PROJECT International HIV/AIDS Alliance
AUTHOR(S) Caroline Halmshaw and Kate Hawkins
After years of passionate advocacy informed by solid policy work on the ground, the global response to HIV/AIDS is better resourced. Poor countries can absorb considerably higher levels of aid than they currently receive, but recent increases in funding have generated a number of concerns. This paper analyses the capacity of NGOs, community-based organisations and governments to ensure that the influx of funds has a significant effect on the HIV epidemic and people’s lives. Limited absorptive capacity may be an obstacle to the uptake of funding. To avoid community-based organisations being over-stretched by AIDS and to ensure capacity is maintained, HIV-positive staff must be enabled to continue their work through access to antiretroviral therapy and related services. Equally challenging, given that donors are increasingly using governments as intermediaries to fund civil society organisations, is increasing the capacity of developing country governments to disburse funds effectively. If donors do not accept that governments and civil society organisations need technical support in order to accept, distribute and account for increases in funding, there is a danger that home-grown responses will be replaced with imported solutions. The community sector is the glue that holds responses to HIV/AIDS together; now it needs to adapt to new partnerships with government and other emerging HIV/AIDS service providers.