Thursday, 29 October 2009

Aid transparency - New international initiative looks at transparency projects in Kenya and Brazil

From October 20 – 21st Anne Babcock and Rob Worthington participated in the first International Aid Transparency Initiative Conference. They presented their work on mapping HIV services and spending at the community level in Kenya. You can access the presentation here.

For an aid transparency perspective expected outcomes of this work include:
• New way of sharing more and better aid information, involving CBOs and end beneficiaries
• Inform donors and governments of the quality and availability of services
• Inform donors and governments of the quality and availability of HIV, AIDS and TB services
• Increased accountability and coordination

IATI is a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to increase the availability and accessibility of information about aid. This will help to ensure that aid is used in the most effective ways in fighting poverty. IATI aims to make aid more effective in fighting poverty through improving transparency over aid flows. It does this by bringing together donors, developing countries, civil society organisations (CSOs) and aid information experts to agree ways of sharing more and better information about aid.

Participants from donor agencies, partner country governments, and CSOs came together at the conference to explore aid transparency within the broader context of ownership, domestic accountability and mutual accountability.

Of particular interest was the Brazilian presentation on Empowering Citizens: Experiences in promoting government accountability to citizens in Brazil. Check it out at http://www.portaltransparencia.gov.br/ it does a remarkable job at publishing government spending in a dynamic, user-friendly and interactive way.

Additional information of the work of conference participants can be found below.
• Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://www.healthmetricsandevaluation.org/
• Development Gateway http://www.developmentgateway.com
• Aid Info - http://www.aidinfo.org/
• Kenya AIDS Service Map - http://www.kanco.ushahidi.com
• More on IATI can be found at http://aidtransparency.net

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

HIV/AIDS Information for Decision Making

AIDSPortal and Consultancy Africa Intelligence (CAI) have agreed a new partnership to help promote their HIV/AIDS Information products and services through their respective networks.

CAI offers a suite of services on Africa, designed for business, academia, research and policy makers in public and private spheres worldwide. The services include
·Fortnightly and monthly reports on topics spanning health, gender, economics and politics;
·Tailored research; and
·Complementary ad-hoc papers

CAI’s Report titles that are relevant for AIDS Portal users include the ‘HIV and AIDS Monthly Review’, the ‘HIV and AIDS Fortnightly Focus - Business and Policy’ and the ‘Gender Issues in Africa Monthly Bulletin’. CAI also provides targeted HIV and AIDS analysis and other commissioned research intelligence.

AIDSPortal will feature the CAI profile and product information on its new sharing and networking platform http://www.myaidsnexus.org/ The platform aims to improve flows of information and networking among people responding to HIV and AIDS. Some of the key features of interest to the HIV and AIDS community include:
·Interactive profiles for individuals and groups
·Customizable discussion groups (that can include pictures and polls)
·Micro-sites (mini web-sites) for community-based organizations without a web presence
·Applications (such as job listings, videos, directories) that can be included on any website
·Jobs, events and funding opportunities

To sign up for a free one month trial subscription to specialised CAI reports, click here to fill in your details and select the reports of interest. You will receive the reports and the complimentary newsletter by email.

CAI has also agreed to provide AIDS Portal users with a special offer on any one-year report subscription. In addition to a 25% discount on the monthly subscription fee, AIDS Portal users will receive an additional three months free, that is 15 months for the price of 12.

To help us monitor this partnership, should you contact CAI by email please mention that you got this information through AIDSPortal. AIDSPortal will receive a small payment for referrals, which will be used to support our work.

Watch this space for more updates, new products and special offers from CAI.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Speak your world. Citizen journalists reporting on HIV, AIDS and TB

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, with technical support from AIDSPortal is supporting a citizen journalism programme whereby civil society members with an interest in reporting on HIV, AIDS and TB issues that affect their communities are ‘speaking their world’. These volunteer writers have been posting their stories on www.HealthDev.net. AIDSPortal and the Alliance will be regularly highlighting their hard work on the AIDSPortal blog and in the monthly Global/Eastern Africa/Southern Africa Newsletters.

KC profiles and highlights of their work can be found below.

Africa:
Henry Neondo was enlisted as a Key Correspondent during the ICASA conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003. Realising a lot of issues surrounding HIV, AIDS and TB go unreported in the mainstream press, Henry was able to write about these for Healthdev.net and says he is constantly impressed by the site’s depth of coverage.

Recent work by Henry: Africa must draw lessons from the Thai Vaccine trial results - http://healthdev.net/site/post.php?s=6067

Eastern Africa: Johnson Kyeswa is Ugandan and working with AIDS organisations. Johnson is passionate about making change in local communities and has worked with The Ugandan Student and Prevention Association and given talks on HIV/AIDS to more than 30,000 young people.

