African Civil Society Seminar on HIV and AIDS
and the Millennium Development Goals
Held in Nairobi
12-13th May 2011
Organised by the World AIDS Campaign and the
United Nations Development Programme
HILLPARK HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA
Summary, Background and Objectives 5
Welcome Remarks 6
Opening Remarks 7
The MDGs in Africa: A Contextual Analysis 7
Presentation on MDG Targets and Indicators 11
Panel Discussion: “Where exactly are we right now?” 12
Thematic Groups Discussions and Presentations: MDGs 1-8 16
Emerging Key Issues and Proposals for the Action Plan 24
Way Forward 27
Closing Remarks and Vote of Thanks 29
Annex 1 Framework for accelerated implementation of the MDGs
Annex 2 Seminar Programme
Annex 3 Participant List
ACHAP: African Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Partnerships
AfriCASO: Africa Council of AIDS Service Organisations
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ARASA: AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa
AU: African Union
CARMMA: Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality
CATAG: Central African Treatment Action Group
CCM: Country Coordinating Mechanism
CIDA: Canadian International Development Agency
CSO: Civil Society Organisation
EAC: East Africa Community
EANNASO: Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service
ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States
GBV: Gender Based Violence
GIPA: Greater Involvement of People with AIDS
GNP+: Global Network of People living with HIV
HIPC: Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
HIV: Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus
ITPC: International Treatment Preparedness Coalition
JAAIDS: Journalists against AIDS
KANCO: Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium
LGBTI: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex
LTA: Leadership Through Accountability
MDG: Millennium Development Goal
MNCH: Maternal Neonatal Child Health
MPoA: Maputo Plan of Action
M&E: Monitoring and Evaluation
MP: Member of Parliament
MTCT: Mother to Child Transmission
MSM: Men having Sex with Men
NASA: National AIDS Spending Assessment
NEPAD: New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NEPHAK: Network of People with HIV and AIDS in Kenya
PAP: Pan-African Parliament
PLWHA: People living with HIV/AIDS
PMTCT: Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
SADC: Southern Africa Development Community
SAFAIDS: Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination
SAT: Southern African AIDS Trust
SRH: Sexual Reproductive Health
SRHR: Sexual Reproductive Health Rights
TBA: Traditional Birth Attendants
UA: Universal Access
UNDP: United Nations Development Programme
UNGASS United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and
UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Education Fund
VCT: Voluntary Counseling and Testing
WAC: World AIDS Campaign
WATAG: West African Treatment Action Group
The World AIDS Campaign (WAC) in partnership with the UNDP Regional Center for
Eastern and Southern Africa and the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) hosted an
African Civil Society Seminar on HIV and AIDS and the Millennium Development
Goals on the 12-13th May 2011 in Nairobi. The seminar aimed to explore emerging
knowledge and perspectives related to the links between HIV and AIDS and the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The seminar drew together some of Africa’s leading civil society HIV campaigners,
academic researchers, scientists and policy makers to exchange views and opinions
on the vital need for an integrated strategic approach in engaging programmatic
issues around both HIV and AIDS and the MDGs.
The seminar presentations, discussions and outcomes were summarised in the form
of a concrete report and action plan for the next generation of research and
recommendations for advocacy strategies and programmatic changes based on new
learning in the field.
The seminar will be used to define the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in
creating awareness of the links between HIV and the MDGs and advocating for short,
medium and long term structural interventions and solutions rooted in the
implementation of MDG related strategies. The seminar will also encourage new
thinking and cross-disciplinary partnerships for future work, especially in the form of
a strategic Programme of Action to be adopted by the participants on behalf of the
broader African civil society.
Background and Objectives
As the formal UNGASS process draws to an end, there is an increasing appreciation
of the reality that “AIDS Exceptionalism” as an approach seems to have run its full
course. And so HIV campaigners are now increasingly focusing on the MDG process,
together with the more integrated approach to the epidemic within national
development, planning and implementation processes. There has been a clear gap in
terms of linking HIV with the other areas of campaigning and therefore a platform is
needed for a coherent response that links HIV with the MDGs.
This involves learning about the possible linkages between HIV and development,
new systems and approaches aimed at addressing the structural drivers common to
most MDGs and new ways of campaigning, advocating and lobbying for sustained
and accountable outcomes. In Africa, where achievement of the great majority of
MDGs is in doubt, and where the HIV epidemic is at its most widespread, the
“integrated” campaign approach has attracted great interest.
