Civil Society Coordination Platform on Health, HIV/ AIDS and SRHR

CSOs participation in Global Fund processes

ZAN is a former Sub-Recipient (SR) for the Global Fund rounds 1, 5 and 8 phase 1 and 2, coordinating Sub-sub recipients (SSRs) namely HOSPAZ, SAfAIDS, PSI and ZNNP+. Zimbabwe has been allocated US$500 million on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria for the Global Fund funding cycle 2021 – 2023. The emphasis of this grant is on increasing investments in community interventions for the Global Fund (GF) grants to optimise positive outcomes in pursuit of the Fast Track Targets. From experience with the previous GF grant, the missing link has been the limited involvement of CSOs in the development; design and subsequent implementation of the last grant in comparative terms. Civil Society under the ZAN caucus have set about to redress these gaps and as evidenced by the participation of CSOs in the GF concept note writing process. Through the experts who were selected by ZAN to represent CSOs in the process, Civil Society has built consensus on priority issues which seek to impact the writing process and potentially the implementation of the grant. To ensure the concept note retains focus on community interventions based on the Civil Society priorities, ZAN has coordinated 12 CSO representatives to input and the representation cascades that links community groups and Community Systems to the national concept note development platform. Civil Society was also involved in the Technical Review Panel comments review since Global Fund Board relies more on the recommendations made by the TRP with regards to decisions on where investments will have the most impact. In light of this, ZAN has started with Technical Review comments on GF grant to proffer recommendations and make sure that CSOs participate in Global Fund grant negotiation.   Such process has been lacking during previous GF cycles hence the rationale to follow up actions on concept note development. CSOs has been lacking in meaningfully and effectively participate in the grant negotiations which has resulted in their inputs to the concept note scrapped off due to their absence in the grant negotiation processes. Zimbabwe AIDS Network is coordinating CSOs participation in the GF processes through structured platforms to continue giving input in the writing process. This will help strengthen ownership of the entire process which extends to grant implementation.

Strengthening of CSOs participation in policy spaces

The task for ZAN is to harness the efforts of multi stakeholders to address the challenges bedevilling the country’s health sector and at the same time proactively respond to the funding gaps for CSOs. The changing funding landscape is associated with CSOs challenges to evince for their value addition, manifesting itself in weak coordination and disjointed approaches in programming and engagement with development and policy processes. To address this age-old challenge, ZAN is ensuring effective participation and meaningful engagement of CSOs on national programmes and policies especially in the development of National Strategic Plans (NSPs) such as Zimbabwe National Health Strategy, Joint Review on HIV/ STI Strategic Plan and ZNASP consultation processes. The network continues to take a leadership role in the engagements around Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goal agenda. The CSO capacity strengthening initiative is led by ZAN, providing a leadership role for local CSOs engagement with the initiative. The initiative has been a critical element of on-going efforts to strengthen CSOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to contribute to meaningfully to the achievement of Agenda 90-90-90 and other emerging public health issues. The initiative has clear strategic areas of focus and it aims to help CSO groups to refocus their engagement along the national development agenda, while repositioning themselves as a strong partner with government and other relevant stakeholders. To date the process has yielded three critical outputs namely the CSO Charter, Engagement Framework and the Database/HUB. Pursuant to the finalization of these three outputs, Zimbabwe AIDS Network (ZAN) endorsed by the CSO community working on the agenda and other emerging public health issues in Zimbabwe as the official CSO community national coordinator and the CSOs website has since handed over to ZAN.

CSO Engagement Framework and Charter

The CSO Engagement Framework was designed to structure the health sector stakeholders’ broader and deeper engagement with CSOs through three engagement dimensions which are partnerships and collaboration; dialogue and consultations, and capacity building and technical support. The overall goal of the CSO Engagement Framework is to achieve full and meaningful engagement of Civil Society, from community to national to regional to global levels, so that the full breadth of their skills and expertise can contribute to determining and achieving mutual goals and targets in the health and development sectors, including those laid out by the public sector (government ministries), development partners and respective regional and global mechanisms. ZAN coordinated the processes which has resulted in platforms and coordinating mechanisms developed as the primary entry points for CSO participation in national policy and strategy processes. In addition, the Charter states the long-term vision of CSOs on their role in the health sector and their commitments on specific areas of engagement in supporting health promotion in Zimbabwe.

