You are on page 1of 14

until we end aids

Annual Report 2011

1

Annual Report 2011

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011

While ambition

does indeed

until we end aids

characterize the goal ICASO has articulated in its new strategic plan, our focus continues to be squarely on community. When we refer to “we”, we do so in the spirit of hopeful commitment and support for each other as a global community responding to HIV. The challenges we face in this work are tenacious, but they are matched by our own tenacious response and our unfailing belief in the power of community-based advocacy to bring about a more just world for those living with and affected by the disease.

© Copyright 2012 ICASO

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011

Vision and Mission

V isio n
We envision an end to the AIDS pandemic through universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support within a human rights framework.

M issio n
Our mission is to mobilize and support diverse communities for an effective response to end the AIDS pandemic.

1

until we end aids

Message from the Chair of the Board of Directors

Three decades

into the

AIDS epidemic, we face complex questions about how resources and knowledge can best be utilized. In 2011, the global financial crisis continued to undermine the response to HIV, threatening to undo years of progress. At the same time, other developments have triggered optimism. Scientific breakthroughs such as research yielding new insight into the capacity for antiretroviral treatment to limit both the acquisition and onward transmission of HIV are rapidly reshaping the entire field’s approaches to treatment and prevention. Against this backdrop, ICASO developed a new strategic plan in 2011 to guide the organization from 2012 through 2016. As one of the most experienced global facilitators of civil society participation in the response to HIV, ICASO has the potential to support the work of community actors as powerful catalysts for the movement to end AIDS. ICASO’s successes in the face of adversity in 2011 confirm the organization’s readiness to begin this exciting new chapter. ICASO is especially pleased that many of its recent activities have involved collaborating with diverse civil society groups. It has become clear that strong, results-based partnerships are the future of ICASO. As ICASO’s Board, staff and partners reflect on the organization’s accomplishments and chart its future course, we see an important thread connecting all of our work: ICASO’s role is to help advocates bring their evidence to the table and advance their issues. ICASO strives to amplify the voices of civil society representatives who are guided by direct engagement with communities affected by HIV. Thus, the ultimate success of ICASO’s efforts will be measured not by specific programmatic or policy achievements, but by the ability of communities to assume their rightful role at the center of a more effective and more enlightened movement to end AIDS. Jacqueline Coleman Chair of the Board of Directors

2

Annual Report 2011

until we end aids

Message from the Executive Director
ICASO recognized
from underlying structural issues that continue to deny people their basic human rights. In addition to being a valued friend, mentor and colleague, Robert provided a leadership perspective informed by more than two decades of challenging the continued inequalities, discrimination and vulnerability to HIV of men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and people who use drugs. ICASO underwent other major transitions in 2011, with the departure of two senior management staff: the Director of Finance and Operations in February, and the Executive Director in July. Amid these developments, ICASO maintained its core programs;

honored commitments to funders and partners; took steps to identify future funding opportunities; and continued to support the strategic planning process. The very trying events of 2011 ultimately had a catalyzing effect. They made us think critically about ICASO’s value as an organization and about its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Through the strategic planning process, the Board channeled this energy into a bold new vision for 20122016. Restructuring in accordance with the new strategic framework has positioned ICASO to engage more flexibly with a wider range of stakeholders, ensuring that the organization can optimally support rapidly evolving community-based networks and coalitions through dynamic results-based partnerships. When ICASO looks back on 2011, this time will stand out not for its hardships as much as for its promise. This was the year when it became possible for people engaged

in the response to HIV at all levels to believe that it might be within our means to bring about an end to the epidemic. What remains to be seen is whether the momentum generated by scientific and strategic advances in 2011 will continue to grow, or whether this will be remembered as the point at which efforts faltered and a tremendous opportunity slipped away. Guided by its 2012-2016 strategic plan, ICASO fully expects to expand on the successes described in this annual report, and to find innovative ways to further support community engagement in the response to HIV. We look forward to continuing to build and strengthen partnerships to put an end to the AIDS pandemic through universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support within a human rights framework. Mary Ann Torres Executive Director

the outset that 2011 would be a transformative year for the organization. When the Board of Directors initiated a new strategic planning process at its January 2011 meeting, we all resolved to tackle difficult questions about ICASO’s strengths and weaknesses and about its current and future role in the response to the global HIV epidemic. Unexpected changes during 2011 forced us to grapple with these questions in ways that are hardly typical for a strategic planning process. Most notably, Robert Carr’s sudden death in May was a huge blow, not only at a personal level but also at an organizational level. Robert had served as ICASO’s Director of Policy and Advocacy since mid-2009, and in that time he pushed ICASO to think strategically and passionately about the need to address the

