Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) continues to work with the U.S. Office of
the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and global civil society organizations to
monitor the meaningful engagement of in-country key populations in the PEPFAR
Country Operational Plan (COP) 2015 process. We would like to bring to your attention several opportunities to
communicate your experiences and concerns to OGAC and the PEPFAR country teams,
including through our participation with OGAC leadership and PEFPAR country
teams in “regional COP review” meetings (scheduled to be held in Atlanta in
April, Frankfurt in May, and Windhoek and Dar es Salaam in June). We also
emphasize that OGAC has informed us that, even for civil society
representatives in countries that have already submitted their COPs, it is not too late to submit your comments
and feedback to inform the finalization of the COPs.
goal in this process is to ensure that PEPFAR takes seriously the concerns and
needs of key populations, including allocating
sufficient funding for key populations programming in all PEFPAR recipient
countries. Final approved PEPFAR COP 2015 submissions will determine the
specific allocation of funds in PEPFAR recipient countries in the 2016-2017
fiscal year (April 2016-March 2017). As we presented in our March community update, OGAC has issued new PEPFAR COP process requirements that
mandate a more meaningful engagement of PEPFAR country teams with civil society
representatives of key populations in the PEPFAR COP 2015 process.
new requirements include: 1) Development of a civil society COP engagement
plan; 2) Convening of engagement meetings between PEPFAR teams and civil
society organizations; 3) Soliciting by PEPFAR teams of written feedback from
civil society; and 4) Providing written feedback to civil society. The guidance
stresses that civil society consultations should occur through a formal structure on a quarterly basis,
that a diverse range of civil society organizations including representatives
of key populations should be included, and that PEPFAR teams are required to
submit civil society recommendations and country team feedback as part of their
We have already
documented numerous instances of PEPFAR country teams failing to follow the letter
and spirit of the new requirements, including: 1) Holding large meetings with
civil society groups in general rather than with key populations advocates in
particular; 2) Providing limited and insufficient data on key populations; 3)
Providing insufficient time to review data; 4) Providing little advance notice
of consultations; 5) Failing to provide written feedback on recommendations
made by civil society representatives of key populations; and 6) Failing to
provide final copies of COP submissions to civil society representatives of key
those who are engaged in the PEPFAR COP 2015 process as in-country civil
society representatives, we have prepared the following checklist of key
questions to assist you in tracking the adherence of PEPFAR country teams to
the new requirements:
you and/or other in-country key populations advocates had meetings with the PEPFAR country team to discuss the PEPFAR COP?
yes, was it a meeting specific to key populations advocates or was it a larger
meeting including other civil society groups?
you able to submit MSM programming recommendations to PEPFAR?
yes, did PEPFAR provide written feedback to your programming recommendations?
If yes, were you satisfied with the
quality of this feedback?
PEPFAR provided relevant country data (or regional/global data, such as from UNAIDS Gap Report, WHO Consolidated Guidelines, SWIT, Lancet
series, IAS white paper and ethics paper, etc.) regarding key populations?
yes, were the data sufficient or were there gaps in the data?
there been discussion with PEPFAR of aligning key populations programming with
other major donor and key stakeholder processes, including the Global Fund
country dialogue process?
countries with April 3rd COP submission deadlines) Have you received
a final copy of the COP submitted by the PEPFAR team to OGAC on April 3rd?
you been satisfied with the quality of your engagement with the PEPFAR country team,
or are there additional comments/considerations you would like submitted to the
PEPFAR team and to OGAC?
addition, we would greatly value receiving any relevant documents or
correspondence you have had with PEPFAR country teams (e.g. meeting notes,
programming recommendations, email correspondence, written feedback from the
PEPFAR team, key populations data provided by the PEPFAR team). These will help
reinforce our ongoing advocacy efforts at local, regional, and global levels.
communicate your responses and any questions/concerns you may have to Nadia
Rafif, Senior Policy Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you
kindly for your much-appreciated engagement with this critical process.