CSOs Monthly Directors’ Forum and Incubation Hub

This is a platform envisioned by to establish and operationalize Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) to support diverse research work on health issues including Non and Communicable Diseases, HIV/ AIDS and SRHR in Zimbabwe and gradually expand into the region. This means the organization is becoming a policy reference point for the government and development partners, defined through a clear consultative status. The RAU shall be used to mobilize and second technical expertise to support policy review and development for the government. In addition, the RAU shall export our technical expertise into the region on designing and developing high impact social accountability programmes. With regards to the setting up and operating the Social Accountability and Knowledge Management Centre (SAKMC), we envision to become the repository of knowledge on Health, HIV/TB and SRHR. The SAKMC is integral to CSOs capacity to demonstrate its collective impact in the areas of HIV/AIDS and SRHR.

CSOs Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening Initiative

UNDP, in close collaboration with UNAIDS and the UN Joint Team, developed a 3-year HIV and Health CSO Strategic Priorities Action Plan 2018-2020 for Zimbabwe. The plan has been a critical element of on-going efforts to strengthen CSOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to contribute to meaningfully to the achievement of Agenda 90-90-90 and other emerging public health issues. Implementation of the Health and HIV CSO Strategic Priorities Action Plan is meant to enhance coordination and the direction of CSOs in Zimbabwe. The plan has clear strategic areas of focus and it aims to help CSO groups to refocus their engagement along the national development agenda, while repositioning themselves as a strong partner with government and other relevant stakeholders. To date the process has yielded three critical outputs namely the CSO Charter, Engagement Framework and the Database/HUB. Pursuant to the finalization of these three outputs, Zimbabwe AIDS Network (ZAN) endorsed by the CSO community working on the Agenda 90-90-90 and other emerging public health issues in Zimbabwe as the official CSO community national coordinator

Civil Society National Indicative Programme Monitoring and Advocacy

The Civil Society’s National Indicative Programme Monitoring and Advocacy is a programme implemented by five partner organisation under the lead of NANGO. This program seeks to strengthen CSO watchdog role by significantly contributing towards improved public accountability, transparency and effective development outcomes of the EU funded National Indicative Programme (NIP) in Zimbabwe. The project partners seek to strengthen their watchdog role in the implementation of NIP in areas of governance and institution building, health and agriculture for improved, accountable and effective development outcomes as well as sustainability. One of the specific objectives of the NIP program is to contribute to the improvement of the health, agriculture and governance outcomes for the population of Zimbabwe. This objective can be intensified through CSOs obtaining information by monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the NIP interventions at all levels. As part policy dialogues and spaces, the program seeks to facilitate dialogues and discussions with CSO in the sectors of health to assess the progress in achieving the thrusts and targets of the NIP to effectively influence public demand for state public accountability. Thus, CSOs play a pivotal role in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of actions and results of NIP.

SRHR Friendly Budgeting and Policing

This project has been key in deepening policy advocacy to ensure increased access to comprehensive SRHR services among Key Populations via engaging policy makers, the media and mobilizing communities as change agents. The project seeks to address the legal, economic, infrastructural, geographical and socio-cultural barriers to accessing SRH services and rights via advocacy for SRHR-friendly policies. Improving access will help drive down the rates of maternal mortality, illegal abortion, home births, unmet need for contraceptives and sexuality counselling, HIV and early marriage. Through this project, ZAN has invested in strengthening the platforms for local authorities and central government to work with CSOs to positively enhance development impact and promote participatory pro-SRHR budget planning and implementation for improved service delivery. ZAN continues to coordinate civil society to advance strong pro-SRHR policy goals through policy monitoring and review, dialogue and engagement with policy makers. This is to ensure the central government and three local authorities increase resource allocations for comprehensive reproductive health and for health services targeting KPs and other marginalised groups. In addition, this advocacy thrust review related policies and recommend realignment to ensure they are responsive to KPs and vulnerable groups such as PWD, YGs and SWs to increase availability and uptake of SRHR services.

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