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ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-11

Mobilizing and supporting diverse community organizations to build an effective response to HIV and AIDS

International Council of AIDS Service Organizations

Framed by a clearer vision, a renewed mission and our longstanding guiding principles, ICASO has developed a set of strategic directions to shape how we will work for the next 5 years (2007-11). They have been developed through extensive consultations with community partners and leaders from the country, regional and global levels.

Contents
ICASOs Vision & Mission The global context for our strategy Guiding principles ICASOs Strategic Directions 2007-2011 SDi. Build community sector capacity to advocate. SDii. Advocate for the effective implementation of universal access to comprehensive HIV and AIDS services. SDiii. Mobilize and strengthen community sector partnerships and networks. SDiv. Develop a stronger, more effective organization and network. ICASO Governance 1 1 5 7 7 8 9 10 12

Founded in 1991, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) mobilizes and supports diverse community organizations to build an effective global response to HIV and AIDS. The ICASO network of networks operates globally, regionally and locally and reaches well over 100 countries internationally. ICASO operates from its International Secretariat in Canada and through Regional Secretariats based in five continents: African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO) AIDS Action Europe (AAE) Asia-Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO) Latin America and the Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations North American Council of AIDS Service Organizations

Latin American and the Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations

LACCASO

North American Council of AIDS Service Organizations

NACASO

Copyright 2007 by the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO). Information contained within this publication may be freely reproduced, published or otherwise used for non-profit purposes. ICASO should be cited as the source of the information. Photography acknowledgements: See photo captions in document.

ICASO's Vision
A world where people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS can enjoy life free from stigma, discrimination, and persecution, and have access to prevention, treatment and care.

ICASO's Mission
To mobilize and support diverse community organizations to build an effective response to HIV and AIDS.

The global context for our strategy


"It is important that we renew our efforts to assist in this global mobilization to ensure that the community sector itself shapes the global AIDS agenda"
For the past 5 years, ICASO has become a visible and recognized leader among national, regional and international agencies and NGOs working on HIV and AIDS. Our communication, consultation, coordination and convening abilities have also been recognized by civil society organizations and governments through our work related to the Global Fund, the monitoring of the implementation of the UN General Assembly's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, as well as the involvement in projects such as the Three Ones, the Global Task Team on UN and bilateral harmonisation and alignment, the Universal Access Global Steering Committee, and the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, to name a few. ICASO's leadership has increased concurrently with our expanded programmatic, geographic, and financial base, particularly in the past 2 years, as we continue to define our role in the scaled up response to HIV/AIDS. Despite the increased funding, programming and visibility, ICASO needs to examine its emerging and evolving role within an ever-changing international landscape - a landscape that continues to see new organizations and frameworks define and redefine the strategic and operational roles for ICASO. This is also happening in an era in which activities are increasingly, but not sufficiently, being scaled up to meet the needs of millions of people seeking universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support services. 1 ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-2011

An evolving response
As ICASO redefines itself for the next three to five years, it is important to take note of how this context shapes our evolving role and how it challenges ICASO's strategic and operational framework. Some of the key contextual features include the following: Over the past five years, tremendous mobilization within the community movement on HIV and AIDS has occurred at the national, regional and global levels. For instance, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has continued to inspire national treatment movements among civil society organizations. Legal challenges in South Africa and Venezuela have led to groundbreaking judgments on the need to provide life-saving treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS. Treatment advocates and activists are more networked than ever before.
Treatment access demonstration, South Africa TAC

The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) has convened and established an articulate treatment community that is driving the discussion and debate on the world's collective responsibility. This has led, in part, to an advocacy effort that has seen the approval of the 'Universal Access' principle by governments around the world. 2 ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-2011 Prevention issues are also a rallying cry for the civil society sector. Harm reduction programs, vilified by many governments and donors, have flourished due to the articulate advocacy by community organizations and their allies to implement evidence-based programming. Networks of organizations and individuals working with communities of men who have sex with men have also seen a change in some countries, and the sex worker movement has remobilized with a louder and more articulate voice than ever before. The creation of a new financial mechanism - the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) has significantly improved the collective capacity to scale up services. It also provides a premier venue where many of the key global issues are discussed and debated, such as partnerships with the UN system, delineating the role of the newly created UNITAID for drug purchasing, the size of financing to be channelled to countries, and many other issues. External funding has greatly increased support for prevention, treatment and care services. Traditional funding sources, such as bilateral government funders of HIV/AIDS programs and the Gates Foundation, have enhanced our ability to respond more effectively at the country level. However, there continues to be competition and a lack of coordination among donors. Some donors' priorities are creating challenges to effective prevention programming, the integration of prevention and treatment, and the protection of human rights.

