Supporting aid effective responses to children affected by AIDS: Lessons learnt on channelling resources to community based organisations

Supporting aid effective responses to children affected by AIDS

In response to growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS in the last two decades, many communities have formed organisations to provide material and other support to these children. Likewise, international donors and intermediary agencies have increased their funding levels and capacity building efforts to Community Based Organisations (CBOs). Considerable effort has been spent on looking at how to get financial and technical resources to CBOs quickly and efficiently.

This study seeks to improve our understanding of successful initiatives that can create a more predictable and long-term funding environment for CBOs, managing to both address the trade-off between reducing fiduciary risk of monies being misspent yet also avoid disproportionate and onerous levels of accounting and reporting for relatively small sums of money. The study is the result of field research in Uganda, Burkina Faso and Malawi undertaken between April and July 2010, in collaboration with CARE Uganda, SAT Malawi, and IPC in Burkina Faso whose support is gratefully acknowledged.

This study was commissioned and funded by UNICEF-HQ and World Vision UK (WV), as members of the Communities and Resources Working Group (C&RWG) of the Inter-Agency Task Team on Children and HIV and AIDS (IATT), in collaboration with the Regional Inter-Agency Task Teams on Children & AIDS (RIATT) for Eastern and Southern Africa and for West and Central Africa.1 It sought to identify examples of financial mechanisms that provide financial and technical resources to CBOs who themselves provide care and protection to children affected by HIV and AIDS.

Burkina Faso, Malawi and Uganda have successfully established financial mechanisms that attract funding from multiple donors, which improves alignment and harmonisation of donor funding to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).2 These mechanisms also provide an opportunity for funding to be more strategically allocated against nationally developed strategic plans of action on OVC. However, the degree of input from community level into the setting up or resource allocation was limited. Of the over 50 CBOs interviewed during this study, none had any knowledge or understanding of the macro-environment that had such a significant impact on their access to money. In all three countries, the message was clear – money talks, and with the donor and government at the table, the voice of CBOs was usually not considered, or CBOs were considered too ‘weak’ and poorly informed to have a valid point of view.

Using the five key principles of the Paris Declaration (ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results and mutual accountability) as a guide, examples of good practice and areas for further improvements were identified.