Monday, 25 October 2010

Partners Kenya: Discussion gets organized amongst AIDS and TB advocates in Kenya

AIDSPortal partner's in Kenya are busy getting ready to launch the country's first National Partnership Platform (NPP) .
National Partnership Platforms are information, dialogue and advocacy platforms bringing together country level civil society stakeholders to more effectively respond to AIDS, TB and broader health. The platform is nationally driven and owned. They currently exist in 6 countries across Africa - Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda ...and soon Kenya.

AIDSPortal is working with the NPP in Kenya to launch a national eForum (email discussion forum) called Partners Kenya. eForum moderator training takes place in Nairobi October 26 - 27. The training will be facilitated by NPP Kenya host The Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) and the Southern African AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS). Thanks to Kevin Mazorodze who will be representing SAfAIDS.

Seven Kenyan moderators will be trained in how to engage subscribers in relevant and focused AIDS and TB related discussion, the result of which will feed into a coordinated national advocacy agenda. Partners Kenya will be used for consultation and gathering feedback on pertinent AIDS and TB policy and advocacy issues. The eForum will also serve as a brilliant new way to share news, events, job opportunities and latest developments in the AIDS sector amongst AIDS and TB activists across the country.

Partners Kenya will officially be launched in December 2010. To join the mailing list early please send a blank email to join-partnerskenya@eforums.healthdev.org.

To join other eForums please send a blank message to:



Friday, 30 July 2010

AIDSPortal adventures at AIDS 2010!

AIDSPortal is pleased to report back a brilliant time at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last week. We had a really busy busy time and are still catching our breath. It was a very exciting place full of energy, colour, insight and vast experience on civil society from all over the world and their experience and response to the AIDS epidemic. AIDSPortal’s main event was Tuesday’s Global Village Session entitled, “Beyond Access: using technology to create a space for community-led approaches to HIV and human rights”. We had 80 participants come and hear panelists speak about how they are using information communication technology (ICT) amongst communities in the response to HIV. Panelists included Sara Page from SAfAIDS, Alice Klein from the Key Correspondent Programme, Robinson Muigai from KANCO and David Cozac from AIDS Legal Exchange. Their presentations were followed by lively small group discussions about people’s experiences, ideas, challenges and questions about ICT and their work.

AIDSPortal had an exhibition booth (shared with the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium) in the Global Village, which ended up being rather conveniently and strategically located to the ‘Community Café’. The café provided a.) free coffee and chocolate and b.) the opportunity for us to lure people to our booth who were queuing for free coffee and chocolate.

Needless to say the booth had a lot traffic and it served a good opportunity to highlight:

  1. the new regional website we’re just about ready to launch www.hivsouthernafrica.info (in conjunction with SAfAIDS, AIDS Alliance, Soul City, UNAIDS, USAID and others)
  2. the new regional Eastern Africa site coming soon www.hivalert.net (in partnership with EANNASO)
  3. the re-launch of AIDSPortal www.aidsportal.org. Coming very soon!
People who dropped by were also able to sign up to email alerts for funding and employment opportunities (if you’re interested in doing the same please contact me anne@aidsportal.org).

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Keeping children on the map: website on children and AIDS is launched

The Regional Inter-Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS – Eastern and Southern Africa (RIATT- ESA) has launched an information management website on children and AIDS for the region.

The RIATT-ESA website, www.riatt-esa.org is the only website which consolidates information and resources on children and AIDS for Eastern and Southern Africa. The website is a response to calls from many regional agencies for improved access to relevant information and better coordination around children and AIDS.

The website developed with technical support from AIDSPortal, features cutting edge articles on the latest developments and reports around children and AIDS. Users can also download and upload any number of region-specific resources, including research and policy reports as well as key frameworks, commitments and other relevant information for the region. Other features include a regional events calendar, discussion room opportunities for website members and useful links to other partners in the region.

Noreen M Huni, Director of East and Southern Africa’s NGO - Regional Psycho-Social Support Initiative - and RIATT-ESA Chairperson, said “By improving information management and coordination around children and AIDS in the region, RIATT is contributing to the goal of universal access for children to prevention, treatment, care and support.

