Feature story

More effective AIDS coordination at country level discussed at AIDS 2012

22 July 2012

L to R: UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance, Ms Jan Beagle, Minister of Public Health, Democratic Republic of Congo, HE Felix Kabange, and the UNAIDS Director, Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, Sheila Tlou.

Evidence indicates that coordination and governance of the HIV response have posed significant challenges for many countries. To review lessons learned and establish key principles for more effective coordination of the AIDS response, a meeting took place during the International AIDS Conference entitled Fit for purpose: striving for more effective AIDS coordination at country level.

The meeting brought together representatives of National AIDS Commissions, civil society organizations, regional bodies and development partner organizations to reflect and re-direct energies to explore what a truly country owned and accountable public sector governance body for HIV should look like.

Participants at the meeting took the opportunity to debate about the future of coordination of the AIDS response and to agree on key principles for a framework of effective response coordination, through shared responsibility and global solidarity.

The principles presented focused on, amongst other things, the need for governments to take the lead of the AIDS response in the context of shared responsibility and global solidarity, inclusion of multiple stakeholders in the AIDS response, cross learning between other areas of health, development and HIV programming, and development of AIDS programmes based on country priorities and local experience of what works to achieve maximum accountability.

Ms Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, closed the meeting by urging the participants to celebrate the successes they have achieved so far in tackling AIDS, while also looking to what more can be done in order to ‘get to zero’ new infections, AIDS related deaths and AIDS related stigma and discrimination, using actions and mechanisms that will be sustained and owned by national stakeholders. She emphasized that the positive lessons from the last decade of AIDS coordination need to be brought into the discussion, especially how coordination structures and processes have boosted greater transparency, inclusion of non-governmental stakeholder and emphasized equity and human rights.

The meeting was organized by UNAIDS, together with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the World Health Organization, the German Agency for International Cooperation and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.