The "Making the Money Work" initiative spawned the Global Task Team on UN and bilateral coordination and harmonization. While this work has had some success in rationalizing UN programming there still remains substantial challenges to overcome. The critical issue of harmonizing programs and approaches with bilateral donors remains a significant gap and highlights how resources may not be optimally employed. Also associated with this initiative is the 'Three Ones' Principles which aim to consolidate decision-making within a coordinated governance model that also includes civil society organizations. Civil society organizations will need to continue to call for their full and active involvement, based on a framework that meets their needs, not just those of donors or the UN. Universal Access, a framework for scaled-up prevention, treatment and care at the country level, is one of the newest features of our global context and provides a muchneeded boost to rally programming and finances. Ensuring that the associated global commitments turn into programmatic realities of universal access, and ensuring the continued implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, remain significant challenges. Delivering on these commitments, with the active and full participation of the community sector, is increasingly seen as essential if the world is to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNAIDS remains the leading global venue for the coordination of UN activities at the global, regional and country levels. Initiating and coordinating key global policy discussions, initiatives and frameworks require a well informed civil society sector that can actively participate and connect. For example, the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB), and the Global Joint Problem Solving and Implementation Support Team (GIST), are two important components of the global architecture where civil society needs to be a more effective partner. The International AIDS Conference remains the largest global gathering of stakeholders working on HIV/AIDS. Co-organized by a group of international and national partners headed by the International AIDS Society (IAS), the conference has continued to evolve its governance structures, and has recently begun negotiations on their role in supporting the four regional conferences.

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1. Participants at a community sector workshop, Venezuela ICASO, 2. Treatment access demonstration, South Africa TAC, 3. Participants at a community mobilization workshop, South Sudan IHAA

An evolving ICASO
These key contextual features serve not only to situate ICASO within an expanding group of stakeholders, they provide us with a series of challenges that we will need to understand and act upon; challenges to our own governance, our policy and communication, our programs, and our finance and operations. In many of these areas community sector mobilization has ensured that communities are the ones who are driving many of the important responses and debates on national and international policies and programs. While ICASO has increasingly become a visible and recognized community sector leader, it is important that we renew our efforts to assist in this global mobilization to ensure that the community sector itself shapes the global AIDS agenda and architecture. We also need to improve our ability to influence governments, funding policies and programs, and frameworks that guide this collective work at the national, regional and international levels.

"People living with HIV and other vulnerable and marginalised groups, including women and girls, must be active participants in defining HIV/AIDS policies and programs. Their human rights must be protected, and they should have equal access to the services and commodities they need."
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Richard Burzynski, Executive Director, ICASO

Family planning promoter, Bangladesh, Richard Lord

Guiding Principles
ICASO is committed to:
The central role of people, communities and their organizations in developing and implementing national and international policies and programs. The right of each community-based organization to determine its own priorities, methods of organization, and programs, and to have those choices respected by governments and international agencies. Ensuring the protection and fulfillment of the human rights of all people living with, affected by, and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. The GIPA principle that advocates and promotes the "greater involvement of people living with, and affected by HIV/AIDS" in all aspects of prevention, care and support and research. Ensuring that the needs of women living with, affected by and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are addressed, and that they are guaranteed an equal voice in policy and program development and implementation. Ensuring that the needs of young people and children living with, affected by and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are addressed, and that they are guaranteed an equal voice in policy and program formulation and implementation. Non-discrimination and non-stigmatization on the grounds of HIV status, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, age, cultural or social class, citizenship status, drug use, or employment in the sex industry. ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-2011 Removing fear, coercion and deception from all HIV/AIDS policies, programs and services. Ensuring that relevant international programs are coordinated, and involve partnerships among those living with, and affected by HIV/AIDS, communities and their organizations. 5

"ICASO will increase its own support to community representatives to have a direct voice and leading role in setting agendas and decision-making"

HIV awareness drama in Kabekel village, Gambia Mark Goebel

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Act Up-Paris activists demonstrating for access to AIDS drugs, Tom Craig

ICASO's Strategic Directions 2007 - 2011


Framed by our vision, mission and guiding principles, ICASO has developed a set of strategic directions that will shape how we do our work for the next 5 years (2007-11), enabling us to meet the challenges of the evolving global architecture and HIV epidemic.

ICASO's four Strategic Directions are to: SDi. SDii. SDiii. SDiv. Build community sector capacity to advocate. Advocate for the effective implementation of universal access to comprehensive HIV and AIDS services. Mobilize and strengthen community sector partnerships and networks. Develop a stronger, more effective organization and network.

SDi. Build community sector capacity to advocate.


