One of the key priorities of Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is to build capacity of PWID communities in CEECA in budget advocacy – a process enabling civil society organizations and communities to monitor and influence state decisions for the allocation of public funds towards harm reduction programs and better solutions safeguarding people’s health.
Budget advocacy by communities may have the greatest impact on actions of authorities, and in its turn, on the lives of people. With that in mind we believe that:
- It is crucially important to engage PWID community in planning through estimating the unmet needs for harm reduction services and defining priority items for a policy agenda change and financing;
- Allow for direct financing of civil society through social contracting or similar mechanisms, to deliver harm reduction and HIV and TB services to PWID, is the most evident way for the governments to sustain services and funding;
An important consideration is that cost-effectiveness can best be obtained not by cutting services, but by making them more efficient through their optimization.
Increasing national funding should go hand in hand with reversing harsh prohibition laws and change of enforcement policies that discriminate PWID. Otherwise scale-up in funding would not convert to increased program coverage.