RIATT-ESA is a multi-sectoral platform of regional political and economic bodies, civil society organisations, academia, donors and UN agencies responding to the situation of children affected by AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Friday, 9 July 2010

"Beyong Access: Using Technology to Create Spaces for Community-led Approaches to HIV and Human Rights"

Are you attending the International AIDS Conference in Vienna? If so you are warmly welcomed to take part in our Global Village Session:

The session will take place in:
Room 2, Global Village on Tuesday 20 July at 3– 4:30 pm

Topics and panelists include…

HIV & TB mapping in Kenya –Crowd-sourcing AIDS & TB services
Robinson Muigai, Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO)

Promoting effective development responses to the epidemic through HIV and AIDS knowledge management, capacity development, advocacy, policy analysis and documentation.
Sara Page, SAfAIDS

Healthdev.net - Citizen journalist project to help document local realities and give a voice to the voiceless.
Alice Klein, International AIDS Alliance

The panelists will take part in a discussion where you, the participants, will be free to ask questions and provide comment. The panel will be followed by small group discussions where you can delve into ideas related to ICT, human rights and HIV in more detail.

For further info contact anne@aidsportal.org

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Rob and Anne's Arusha Adventure - the pursuit of an Eastern African Knowledge Platform


On Wednesday June 9 Rob Worthington, AIDSPortal Manager and Anne Babcock, AIDSPortal Facilitator for Eastern Africa set out on the long, bumpy and dusty bus ride from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania. The scenery was great and we think we almost caught a glimpse of Kilimanjaro!

However, we didn’t venture to Tanzania just to go on safari, but to work with AIDSPortal, the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO) www.eannaso.org. EANNASO and AIDSPortal are collaborating on Eastern Africa Knowledge Management Initiative. The Eastern Africa Knowledge Management Initiative is part of the TACIT project (Tackling AIDS and TB Through Communication, Information Technology), a project implemented by numerous partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and lead by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

The main thrust of the Eastern Africa Knowledge Management Initiative is a regional collaborative, information sharing and social networking website called HIV Alert. HIV Alert will provide a dedicated space for individuals and organizations involved in the response to HIV and TB to share information and network one another. One of its key features will be to sign-up to email and SMS and Email alerts for new content relevant to you. This will help expand the reach of information to people who don’t have consistent internet access.

Additional features of HIV Alert will include:
•Contacts directory for people and organizations
•Document libraries – Toolkit, research, donor reports, best practice
•Events listing
•Job opportunities
•Funding opportunities
•eForums
•Chat/instant messaging
•Country focused pages
•Video libraries
•Photos libraries

EANNASO and AIDSPortal are excited about progress made during our time in Arusha. We will be ready to launch HIV Alert in a few months. In preparation for the launch we’ll be holding a meeting in September in Nairobi for organizations who would like to learn more and get involved with the Eastern Africa Knowledge Management Initiative. To learn more please email me anne@aidsportal.org and watch this space for further project updates.

Thank you EANNASO for making our trip a success! To learn more about EANNASO’s work please visit www.eannaso.org.

(HIV Alert is part of a 2 year European Commission funded programmes called TACIT - Tackling AIDS and TB Through Communication and Information Technology. It is a joint project lead by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Other partners include SAfAIDS, The Alliance Zambia, The Alliance Uganda and NANASO)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

New AIDSPortal Governance Partnership

We are pleased to announce that AIDSPortal is becoming a joint initiative of the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Effective from July 1st, the partnership aims to provide AIDSPortal with the capacity needed to scale up support to partners. The AIDSPortal UK staff will be relocating to the International HIV/AIDS Alliance office in Brighton. The Consortium Secretariat and AIDSPortal team are very much looking forward to this exciting new partnership!

If you would like to find out more about the new governance partnership please contact beth@aidsportal.org


Thursday, 10 June 2010

AIDSPortal Website Re-launching Soon!

We are pleased to announce that the upgraded AIDSPortal site is being o
fficially launched at the International AIDS Conference 2010 in Vienna. AIDSPortal is bringing the power of social networking to the largest online community in the HIV & AIDS sector. Through the new website, you will be able to connect and share information with individuals, groups and organizations and experts across the world, working in the response to HIV and AIDS. You will continue to have free and anonymous access to the vast database of information, reports, jobs, events, latest news which is housed on the site. We are very excited about it and think you will be too!

The new AIDSPortal can offer you…

* Interactive profiles for individuals and groups (similar to Facebook). AIDSPortal will connect groups and communities as well as individuals and organizations!

* Customizable discussion groups which can include pictures and polls

* Customized micro-sites (mini web-sites) for community-based organizations without a website or web presence

* New web applications allowing you to feature content from AIDSPortal on your own website: including a Jobs Directory and a Funding database giving you instant and interactive content without ever leaving your website!

* Email alerts to stay informed

Watch this space to learn more!