3

Annual Report 2011

Introduction

until we end aids

ICASO in 2011

This annual report presents an overview of ICASO’s activities and achievements from January through December of 2011. ICASO’s work was guided by its Theory of Change, illustrated here:

B ui l di n g C ommu n it y C apacit y for A ctio n R esearch a n d P o l ic y A n a ly sis Support community-based research on issues that are critical to impact policy and programming debates and strategies.

S tre n gthe n i n g C ommu n it y Leadership i n P o l ic y D eve l opme n t a n d A dvocac y Support the development of new leaders from key populations by helping them to acquire core competencies around content and process issues in community mobilization, policy development and advocacy.

A dvocac y for A ccou n tabi l it y Combine cutting-edge community based research and empowered leaders to identify and create strategic advocacy entry points for strengthening national and global responses to HIV and AIDS.

M easured P o l ic y & P rogram I mpact Provide for analysis of advocacy strategies and measure concrete impact on national and global policy and programmatic responses to HIV and AIDS.

S tre n gthe n i n g the Networ k of Networ k s Support community research, leadership development and advocacy strategies through strengthened collaboration between key groups at national, regional and global levels.

4

Annual Report 2011

A ctivities a n d A chieveme n ts

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011

Civil Society Action Team (CSAT)

and analysis; and conducting and supporting advocacy at national and global levels to improve policies for civil society responses. A particular focus in 2011 was the work with the Global Fund to ensure that its Community Systems Strengthening framework effectively supports community-sector organizations in delivering programs and services. Implementation of the CSAT initiative proceeded as planned in 2011. Highlights included the completion of the CCM-II project that supported, among other things, civil society engagement in democratic and transparent Country Coordinating Mechanism elections in Egypt.

is an area of particular success,” from supporting these organizations to understand the Global Fund, to being able to engage with proposal development and implementation, to participating actively in governance and reform of grants facing difficulties. The CSAT midterm review also observed, “A significant proportion of CSAT’s core work has specifically targeted groups that are composed of and for key populations, for example in terms of supporting their engagement in Country Coordinating Mechanisms or their inclusion as [funding] recipients.” The recommendations of the midterm review have guided regional and global planning for 2012, and will be taken into consideration as ICASO develops the next phase of CSAT.

Since 2008,

ICASO has served as the

Much of the work of the CSAT regional hubs supported civil society involvement in proposal development for Round 11, with several regional proposals and a total of at least 15 proposals underway. With the cancellation of Round 11 in late November 2011, hubs immediately began considering how the information and insights that the process had yielded thus far could best position civil society actors for other funding opportunities. Also in 2011, the CSAT midterm review was completed. One finding was that “CSAT’s support to civil society engagement in Global Fund processes and governance

global host of CSAT, a civil society-led global initiative that coordinates, brokers and advocates for technical support to civil society organizations implementing or seeking grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. CSAT utilizes a multi-pronged approach: identifying the technical assistance needs of community-sector organizations in key areas; linking these organizations with technical support opportunities; analyzing the barriers to effective civil society involvement in governance and implementation of Global Fund grants through rigorous data collection

5

A ctivities a n d A chieveme n ts

until we end aids

This 2010-2011

project was planned in line with

UNAIDS-initiated national UNGASS review processes. The goal was to ensure that community perspectives inform the June 2011 United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. To achieve this, ICASO supported the community sector in 15 countries to collect and analyze data and to prepare reports on country-level progress on universal access targets. These reports, along with an aggregate global report, were used to develop policy positions and civil society advocacy strategies that fed into the High Level Meeting. The project was implemented jointly with ICASO’s regional partners in Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. A rigorous methodology and data collection tools were developed and reviewed by all partners. The project directly supported community organizations to: • • assess community involvement in the universal access process; review data and analysis of the epidemic and related needs (especially regarding key populations, HIV prevention, human rights and gender equality); • • identify gaps between targets set and what had been achieved; advocate for targets and approaches that are comprehensive and reflect the reality of national epidemics, as well as for inclusive and transparent periodic monitoring and reporting processes; and • monitor and document progress in achieving those targets.