This initiative seeks to combine some significant learning with an opportunity for
discussion and forward planning region wide based on the role CSOs can play in
advocacy, implementation and the monitoring of MDGs related strategies. The
initiative recognizes the differences in and within countries and so will also seek to
propose models that are practical and could also be replicated at the country level.
To promote cross-disciplinary learning and collaboration among civil society
leaders, researchers, government officials, policymakers and practitioners
working in both the HIV and AIDS field and those focusing on the
implementation of the MDGs by exploring the links between HIV and the
To explore the critical factors and contexts that highlights the links between
HIV and other MDGs.
To identify opportunities for joint CSOs and MDGs collaboration through the
development and adaptation of a short term strategic Programme of Action to
accelerate action on HIV and AIDS and the MDGs in Africa.
Increasing awareness and the understanding of the links between HIV and
Identification of successful structural interventions that can impact positively
on HIV and other MDGs at the same time, and the role that CSOs can play in
advocating for their implementation.
The establishment of a network to support integrated approaches to HIV and
the MDGs and also to develop similar concept of networking and collaboration
at a country level.
Adoption a strategic regional Programme of Action from 2011 to 2012
Introductions by Daniel Molokele, WAC Africa Programme Manager
Mr Molokele welcomed delegates to the seminar. There were approximately 30
delegates from Nairobi and 40 international delegates attending the meeting, totaling
70 people. The seminar aimed to bring people together from different backgrounds
and reach out to people outside the HIV movement. Participants were from national
and regional civil society organizations, UNDP, and WAC (Africa road map, LTA and
UNGASS process). Participants were invited from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP),
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the SADC
Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) but due to the protocol involved more time was
required for their attendance. There will be follow up to ensure their future
participation. The Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) was commended for setting
standards and bringing their own delegates. Mr Molokele stated that the HIV
movement is the most advanced civil society movement in Africa and asked the
question: “How do we involve HIV civil society rather than devolve?”
Welcome Remarks by Linda Mafu, WAC Africa Programme Manager
Ms Mafu noted that we are reviewing the UNGASS process and that resources are
diminishing. The conference must lead to action, and every action should lead to
impact. We are not dealing with numbers, we are dealing with peoples’ lives. We
should come out with a work plan that we can implement and we must think
“GLOCAL” – Global to local.
Opening Remarks by Benjamin Ofosu-Koranteng, Senior Advisor,
Development Planning and HIV Mainstreaming, UNDP, Eastern and Southern African
Mr Ofosu–Koranteng stated that there are many lessons to learn after 10 years of
the MDGs and so we are not starting from zero. Firstly, MDGs represent one of the
most critical promises we have made to ourselves and we need to deliver. Although
most of us are from HIV organisations, what brings us together is our ability to link
with other MDGs they are closely interrelated in practice and the non achievement of
one has a negative impact on the others. We tend to see the MDG goals as silos but
they are intrinsically linked to each other as has been seen in the various country
MDGs reports. The issues of poverty are linked to education and gender and there is
a common thread. This seminar provides an opportunity to reflect on the linkages
and the role of CSOs in (a) making these links visible and (b) making the MDGs
achievement by 2015 happen. There are many lessons and we need to learn from
what has happened in the HIV arena. As AIDS actors our links to other MDGs is
critical. MDG 8 is particularly interesting as it shapes what we do as NGOs and
government. He conveyed the good wishes of UNDP, Johannesburg and said that
UNDP is keen to collaborate and help government, private sector and CSOs come
together to make MDGS by 2015 a reality.
Opening Remarks by Hester Musandu, Southern African AIDS Trust
Ms Musandu stated in her opening remarks that “If it doesn’t happen in communities
it doesn’t happen at all.” As participants deliberate on the MDGs they should ask
themselves how they can increase community involvement in the implementation of
proven interventions and what do these recommendations mean to communities.
The Southern African Aids Trust (SAT) has five priority areas for the next 5 years in
the HIV response in the region. Firstly, integration is important as it is difficult to
separate HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. It is difficult to see HIV as anything but the
failure of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Secondly, in looking at
prevention, we must focus on outcomes and not processes and recognize the
We must ensure that Universal Access is universal and does not exclude anyone from
access to SRH and HIV services. She stressed the importance of young people and
their access to SRH. Youth must participate in our communities. Lastly, she talked of
a return on social investment and recognized that HIV money is not charity money.