Friday, 28 May 2010

IPPF Stigma Index Consultation

Over the next few weeks, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is seeking the input of civil society and other interested parties on the development of common indicators to support a scaled-up response to reducing HIV and pre-existing stigmas. AIDSPortal is proud to be facilitating this stigma consultation via eForum! International HIV experts agree that HIV and pre-existing stigmas are highly prevalent across the globe and are one of the major factors impeding access to and scaling-up services for HIV-related prevention, treatment, care and support. While many individuals, organizations and governments have been at the forefront of advocating for and/or working towards the reduction of HIV-related stigma, actions to reduce stigma and discrimination at the scale necessary to impact the pandemic is lacking. One key barrier holding back such action is the lack of an agreed upon set of standardized global indicators.

The online consultation will broaden the engagement in the indicator development process to harness the feedback and contribution from civil society, including health programmers, people living with HIV, people affected by HIV and key populations, human rights activists and others.


The recommendations will inform both the indicator development process as well as facilitating the sharing of ideas and best practice relating to how HIV-related stigma is monitored and evaluated in different national and programmatic contexts.


Findings based on the data from the online consultation and key informant telephone interviews with civil society representatives will be consolidated into a short interim report. IPPF will host a workshop with a cross-section of civil society stakeholders in Vienna on Saturday 17 July 2010, prior to the International AIDS Conference to review, discuss and validate key findings from the interim report.


It is in all our interests to make sure that the development of common indicators to support a scaled-up response to reducing HIV and pre-existing stigmas is as strong as possible so please – participate!

Join the Stigma Consultation eForum - email: stigmaconsultation@eforums.healthdev.org

[Contributed by Stigma Consultation eForum Resource Team]

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

AIDSPortal at AIDS 2010!


Are you attending the International AIDS Conference in Vienna? If so come and visit the AIDSPortal exhibition space in the Global Village where you can learn more about our work and the work or our partner organisations.

AIDSPortal and the Kenya AIDS NGOs Co
nsortium (KANCO) will also be running a joint Global Village Session "Beyond access: using technology to create spaces for community-led approaches to HIV and human rights". This session aims to demonstrate how technology offers unique ways of improving information sharing and networking among HIV and AIDS practitioners at a community level, leading not only to improved understanding by communities of the issues that affect them, but also increased ability to influence the programmes and policies that serve them. The session will involve a panel discussion with representatives from KANCO, SAfAIDS, Constellation for AIDS Competence (Kenya and India electronic resource sharing initiative), and Healthdev.net (Citizen journalist project). Come along to this session to share and generate ideas that apply to your work!

Watch this space to find out more about AIDSPortal at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Looking for HIV/AIDS info for the Latin American Region?

Visit our sister site, PortalSIDA (www.portalsida.org), which continues to fill an important need for HIV information sharing and networking in Latin America. The Spanish language site now provides access to over 1,600 documents and 300 web-links related to the region. Users can browse the profiles of over 400 organisations, and connect with 725 members of the site.

In March, approximately 9,500 people visited the site, the majority of them from the Latin American region, including Mexico, Columbia, Argentina and Peru.

At the CONCASIDA conference, held in March in Costa Rica, PortalSIDA led a satellite symposium called "PORTALSIDA: La comunidad de conocimientos en VIH/SIDA de América Latina".

Check out PortalSIDA's website now. Feel free to contact PortalSIDA at info@portalsida.org for more information or to get involved in their work.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Are you part of a community organisation seeking funding?

The AIDSPortal initiative is currently developing a free and open database of funding opportunities that are relevant to community based organisations working in the area of HIV and TB. We have developed an extensive list of current funding opportunities, which is initially available at www.myaidsnexus.org/web/grants. We plan to develop this service further with our partners to create a shared database of funding opportunities that are also featured on their websites.

In the future we will explore other ways to expand the service, possibly including building comprehensive donor profiles with analysis based on previous funds they have advertised/allocated. We are aiming to provide a central source of information to support community-based organisations in their search for suitable funding. If you are part of a community based organisation please take a look now. If you think this would be of use to your partner organisations please pass this information on! Watch this space to see how the shared funding database develops.

View the AIDSPortal funding database

Monday, 8 March 2010

What do you think of the AIDSPortal Initiative?

The AIDSPortal Initiative is currently undergoing an external evaluation of the outcomes and effectiveness of AIDSPortal activities from April 1, 2008 to March 1, 2010. We would like to invite you to participate by completing online questionnaires and/or have telephone interviews. We want this evaluation to be a constructive force for our future work and to enable us to better meet the needs of our partner organisations and service users. Therefore your meaningful participation is very important and would be much appreciated!

