Required to Ensure Men Who Have Sex with Men and other Key Populations Are
Adequately Considered in PEPFAR Processes
October 7, 2015 - On September 17th, the Executive Director of
the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), Dr. George Ayala, met with
Ambassador Deborah Birx and other officials from the Office of the U.S. Global
AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) in Washington, D.C. to address ongoing revisions to
PEPFAR processes. The MSMGF attended in partnership with a coalition of global
civil society organizations, including Health Gap, AVAC, amfAR, Sister Love,
and the African Services Committee, with the input and support of community
organizations from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and
and its partners raised numerous
concerns with PEPFAR processes
regarding key populations, including: 1) Lack of technical strategy for
prevention and treatment with key populations in PEPFAR’s global COP guidance,
modeled on normative guidance issued by the World Health Organization and other
global health agencies, 2) Failure to engage grassroots, community-based
organizations representing key populations in service delivery and data
collection activities, 3) Unambitious national prevention coverage targets, 4)
Inadequate commitments to ensure country-level key populations data is made
public, and 5) In many countries, lack of transparency regarding how
grassroots, community-based organizations can make contact with PEPFAR country
teams. The coalition’s complete feedback document, prepared by Health Gap with
inputs from partners, can be consulted here.
Ambassador Birx and the OGAC team committed to integrating civil society
concerns in the current round of revisions to PEPFAR processes. The OGAC team
provided additional details on several PEPFAR processes, including: 1) For
Quarterly Reviews, in-country civil society will be provided program data two
weeks in advance of an in-person meeting with the PEPFAR country team to
provide feedback, 2) Global guidance for the PEPFAR 2016 COP Process will be
released in January or February 2016, 3) COP submission will likely occur in
May 2016, 4) Regional reviews will likely occur in May/June 2016, and will
likely be shortened to 2-2.5 days total, with civil society invited for 1-1.5
days per review.
As the Quarterly Reviews begin this month, we
remind our civil society partners of the crucial
and urgent need to:
with your PEPFAR country team, which can be reached via your local U.S.
please inform us if you experience difficulty obtaining contact information
from your U.S. embassy)
that you receive a final version of your country’s approved COP directly from
your PEPFAR country team
to participate in the first PEPFAR quarterly review civil society meetings, set
to take place in October 2015, and insist that the PEPFAR country team provide key
populations data a minimum of 2 weeks in advance of the meeting
to communicate with other major donors and key stakeholders, such as the Global
Fund and the local Ministry of Health, to align priorities for key populations
with OGAC, either via your PEPFAR country team or through global civil society
like MSMGF, to provide input on improvements to the civil society engagement
components of the COP review process
that your local U.S. embassy can also provide guidance on additional small
grants that may be available through programs such as the U.S. Ambassador’s Small Grants Program. For background on
the new PEPFAR COP process requirements, please consult our March, April, and June community updates.
always, we greatly value receiving your thoughts and feedback, which help
reinforce our advocacy efforts at local, regional, and global levels. We would
appreciate hearing your perspectives on how PEPFAR engagement is going at
country level, including examples of successes, positive experiences, and
ongoing challenges. Please communicate your feedback and any questions/concerns
you may have to Nadia Rafif, Senior Policy Advisor, at email@example.com. We thank you
kindly for your much-appreciated engagement with this critical process.
A downloadable PDF version of this community update is here.
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About Us: MSMGF has worked since 2006 to encourage targeted, tailored, better-resourced, and rights- based sexual health services for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide through its advocacy and technical support work. As a global network, MSMGF has successfully influenced HIV responses at the local level through shifts in global-level policies and has effectively utilized public health as an entry point for advancing the human rights of LGBT people. MSMGF currently supports programs in 15 countries.
Labels: AIDS, amfAR, AVAC, George Ayala, Health Gap, Key Populations, msm, OGAC, PEPFAR, Sister Love