Community system strengthening supports an effective civil society role in the HIV response

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Civil society, particularly those infected or affected by HIV, must be recognised and properly resourced as key deliverers of HIV services at community level and must be able to meaningfully participate in the development and implementation of government HIV related policies and programmes.

Ahead of the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS on 8-10 June, we’re calling on international governments to recommit to HIV targets, and meaningfully partnership with civil society to ensure progress.

Mobilised communities in South Sudan

The Alliance supports civil society organisations to participate in decision making and programme implementation at community and national level.

In South Sudan building capacity of civil society is the Alliance’s core mandate. Alliance South Sudan has been supporting community-based organisations (CBOs) since the peace agreement in 2005, ending two decades of civil war. It now supports 90 CBOs across 18 counties.

Working with government

The Alliance has a strong working relationship with the Government of South Sudan, which includes a memorandum of understanding that the Alliance is the lead agency to strengthen civil society capacity in the HIV response.

The Alliance has been able to play a key role in ensuring the needs of marginalised groups are represented in policies, including supporting the design of a strategy to increase access to HIV prevention services among marginalised populations.

Marginalised populations

The Alliance has increased capacity of CBOs to improve prevention services for marginalised groups. In 2010 Alliance South Sudan reached 41,785 people with prevention services.

Capacity building and prevention initiatives include:

Training peer educators from communities at higher risk of HIV; sex workers, street boys, and adolescents. Read more

Training 25 teachers from secondary schools in Yambio to support the peer educators and provide AIDS education to students.

A military HIV programme. At the barracks, men receive HIV awareness education and are taught how to use condoms.

Training in organisational management. CBOs receive training in management, accountability and leadership.

People living with HIV

Alliance South Sudan has been instrumental in the creation of the South Sudan Network of People Living with HIV (SSNEP+). The Alliance supports the network to build its capacity to influence national HIV-related policies through training, mentoring and providing grants.

Strengthening community systems to build and resource the community response to HIV and to ensure and meaningful participation in decision making and programming is 1 of 7 key Alliance messages calling on world leader to recommit to universal access targets. You can find all 7 messages here, along with case studies from around the Alliance.