Community-sector analysis of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support
The project was a major success, with evidence from the reports serving as the basis for proposed language for the Outcome document of the High Level Meeting. The research yielded valuable insights regarding the lack of progress on HIV prevention for key populations; programs to address stigma and discrimination and to protect human rights; and funding commitments and funding predictability. Research findings also informed a “sign-on” statement initiated by ICASO and endorsed by more than one hundred organizations in advance of the meeting. The statement articulated civil society priorities in relation to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; human rights; health systems strengthening; financing; and accountability.

6

Annual Report 2011

A ctivities a n d A chieveme n ts

until we end aids

United Nations General Assembly 2011 High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS

For more

ICASO’s efforts were reflected in a strong than a year leading civil society presence at the 2011 High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS and helped ensure that civil society representatives were well prepared to advocate for their positions. ICASO’s work ultimately helped advocates persuade United Nations Member States to make the new General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS more reflective of the role of communities in various ways.

up to this event, ICASO facilitated a process to channel the input of civil society stakeholders from around the world into influential pre-meeting activities and meeting negotiations. This included efforts to strengthen civil society involvement in country-level processes in advance of the meeting. The Office of the President of the General Assembly asked ICASO to facilitate the selection process for the Civil Society Task Force for the Comprehensive AIDS Review, in collaboration with the UNAIDS Secretariat. ICASO also organized civil society lobbying opportunities during meeting negotiations.

7

Annual Report 2011

A ctivities a n d A chieveme n ts

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011
community advocates and leaders preparing for the conference. In late 2011, ICASO launched the AIDS 2012 e-guide at www. aids2012community.org. Based on the successful AIDS 2010 e-guide, the website features announcements about pre-conference community events; tips about networking effectively at the conference; and a wealth of information and resources relating to the interests and concerns of people living with HIV, and of members of other key populations who plan to attend the conference.

AIDS 2012 conference

During 2011,

views and constituencies in conference ICASO programming. Examples include plans for an AIDS 2012 plenary session on human rights and key populations as well as sessions on stigma and discrimination, drug use, sex work and HIV-related criminalization. ICASO also provided mentorship to individual

maintained its long-established role as a facilitator of community participation in the planning of the International AIDS Conference. As a civil society partner on the AIDS 2012 Conference Coordinating Committee, ICASO helped ensure the representation of diverse

8

until we end aids

New Preventive Technologies
ICASO launched
a web based discussion paper on Evaluating Progress on International Commitments to HIV Vaccine and Biomedical Prevention Research. The discussion paper identifies HIV vaccine and biomedical prevention research commitments made by the international community, provides an overview of the current status of research, and proposes indicators for the community sector to assess national and global progress in achieving those commitments.
Evaluating Progress on International Commitments:
HIV Vaccine and Biomedical Prevention Research
ICASO Discussion Paper (February 2011)

UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) NGO Communication Facility
During 2011,

ICASO continued

serving as the host of the PCB NGO Communication Facility. ICASO provided support to the NGO delegation at two UNAIDS PCB meetings in 2011; facilitated the involvement of the delegation in policy discussions; and supported steps to improve the NGO delegation’s recruitment process. ICASO also supported the development of the NGO delegation’s annual report, which addressed HIV and legal environments. The report was strategically timed to provide a grassroots perspective to complement the work of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

9

Annual Report 2011

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011
One of ICASO’s priorities was to call

Ongoing involvement in global policy forums

for recognition of the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in all aspects of the HIV response. An example of this can be found in ICASO’s work on the MERG indicators. ICASO pressed for the indicators to take into consideration key populations’ views and issues. The significance of this contribution is that the indicators are the primary tool for holding governments accountable to their commitments in the 2011 United Nations its access Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, and hence can be expected to greatly influence country-level programming. ICASO also continued to participate in the Free Space Process in 2011. The purpose of this initiative is to align the work of global organizations with a focus on the engagement of civil society in the response to HIV.

ICASO utilized

to major global policy forums to ensure that civil society perspectives and priorities were considered. Representatives of ICASO contributed to meetings of the Global Fund Board, the UNAIDS PCB, the UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (MERG), and other bodies involved in shaping the global response to HIV.

10

until we end aids
Annual Report 2011

Financial Statements

11

tel fax

+1.416.921.0018 +1.416.921.9979

65 Wellesley St. E., Suite 403 Toronto ON Canada M4Y 1G7

until we end aids

www.icaso.org icaso@icaso.org

original art

imagined by harold@nsitu.ca