Money Can Buy Health If You Budget For It by Eurasian Regional Consortium.

Brief summary of the progress:

Access to core funding from the RCNF provided the necessary long-term stability to plan for and to implement meaningful governance developments while maintaining programs. Less than a year after its registration, EHRA had a fully capacitated team of core programmatic and support staff, confident leadership, and a strategy framework, ensuring that all its programs were implemented as planned and that it maintained its leading role in regional advocacy for sustainability of harm reduction and HIV programs. Some of the core support was also used towards fundraising to secure additional funding and increase organizational sustainability.

National level: Small grants and capacity building have enabled members of national ISP consortia in Armenia, Estonia and Kyrgyzstan to meaningfully engage in sustainability advocacy at the local or national level.

  • In Armenia, national consortium effectively used community-based research to generate evidence for advocacy. By documenting the impact of over incarceration for possession of extremely small amounts of drugs for personal use, the consortium members successfully pushed for reform of the drugs schedule. Community involvement in a national bio-behavioral surveillance (IBBS) resulted in more accurate HIV prevalence data, which was one of the factors contributing to the state commitment to increase funding for OST and ARVT programs.
  • In Estonia, national consortium continues to engage the National Institute of Health Development on improving access to community based and low threshold programs for key populations and have mobilized for national-level advocacy of the Regional Chase the Virus not People campaign to attract attention to the catastrophic impact of criminalization on resourcing HIV programs for key populations.
  • In Kyrgyzstan, CBOs join the national Budget Advocacy Coalition and make plans to monitor the 1st national procurement plan of the Health Ministry to ensure that HIV and TB budget lines reflect community needs.
  • CBOs in Kara-Balta, Kyrgyzstan, have empowered community members to monitor allocation of social benefits to vulnerable people living with HIV, helping individuals to overcome stigma and access housing subsidies, heating, and other basic entitlements essential for protecting health. They also demonstrated an increased understanding of the budget decision making at the national and local level, including the need to reform the law that prevents local authorities in Kyrgyzstan from budgeting for health and makes them rely on national health budget instead.

Regional level:

  • EHRA published Budget Advocacy Guide for community activists, based on best practices and experiences of budget advocacy capacity building in EECA.
  • National partners trained on budget monitoring and advocacy (EHRA), on gender-based budgeting (ECOM), and on community-based monitoring (ECUO).

Aim:

The goal of the project is to build the capacity of community-based organizations of key populations, foster exchange and partnership between different ISP groups in budget advocacy and HIV resource accountability, help them advocate for national and municipal budgets resources to be allocated to continuum of HIV care for all ISP in EECA.

Objectives:

  • Advocate for sufficient and sustainable funding of responses to HIV, which addresses the needs of ISP;
  • Build the capacity of regional networks and their members who represent PWUD, MSM, TG and PLWH and those who work in their interest in EECA in advocating for sustainable funding of responses to HIV, which addresses the needs of ISP.

Key achievements

Countries covered by project: Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia incl. Armenia, Estonia and Kyrgyzstan. 

Project timeline: October 2017 – December 2018 

Overall budget: 345 710 USD

Project donor: Robert Carr Network Fund

Project Status: Completed