REPORT FINDS THAT ORGANISATIONS OF KEY POPULATIONS IN LAC HAVE LITTLE ACCESS TO GLOBAL FUND MONEY
Bernard RiversArticle Type:
Article Number: 4
ABSTRACT Although the HIV epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean is largely concentrated among men who have sex with men and sex workers, organisations representing these "key populations" receive very little of the Global Fund money being spent in the region, according to a recent study.
Although the HIV epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is largely concentrated among men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgendered people, and, in some countries, drug users, organisations representing these “key populations” receive very little of the Global Fund money being spent in the region. This is one of the findings of a study undertaken by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
A report on the study, entitled “Report on Access to Global Fund Resources by HIV/AIDS Key Populations in Latin America and the Caribbean,” is available on the Alliance website at www.aidsalliance.org.
For the study, the Alliance analysed 15 of the 35 HIV/AIDS Global Fund grants in LAC.
Amount of money going to key populations
Of the 15 grants analysed (representing total expenditures of $170 million), only 4.6 percent of the funds (just under $8 million) was granted to sub-recipient (SR) organisations representing the key populations.
A further 2.5 percent ($4.5 million) was earmarked for organisations of key populations, but was first distributed to other civil society organisations serving as SRs (the idea being that these SRs would pass on the funds to organisations of key populations).
Of the approximately $8 million provided to SRs representing key populations, organisations of people living with HIV received almost two-thirds of the total; organisations of men who have sex with men 27.5 percent; and organisations of sex workers 6.1 percent. No organisations of transgendered persons served as SRs for any of the 15 grants.
The study found that where key populations were represented on CCMs, these populations were more likely to receive money from Global Fund grants. It also found that key populations are far more likely to receive money where the grant’s principal recipient (PR) is from civil society.
Obstacles to accessing funding
The report identifies several obstacles to funding experienced by organisations of key populations. For this part of the study, 18 key actors working in HIV/AIDS were interviewed, 12 of whom were members of key populations. The obstacles included the following:
Lack of organisational capacity.This includes not having the capacity to develop proposals, the capacity to manage programmes, and the capacity to do strategic planning. It also includes not having the capacity to maintain good financial accounting and to implement a solid governance structure, both of which are required before an organisation can be legally registered in most countries in the region.
Difficulties accessing and understanding Global Fund-related information.This refers particularly to information from CCMs and PRs (e.g., minutes of CCM meetings). One person, from a transgender organisation, said “The difficulty in accessing information suggests a lack of transparency among those making the decisions. We do not understand how decisions are made nor the reasons behind them. There is no explanation given for why some organisations are chosen over others as sub-recipients, and we receive no feedback on our own proposals. So we don’t know what to change or how to improve before the next call for proposals.”
Lack of participation of certain key populations in proposal development.The report points out that sex workers and transgendered people have not yet had an opportunity to participate in the development of a successful Global Fund proposal in the region.
Lack of epidemiological data for certain key populations.The report says that although sex workers and transgendered people are well aware of rising prevalence rates in their populations, “the lack of studies supporting this informal knowledge weakens their advocacy work and power of negotiation.”
The report calls for (among other things):
- the provision of technical support to address the capacity building needs of organisations of key populations;
- greater transparency in decisions made by CCMs; and
- a more active role for the Global Fund Secretariat in promoting the participation of key populations.