The Global Aids Alliance (GAA) is a non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Washington DC. This alliance was founded in the year 2001 as an affiliate of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The mission of the partnership is to galvanize financial and political resources to address and reduce the global AIDS crisis especially worst hit developing countries. Its main aim is to mobilize an awareness campaign through media and public education outreach to the grassroots level involving many other decision makers in society.
The legislative agenda of Global Aids Alliance is to be having a human rights-based approach in HIV advocacy and programming. Its commitment is to empower people living with HIV, those affected and also those who are at high risk of getting infected with TB and HIV to have their rights protected and live a healthy life. To develop their agenda, it prioritizes on achieving a universal ability to access care treatment and prevention of HIV, offering comprehensive primary education and promoting children well being. It also focuses on preventing violence against women and girls by advocating for women equality and finally mobilizing increased financial resources with the aim of maximizing on-the-ground impact. Advocating for women equality is also emphasizes on the integration of reproductive health, sexual and HIV services to the grass-root levels.
With their many branches all over the world, the alliance communicates to its members through its personnel who represent the organization at the grassroots level through educative forums organized by the coalition, use of written materials which have the required knowledge and information by members. It also offers information through media platforms such as its official website and public education. The primary aim of the communication is to ensure that knowledge on HIV care, prevention and treatment is available to everybody in the grass-root levels.
To push for its agenda, the alliance shapes the global debate that is aimed at catalyzing the overall global response to HIV /AIDS advocating for an increased funding and influencing policies that will improve attention on the epidemic, and this is by holding decision-makers accountable and also encouraging citizens who are concerned to push for political action. To create a significant impact to promote their ideology, the organization emphasizes its non-profit agenda and uses leaders on the grassroots level such as village elders and religious leaders to help them in gathering information and boosting trust between the alliance and people on the ground. It also has employees and volunteers who are from the region making it easy to push for their agenda.
The current lobbying effort of the Global AIDS Alliance is to influence domestic governments to increase funding on HIV/ AIDS program. In the previous year’s especially in less developed and developing countries, HIV funding was never included on the national budget. People living with HIV entirely depended on the financing from non-governmental organizations and the outside sources. For a non-governmental organization such as GAA, donor funding is not enough for it to successfully reach its goals. Once the local government helps in funding HIV outreach and treatments, the load becomes lighter for donor organizations. It also increases the ability to reach a good percentage of the population.
To enhance its lobbying efforts, the alliance is working in collaboration with the ministry of health of various countries that they operate on. Every government in the world has a funding allocation for the health department. Since HIV is also a health issue that needs to be addressed within the sector, it’s easy for the alliance to collaborate with the industry to lobby for increased funding. The other reason to use the channel is that the health ministry already has the right channel that will help ensure that the disbursed funds aimed at reaching out to the HIV problem reach the grassroots level. It’s easier to lobby with a body that is already part of government than with those that are outside the government.
Their partnership with the health sector of local government has helped it reach its aim at different levels. Through its collaboration most governments have included funding for HIV programs which involve public awareness campaigns, purchasing anti-retrovirus drugs, supporting people living with HIV, ensuring that there is no mother to child infection an agenda that the alliance is currently advocating for. Without involving the local health sector, it would be tough for the coalition to succeed in its schedule. Even though the funding by local governments to curb the HIV problem might be low, it’s a significant step that will guide future allocations.
There are several obstacles in the process of lobbying for increased funding for HIV. Most of the poor and undeveloped countries have a very strained budget due to the inadequacy of resources. Incorporating extra funding for HIV to the budget is straining the budget further, and also the funding is still low to meet the projected goals. The other major obstacle is the general perception of HIV. In most underdeveloped countries, HIV is not a topic that can be put up for discussion. It’s viewed as a norm and those suffering from the virus suffer in silence. The authorities are not ready to take up the task of advocating for the need to address the epidemic through funding. Most governments are also not prepared to take up the responsibility since the non-governmental organizations owned the task wholly in the past.
The Global AIDS alliance gets its funding from different sources such as the Global Fund and other donors. The alliance has several projects that are running in most countries in the world. Allocation of funds for different regions is done in its headquarters in Washington. The headquarters comes up with a budget that allocates funding for various projects, current and recurrent expenditure. But on the region level, there is a project that is key and require more funding. It’s up to the regional financial manager to allocate funds on the local level according to priority and the situation on the ground.
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