The evaluation seeks to answer the following key questions:

1. How effective has the AIDSPortal initiative been in its three key strategies of partner capacity building, maintaining a knowledge sharing and networking hub, and providing leadership in the area of ICT and information management?
2. What changes, either concrete or anecdotal, can be attributed towards the initiative in terms of improving knowledge sharing amongst partners and increased use of ICT?
3. How has the initiative contributed towards influencing policy, either directly or indirectly, through partners at the global, national and regional levels?
4. How sustainable is this model and the support to partners, and what key considerations or changes need to take place to increase sustainability?
5. How can the AIDSPortal initiative be replicated and scaled up?

If you would like to take part in this evaluation watch this space for further info! Please feel free to send your comments about AIDSPortal to Freer Spreckley at f.spreckley@locallivelihoods.com.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

KANCO/AIDSPortal mapping pilot complete and ready to launch!


Cross posted on the KANCO and Ushahidi blog.


AIDSPortal have been collaborating with the Kenya AIDS NGO’s Consortium (KANCO) and Ushahidi on an exciting six-month project to visualize civil society organizations (CSOs) in Kenya providing responses to the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics. The project involved modifying the Ushahidi platform for Crowdsourcing Crisis Information in order for KANCO to map its member organizations. This work contributes to KANCO’s mission, “to provide leadership, promote collaboration and enhance capacity among CSOs and other stakeholders to respond to HIV & AIDS and TB at the community level.” Click here to see the KANCO Map of AIDS and TB Service Organizations.

KANCO provides leadership in community systems strengthening (CSS) and policy and advocacy activities across the country. KANCO has extensive experience leading workshops and training for organizations in the field of HIV/AIDS and TB, and these standards for providing CSS were utilized to develop a workshop curriculum, based on the customized Ushahidi platform. In November, two workshops were conducted with 16 participants to gather feedback on

platform’s usability. This feedback informed the final customization and last week, February 9-11, a further 23 participants were trained at the KANCO offices in Nairobi. The workshops introduced the three partner organizations, provided background on the project, website demonstration, and user training. Participants were given an hour and a half to browse the website. In particular, they were instructed to search for organizations on the map, learn who’s doing what, where in Kenya, submit their organization’s profile and subscribe to the alerts feature on the map.















Workshop Participants adding Organization Profiles


Overall, the 3 days of training were a great success. Participants responded positively to the project and enjoyed using the site, especially adding and updating their profiles. Generally participants thought the site was a good tool for networking and partnering, knowledge building, promotion and marketing, advocacy and information sharing. One participant described her experience as, “I have confidence and now I can do it for myself because I have been delegating rather than doing it myself. Others can find us online and may be interested in working with us.”

Currently the KANCO instance does not have a mobile component, but participants liked idea of adding SMS to the site. They thought SMS would be beneficial to them, especially for keeping up-to-date with KANCO and their constituents, particularly in regards to referrals. Participants commented that people are more likely to check SMS than email on a regular basis and that people are comfortable communicating via SMS.

Established in 1990, KANCO is a networking organization with a cumulative membership of over 1000 CSOs. The partnership between KANCO, Ushahidi, and AIDSPortal was established in early 2009 and the pilot project was supported by a Geochallenge Grant, awarded to the team in August 2009. For updates on the project, keep an eye on the KANCO blog.

Post written by Jamie Lundine and Melissa Tully.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Optimising the use of ICT in Development

AIDSPortal recently participated in a USAID hosted workshop “Optimising the use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to advance development objectives in Southern Africa”, 26-28 January in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The workshop attended by NGOs, private sector and USAID advisors was a forum to discuss ideas and share best practices on the use of technology to address developmental challenges in the health and education sectors.

Speaking about the importance of ICT in development, US Ambassador Donald Gips, quoting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stressed the importance of fostering:

  • Partnerships
  • Sectoral rather than project approach
  • Innovation and creativity

AIDSPortal has since its inception in 2003 worked within this approach. We work with local, regional and international partners to develop innovative ways of bringing together technology and knowledge in support of community-led responses to HIV and AIDS.

If you would like to know more about AIDSPortal and explore areas of collaboration, contact naume@aidsportal.org

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Towards a commons for HIV and AIDS related information

The UNAIDS Civil Society Partnerships Unit and the AIDSPortal Initiative are convening a consultation on strengthening civil society database management.

