XIX International AIDS Conference

WESA08 Community Mobilisation: A 'Critical Enabler' for Better Investment in HIV Programming
  Non-Commercial Satellite
Venue: Mini Room 10
Time: 25.07.2012, 07:00 - 08:30
Chair: Alvaro Bermejo, United Kingdom
Organiser: International HIV/AIDS Alliance with UNAIDS
The publication in The Lancet of the Investment Framework in 2011 has finally provided an evidence based theory that the tide really could be turning. The Framework articulates community mobilisation as a 'critical social enabler'. The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, funded by UNAIDS, has developed a discussion paper on community mobilisation and HIV and AIDS that explores what community mobilisation means for the proposed investment framework and how this fits with the Alliance model of working. This satellite session will provide community-based organisations, civil society networks, activists, policy makers, donors and researchers with an opportunity to explore the concepts introduced by the investment framework, and the resources, processes and interventions that stakeholders need to act on together to strengthen community systems, in order to deliver outputs and outcomes that impact on HIV. Speakers will include representatives from the Alliance international secretariat, at least two of our Linking Organisations and UNAIDS.

Opening remarks

A. Bermejo, United Kingdom


Community Mobilisation and the Investment Framework for HIV/AIDS

B. Schwartländer, Switzerland


A Theory of Change model of Community Mobilisation

C. Stegling, United Kingdom

Community mobilisation working with key populations: the case of REDTRASEX

E. Reynaga, Argentina


Community mobilisation working with women and children: PMTCT in Senegal

M. Thiandoum, Senegal

What about the other 11 critical enablers in the Framework

M. Dhaliwal, United States

PEPFAR, community mobilisation and key populations

T. Poteat, United States


Question and answer session

A. Bermejo, United Kingdom

Summary and thanks

A. Bermejo, United Kingdom

Powerpoints presentations
Community Mobilisation and the Investment Framework for HIV/AIDS - Bernhard Schwartländer

A Theory of Change model of Community Mobilisation - Christine Stegling

Community mobilisation working with women and children: PMTCT in Senegal - M. Thiandoum

Question and answer session - Alvaro Bermejo

Rapporteur report

CPC report by Garry Brough

The session provided a background and some concrete examples of why community mobilization needs to be an essential component in the AIDS response. While the concept is not new, the publication of the Investment Framework for HIV and AIDS in 2011 prioritized community mobilization as one of the ‘critical enablers’ in the process of creating successful program activities. With science providing the technical wherewithal to manage the virus, we need a community response to make real progress in getting to zero. The process of community mobilization is one of building capacity – sharing information at grassroots level, engaging and empowering local communities to take action together, whilst involving them throughout the planning, monitoring and evaluation process, so that these programs can then be shared and scaled up. In effect it is the GIPA principle in action, since it supports and encourages those most affected to support each other in creating programs which address their own specific needs, leading to healthier and more engaged communities.  

There was a warning that the ‘bottom up’ process of developing these kinds of programs may be seen as a cheap option which tokenistically ticks the boxes of ‘community engagement’. While they are incredibly cost effective (making use of peer support and education to a large extent), there is a need to ensure that funding is allocated not only to cover the expenses of those involved, but to ensure that those who have come through this process are able to be remunerated for the ongoing prevention and health promotion work they may do in the longer run.

Another difficulty can be doing this kind of work in areas where governments may not want organization. A network of sex workers in Latin America is a case in point, since as well as encouraging health promotion and raising self-esteem, they work to inform activists of their human rights and how to defend them. This network has gone on to successfully apply to the Global Fund to develop organizational capacity to participate in the design of policies and standards and to train health workers to be responsive to the specific needs of sex workers.


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.

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