ICASO is committed to demonstrating that an effective response to HIV and AIDS demands a central role for communities, ranging from implementers to decision-makers, advocates and watchdogs. There are more opportunities opening up for community sector involvement in national, regional and international policy and governance fora, with increased financial and political commitment to HIV and AIDS. As a result, ICASO will increase its own support to community representatives, advocates, and activists, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised, to have a direct voice and leading role in setting agendas and decision-making. Ensuring accountability and community agenda-setting. National community sector organisations need sufficient capacity to hold their own governments and other stakeholders accountable to their commitments. ICASO will build capacity of the community sector to mobilise and directly inform and advocate for effective programming and policies, especially on expanding and aligning prevention alongside treatment in order to achieve universal access to a comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS. This will include support for monitoring national AIDS strategies and programming, the implementation of the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment, Universal Access targets on prevention and treatment, UN and bi-lateral commitments on harmonization and alignment, the involvement of the community sector in national coordination and policy, evidence-based prevention (within a comprehensive approach), and the human rights of PLHIV, women and other vulnerable groups. 7 ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-2011

Building leadership and representation capacity. ICASO's extensive experience of direct involvement in most of the major global AIDS initiatives, programmes, and policy and governance bodies (e.g. UNAIDS, Global Fund, the Three Ones, Global Task Team, Universal Access, UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS) has enabled it to identify the key challenges for community sector representation. ICASO commits itself to using this to mentor existing and future representatives to hold global institutions accountable and to take the lead in setting agendas. ICASO will build community sector leadership and capacity for representation, developing diverse and effective national, regional and international community leaders and representatives.

SDii. Advocate for the effective implementation of universal access to comprehensive HIV and AIDS services.
Since its establishment in 1991, ICASO has been at the forefront of global and regional advocacy based on evidence from communities at the grassroots, mobilizing and harnessing disparate concerns and issues of NGOs and CBOs in the response to HIV and AIDS. ICASO will continue to be directly involved in global policy-making and, where necessary, will be a convenor and coordinator of community sector global advocacy. We will also increase awareness and improve communication about our own policy and advocacy positions and activities. Advocacy on community sector issues. ICASO will use its access to global policy and decision making fora and key decision makers to ensure that the voices and issues of vulnerable and affected communities are understood. This work will primarily seek to ensure that communities actually shape, rather than just respond to, the global AIDS agendas and architecture. This will include issues such as reducing stigma and discrimination, universal access, community participation in national coordination, and expanding and aligning prevention and treatment within a comprehensive and humanrights based response. ICASO will sometimes directly advocate, at other times we will support representatives' participation, and there will be times we do both. This will be undertaken with a renewed emphasis on greater transparency and accountability, ensuring our own advocacy is based on the issues identified by communities on the ground. Advocacy for the fulfilment of human rights. ICASO recognizes that to properly address vulnerability to HIV and access to services, the abuse of human rights needs to be addressed. Without this the result is continued discrimination and disempowerment of sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, women and girls, and other vulnerable groups. This places them at further risk of violence and exposure to HIV and reduces their access to necessary prevention, care and treatment services. We will renew our commitment to challenging policies, programming and practices that undermine best practice in public health and/or that violate human rights. We will use our specific position as an international organization not funded by the US government to further these advocacy efforts.

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"To properly address vulnerability to HIV and access to services, the abuse of human rights needs to be addressed."

Advocacy for increased funding. ICASO recognizes that adequately funding the response to HIV and AIDS will require a multitude of funders, from domestic and international governmental sources to foundations, multi-laterals, the private sector, and civil society. We will advocate for sufficient and effective funding to ensure that governments and other stakeholders deliver on the commitments to Universal Access, to implement the Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS, and to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV and other communicable diseases by 2015. Advocacy for investing in our future. ICASO recognizes that while we must advocate for access to prevention, treatment and care interventions that we have today, we must also advocate to urgently develop better tools - drugs, diagnostics, and prevention technologies, notably vaccines and microbicides - for the future

SDiii. Mobilize and strengthen community sector partnerships and networks.


With an increasing number and diversity of community sector organisations responding to HIV and AIDS, ICASO recognises the need for better mobilized, coordinated, and connected global community sector advocates. ICASO also recognizes that community sector representatives need networks to rapidly channel up-to-date community sector issues from the national to regional and international levels and back again. ICASO will work to strengthen this connectivity so that community sector representatives can build the greater legitimacy and accountability that their roles increasingly require. This work aims to enable representatives to better inform and advocate for effective programming, policy, and decision-making.

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"ICASO recognises the need for better mobilized, coordinated, and connected global community sector advocates."

Treatment Action Campaign activists marching on South African Parliament, South Africa TAC

Convening diverse community groups. From its inception ICASO has built strong and long standing relationships with national, regional and global AIDS service organisations, PLHIV networks, and organisations focused on human rights, sex workers, sexual and reproductive health, treatment advocacy, harm reduction, men who have sex with men, women's health and rights, and international development. ICASO will strengthen partnerships with these organisations and convene or facilitate global community platforms and initiatives that bring together these diverse groups for more coordinated community sector advocacy.

