Eurasian Regional Consortium – Thinking outside the box: overcoming challenges in community advocacy for sustainable and high-quality HIV services.

Brief summary:

The Eurasian Regional Consortium was formed in 2015 in response to the distinct need for stronger collaboration among key population networks in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) to address a shared threat to sustainability of HIV programs for people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, trans people, and people living with HIV. Eurasian Women’s AIDS Network (EWNA) joined the Consortium in 2018 due to needs in strengthening representation of women’s and gender perspective. Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), the lead partner of the Consortium, together with Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM) and Women’s AIDS Network joined forces to respond funding insecurity for HIV services for key population in countries of EECA.  

The Consortium’s joint efforts focus on addressing the needs of people who use drugs, (PWUD), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people (TG) and women living with HIV (WLHIV) in a capacity building and coordinated advocacy on HIV resource mobilization, budget advocacy, fiscal accountability. Our task is to build community-led initiatives and political support for strategic, sufficient and sustainable investments in services along the continuum of HIV care for key populations.

Aim / Objectives:

The scope of work and activities are designed to maximize capacity of consortium’s member organizations and their impact of advocacy to improve funding environment for sufficient allocation of resources for HIV programs in countries of EECA. This will be achieved through developing opportunities to learn with creation and facilitation of regional mechanisms which can act in a coordinated manner to address issues that are common across countries.

Learning cycles of the project are composed in five interlinked thematic areas that are prioritized for building capacity of community-led networks to maximize their contribution to increased and sustainable financing of HIV response on national levels. An opportunity to learn and get supported will be open for members of EHRA, ECOM and EWNA as well as for community-led organizations from countries of the Consortium operation.  Those cycles are:

  1. Organizational Sustainability.
  2. Building broader coalitions for budget advocacy.
  3. Community-led monitoring of quality of services.
  4. Community-led advocacy for comprehensive quality standards for HIV services based on national needs and international recommendations.
  5. Budget monitoring and accountability.

The activities, such as regional trainings, set of best practices, experts working group meetings, Regional Sustainability Advocacy Toolbox, sub-grants, internships, expert mentorship, technical assistance and delivery of joint advocacy campaign of EECA communities “Chase the virus not people” are an important part of support from the Consortium to national and local level communities.

Furthermore, the RCNF grant is important resource for further strengthening of EHRA’s governance and operational systems, as well as program efficiency and financial sustainability of EHRA. As key outcomes it is expected to achieve financial diversification of funding sources, and to develop EHRA strategy 2020-2025 and MEL Framework.

HERE you can read about results achieved by the Eurasian Regional Consortium in 2016-2018 with support from RCNF.

Countries covered by the project: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Project timeline: January 2019 – December 2021

Overall budget: USD 1 760 000

Project donor: The Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (RCF)