The UNAIDS Secretariat does not manage a global database of NGOs and civil society organisations responding to HIV, the services they provide and associated resources such as tools and publications. However, there are a number of partners working in parallel to develop databases, interactive technology and electronic platforms to achieve such objectives. It is an important task to link these databases and initiatives and establish communication mechanisms between NGO-held databases and those held by UNAIDS country, regional and cosponsor's offices. This would allow us to know which organisations are doing what, in which country and with which groups or communities. This would make it possible to identify and consult with a representative group working in one country or on one issue. Organisations themselves would be able to identify potential partners, or refer people to those providing complementary services.

Do you want to get involved and discuss these ideas? Click here to visit the online discussion group on AIDSspace.

Monday, 11 January 2010

AIDSPortal staff member Anne Babcock relocates to Kenya

AIDSPortal Facilitator Anne Babcock has migrated south for the next year. She has moved to the sunny sites of Nairobi in Kenya where she is based at AIDSPortal partner offices the Kenyan AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO). She will be managing AIDSPortal projects in Eastern Africa. These projects include:

1. KANCO’s mapping project - KANCO’s membership of, AIDS and TB organizations all over the country are being mapped www.ushahidi.kanco.com. In the future, additional data sets will be added to this map. It is hoped that this project will improve access to information, identify gaps in AIDS and TB services and serve as an advocacy tool.

2. A joint venture with the Eastern African National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO) where by AIDSPortal is supporting EANNASO to develop a regional online information sharing and networking platform for EANNASO members.

If you’d like to get in touch with Anne please don’t hesitate to do so. Her email remains the same at anne@aidsportal.org or she can be reached on +254 20-2717664 or +254-20-2715008. For more information about AIDSPortal activities in Eastern Africa watch this space.

Monday, 4 January 2010

AIDSPortal Initiative: Case Study

In 2009 a short case study was conducted over five days to look at the nature of institutional support that the AIDSPortal Initiative provides to partners, and how the AIDSPortal Initiative works to help them meet their objectives in knowledge sharing and management. This case study feeds into a longer evaluation study, by suggesting appropriate indicators of success.

This case study describes the development of the AIDSPortal Initiative from its inception, and the learning acquired along the way. It draws upon the collective knowledge and understanding of those working in partnership with the AIDSPortal Initiative, its staff, and of others working in the broader environment of knowledge-sharing and management in the health and development sector.

The AIDSPortal Initiative is seen as largely successful at responding to its partners’ needs for technological solutions to knowledge-sharing challenges. The KANCO and International HIV/AIDS Alliance partnerships demonstrate that when the AIDSPortal Initiative designs solutions that work tightly with partners’ strategies, partners have a sense of ownership and can rapidly integrate the technology into their work. The partnership with the AIDS Consortium in South Africa shows how a more top-down approach blocks momentum, and struggles to generate the commitment needed for success. Balancing the desire for ownership with the central objectives of open knowledge-sharing is the AIDSPortal Initiative’s key challenge. This requires that the project refine its approach to partnership, by developing criteria that can guide it to work with the most effective networks. It also demands a more rigorous approach to setting indicators for success.

Recommendations
The AIDSPortal Initiative would benefit from taking the following actions:

1. Consolidate its partnership criteria, along the lines of the implicit consensus that currently exists. These should include:
• Synergy: partners should be already established networks of organisations (national, regional and global thematic) that are already engaged in knowledge-sharing and networking activities in HIV.
• Committed to sharing: partners should demonstrate commitment to working with others on joint information-related initiatives that add further value
• Capacity: partners should be able to integrate the project into existing plans and programmes, and sufficient capacity in terms of information communications, technology, and infrastructure.
• Diversity: partners should be committed to working with diverse views, and ensure that the information gathered, organised and disseminated is from the most appropriate local coalition of organisations and is not dominated by any one perspective.
• Regional/national balance: the AIDSPortal Initiative should seek a portfolio of regional partners, where it can foresee rapid scale-up of joint achievements and strong national network partners to demonstrate benefit for community-level users.

2. Develop core indicators - The AIDSPortal Initiative should be assessed on:
• how well it aligns itself with the strategies of its partners
• how responsive it is to the priorities of its partners
• how successfully it chooses its partners according to agreed criteria
• its ability to restrict its activities to those that will have greatest chance of scale up, either at the local level or regionally
• the way it balances the demands for ownership and for knowledge-sharing

3. Develop partner-specific indicators to which it can be held accountable, in line with partners’ strategies and objectives

To read the full AIDSPortal Initiative Case Study click here.