Increasing communication amongst the community sector. ICASO and its network of regional and national organisations will build greater capacity to more effectively consult and communicate within and for the community sector. we will continue to produce high quality, multilingual tools that are easy to use and understand and provide timely information to help reach and mobilize a wider network. Promoting good practice within the community sector. As part of this commitment to evidence-informed programming, ICASO will support the Code of Good Practice for NGOs responding to HIV/AIDS. In seeking more organisations to endorse and implement the Code, we hope to improve the quality and cohesiveness of community sector responses.

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Workshop on HIV prevention and condom use, Yukpa indigenous community, Venezuela AMAVIDA 2007

SDiv. Develop a stronger, more effective organization and network.


The governance of ICASO is anchored by representatives from the five Regional Secretariats (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, and North America) along with other representatives and leaders from the community sector. This approach aims to ensure that both geographical and critical HIV/AIDS issues, such as human rights, gender and harm reduction, from the community sector are brought to the governance process. ICASO recognizes that as the dynamics of the epidemic evolve and the number and diversity of actors increase, as an organisation we also need to evolve. Our governance process needs strengthening, and we need to build our own internal capacity to better convene, connect, consult, and communicate. Strengthening governance. We will undertake a review of our governance structure and how Board members are recruited and selected. We will analyse how to reflect the changing dynamics of the epidemic, including an exploration of how to include missing perspectives from large areas of the world, and groups within them, that are greatly affected by the epidemic. We will develop systems to ensure the Board reflects the need for gender equity and the participation of people living with HIV. We will enhance our transparency and accountability.

Increasing internal capacity to network. Over the years, ICASO has improved how it works as a network. We will build on this to improve existing and develop new systems to better connect, consult, and communicate within our own structure. Resource mobilisation and capacity building will be a priority - building the capacity of all the Secretariats to better carry out their work regionally and internationally, to partner in-country and to ensure that issues from the ground are heard by the widest audiences. We will make better use of our technology (internet/website/ telecommunications) to facilitate better access to each other. Better articulating and communicating the role of ICASO. We need to increase awareness and understanding of the role and structure of ICASO as a global network of networks, with strong linkages between the International and Regional Secretariats. We will work to increase support for ICASO's role in community sector advocacy, capacity-building, networking and information exchange, as strategic approaches to support the convening, connecting, consulting and communicating with and for community sector advocates. Planning for sustainability. ICASO will implement our Strategic Directions through existing and new donor relationships supported by comprehensive strategies to attract and retain our human resources. We will engage the Board to provide more active representation and resource mobilisation roles.

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1. Village health workers promote family planning, Feni, Bangladesh, 2. Family planning promotion session, Maizdee, Bangladesh, 3. Family planning promoter, Chacan, Peru, 4. Youth education, Zimbabwe. Richard Lord.

Khote/transgender sex workers at a trucking depot. The Condom Project

ICASO Governance
ICASO has a governing board of eleven people. To support global accountability and ensure community leadership of ICASO, five places on the Board are held by one person nominated by each of the five Regional Secretariats of ICASO: AfriCASO, APCASO, AAE, LACCASO and NACASO. In addition, to ensure that ICASO's work responds to the needs of the community sector within an evolving global AIDS response, five places are held by "at-large" members who can bring critical expertise, experience, and leadership. The Executive Director is an ex-officio member of the Board. Organization /Country of Residence
Southern African Network of AIDS Service Organizations (SANASO) / Malawi Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) / Australia Ave. de Mexico / Mexico AAE / The Netherlands

Name

Board Affiliation
African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO) Asia- Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO) Latin America and the Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations (LACCASO) AIDS Action Europe (AAE) North American Council of AIDS Service Organizations (NACASO) At-large At-large

Mary Mbeba

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Don Baxter Carlos Garcia de Leon Ton Coenen Vacant (as of July 2007) Anand Grover Paul Lapierre Kasia MalinowskaSempruch As Sy Richard Parker Richard Burzynski

Lawyers Collective / India Canadian Cancer Society (formerly of Canadian AIDS Society) / Canada Open Society Institute (OSI) / USA UNAIDS / Switzerland ABIA / Brazil ICASO / Canada

At-large At-large / Chair At-large Executive Director

ICASO Strategic Framework 2007-11

"ICASO needed to examine its emerging and evolving role within an ever-changing international landscape - a landscape that continues to see new organizations and frameworks define and redefine the strategic and operational roles for ICASO. This is also happening in an era in which activities are increasingly, but not sufficiently, being scaled up to meet the needs of millions of people seeking universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support services."

"Community sector mobilization has ensured that communities are the ones who are driving many of the important responses and debates on national and international policies and programs... it is important that [ICASO renews its] efforts to assist in this global mobilization to ensure that the community sector itself shapes the global AIDS agenda and architecture."