civil society's role in the move to a more coordinated health and HIV approach, focus on the achievement of UHC, and develop the capacity of networks of civil society groups to strengthen their voice and advocacy role.
UNDP has developed and tested a tool to support civil society in carrying out in-depth discussions on what civil society's role has been and what changes have taken place in the health landscape. It offers guidance for discussion on how civil society can assess what their new role should be, how this new role can be operationalized, and what skills civil society need to carry out this role.
The tool includes:
- a set of questions to guide discussions
- example activities to support the changes in strategic direction
- possible indicators to measure progress
- a template to budget for these activities