People living with HIV are present on CCMs, but often lack genuine access to decision-making. Key affected populations are often absent from CCMs. CCM members (not just government representatives) are often unable or unwilling to create the conditions needed for the meaningful participation of these populations.
These are some of the conclusions of a survey on civil society participation on CCMs, conducted by the Civil Society Action Team (CSAT). The survey was conducted among civil society organisations, networks and listservs in 40 countries around the world, between September 2008 and April 2009.
The survey also found that although the Global Fund requires that non-government representatives on the CCMs be selected by their own sectors, this is still not happening in many CCMs, where representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) are invited or selected by the CCM or government officials. Even where CSO representatives are selected by civil society, sometimes the processes are not fully inclusive, often due to financial or practical challenges.
The survey also found that:
- communications within CCMs and from CSO representatives on the CCM to their constituents is often limited and unsystematic;
- civil society representatives often lack the capacity and expertise to fully engage in CCM processes and to properly represent their constituents; and
- multi-sectoral involvement in proposal development and grant oversight is often limited.
The report on the survey results recommended that the Global Fund take "strong and decisive action in countries that continue to sideline civil society representatives, especially those from groups of people living with HIV and key affected populations." The report also recommended that "international civil society," in collaboration with the Global Fund and UNAIDS, develop models for the fair and transparent election of its representatives."
Finally, the report recommended that civil society develop accountability mechanisms for its representatives that include required and desirable professional attributes.
The information for this article comes from "Study on Civil Society Participation in Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanisms," 2010, available at www.csactionteam.org.