Recent work by Johnson: Uganda's success in fighting HIV/AIDS may become history if ABC+ is not revised - http://healthdev.net/site/user.php?u=70

Asia:
Bharathi Ghanashyam is a writer from Chennai in India. She recently attended the Commonwealth in London as part of a small group of KCs reporting from the ‘Supporting the Commonwealth Response to HIV and AIDS' seminar in October, 2009.

Recent work by Bharathi: India’s AIDS orphans ask ‘Why is this our fault?’ - http://healthdev.net/site/post.php?s=6049

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tackling AIDS and TB through Communication and Information Technologies

A group of international and regional HIV and Information organisations are leading on an ambitious project to improve civil society engagement in HIV/AIDS and TB responses in Africa, through ICT- based knowledge sharing and learning.

Tackling AIDS and TB through Communication and Information Technologies (TACIT) the two year project funded by the European Commission began in September, focusing on Southern and Eastern Africa sub regions. Programme activities will be implemented in four countries: Zambia, Namibia, Uganda and Kenya, and additional funding will be sought to scale up activities in other countries in these regions.

The Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) the Eastern African National Networks of AIDS Service Organisations (EANNASO), AIDSPortal and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance will work with a host of local, national and international partners to develop essential tools, processes and skills for HIV and TB stakeholders, building capacity for effective participation in the response to HIV/AIDS and TB.

“The Alliance and its partners are extremely pleased to be involved in this project in light of the very important role ICT plays in helping communities and marginalised groups apply relevant, timely and easily accessible information to address the many problems HIV/AIDS brings to Eastern and Southern Africa regions. This EU funded project will stimulate community dialogue which is a key principal in mobilising communities to be agents for social and policy change”, said Sam McPherson, Associate Director, Planning, Analysis and Learning at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

The main activities under this project include:

  • Strengthening and supporting National Partnership Platforms as a mechanism through which community based organisations (CBOs) and non-government organisations (NGOs) come together to analyse national responses and define priority advocacy issues
  • Building two regional ICT platforms that enable knowledge production and sharing, election of representatives and consultation with constituencies in eastern and southern Africa
  • Developing the capacity of communities in ICT, policy and advocacy and documentation

    The National Partnership Platform (NPP), a unique approach designed by HDN and SAfAIDS creates space for effective exchange of information and dialogue on AIDS and TB among civil society, government, and other stakeholders based on transparency and accountability, providing a hub for critical advocacy activities and campaigns. Under the direction of a national partnership coordinator, national partners regularly meet and communicate through a set of collaborative mechanisms that typically include meetings, online discussion forums, resource centres and ‘Key Correspondents’ – community-based writers or citizen journalists trained to document local HIV and TB realities and lived experiences, advocating for social and policy change.

    A key component of the initiative is the development of regional knowledge management platforms, which will enable sharing among and between NPPs, as well as enhance regional and global linkages and information flows. A user will for example be able to search from one location, information housed in a number of linked databases, websites and resource centre catalogues. Registered users will be able to upload content from any location. The platform will initially be in English but will incorporate other languages in future, and it will deliver information through the internet, email and mobile technologies. Social networking features will maximise opinions, consultation and discussion.

    The long-term objective of the project is strengthened national responses with a strong, civil society supported by self-sustaining, nationally-owned information, dialogue and advocacy processes.

    One of the initial activities already underway is the employment of a Regional Project Coordinator to support the work. The implementing partners will meet in November in Johannesburg South Africa, to map the way forward.

    For more information contact:
    Michelle Evans, Regional Programmes Manager Africa, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, mevans@aidsalliance.org
    Robert Worthington, Manager, AIDSPortal, rob@aidsportal.org
    Roman Mukendi, Information Coordinator, EANNASO, rmukendi@gmail.com
    Sara Page, Deputy Director, SAfAIDS, sara@safaids.net

Friday, 9 October 2009

UNAIDS HIV Prevention Toolkit

AIDSPortal has been commissioned by UNAIDS to conduct an assessment and analysis of the ongoing maintenance of the English version of the UNAIDS HIV Prevention Toolkit

The HIV Prevention Toolkit offers a series of programming tools and resources in HIV prevention which are readily accessible from one platform and provide information, planning tools and detailed technical resources to decision makers in low and middle income countries in order to enable them to support the planning and delivery of ever-more effective HIV prevention activities and services.

We will be holding an invited stakeholder meeting in November. In order to allow broader participation in the assessment, we have set up a basic questionnaire aimed at HIV prevention programme implementers and managers. The questionnaire is open at this link: UNAIDS HIV Prevention Toolkit Questionnaire. Please comment and feel free to distribute the questionnaire through your networks.