It is an investment paid by tax payers who are expecting a return. This investment
must include the empowerment of women to determine their access to SRH.
The conference is about the integration of MDGs and the HIV response and she
asked participants to look at the integration of the component of SRH, strengthening
of community health systems and development and poverty alleviation. She looked
forward to a new way of thinking and planning in supporting these goals.
The MDGs in Africa: A Contextual Analysis by Osten Chulu
(Power point presentation available)
Mr Chulu started his presentation with a history of the formation of United Nations
system and why it was established. Since its formation after the Second World War
the mandates of the UN have changed from peace keeping and now include other
aspects of global development. The most important aspect of human development to
come out of all the UN mandates and meetings are the Millennium Development
In 2000 at the 55th General Assembly, the Millennium Summit was held which
strengthened the environment for peace, development, and human rights. In 2001
the Millennium Declaration Goals were adopted, each addressing a different aspect
of human wellbeing and development. The importance of the AIDS response was
noted by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when he said that “Halting the
spread of HIV is not only an MDG in itself, it is a prerequisite for reaching most of
The objectives of this presentation were to examine the current status of MDGs in
Africa, to give a better understanding of how HIV/AIDS and other MDGs impact on
one another and to explore and create cross cutting MDG synergies, and to see how
civil society can play a role in the entire spectrum. Civil society has a watchdog role
to play to ensure that those mandated to deliver actually do deliver what they
Progress has been made within the specific context of governance, political will, and
strong leadership. Globally some progress had been made due to achievements in
China, India and Brazil, but it is important to look at these achievements in more
Mr Chulu presented a series of colour coded graphs which examined the
achievements of six regions of the world including Sub Saharan Africa with regards
to each of the 8 goals. Green represented countries that had achieved or were near
achievement by 2015, light green signified a lot of progress, red signified conditions
had worsened or no progress had been made and grey represented insufficient data.
Examining MDG 1, eradicating poverty and extreme hunger, the graph shows that
there is insufficient data in 40% of African countries. This is a much larger
percentage than other regions of the world. In many countries, more than 50% of
the population lives in extreme poverty.
When examining MDG 2, achieving universal primary education, it is important to
look at the quality of education and not just enrolment. One must also look at
prospects after school. In Sub Saharan Africa, a huge proportion of countries are
lagging behind with the exception of Botswana and Lesotho which are doing well.
In terms of MDG 3, promoting gender equality, girls enrolled in school are doing
quite well and some countries such as Lesotho and Botswana have more girls
enrolled than boys. It is also important to look at the number of women in
Parliament and the number of women in paid employment. The targets that we use
to measure the MDGs also require critical analysis and understanding. For example,
in Lesotho the equality bill was only passed two years ago and women still need the
signatures of a husband or relative to own property.
With MDG 4, reducing child mortality, we are doing very badly and we have not
made progress from 1990 to date. Some progress has been made with the roll out of
immunization programmes but apart from that, many children are still dying.
With MDG 5, improving maternal health, 60% of Africa is in the red. Childbirth is an
occupational hazard for women and we have not made progress, in fact, many
countries have regressed. Maternal mortality is worse than in 1990 largely due to
HIV and lack of access to SRH and services.
MDG 6 focuses on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB and the map presented
shows the potential explosiveness of the epidemic in countries and areas where it
has not been previously is great. In Sub Saharan Africa the prevalence is greater
than 15 % in many countries.
Looking at MDG 7, ensuring environmental sustainability, we Have made some
progress. However, with regard to water access, many countries are not doing well
and safe water is still a challenge for Africa. Sanitation which is linked with health
and food security remains a huge challenge and we are seriously off track. The
proportion of countries lagging behind is greater in Africa. The question we must ask
is “Why is Africa always lagging behind?”. We need to move from talking to doing
something about it. MDG 8 is the forgotten the MDG, and focuses on global
partnerships for health.
There are complex linkages between MDGs and HIV and the presenter described
these in detail. Examining the link between HIV and poverty/hunger, AIDS can
worsen poverty and there is a strong correlation between HIV and poverty if
infected. In Botswana, poverty rates are 0.5% higher per year due to AIDS and in
Zambia a study showed that there is a rapid transition from relative wealth to
relative poverty due to AIDS. AIDS can increase unemployment through stigma and
discrimination in the work place, absenteeism due to ill health, and caring for the
sick or attending funerals. AIDS can exacerbate hunger and food security as poor
health directly reduces agricultural productivity. Households affected by AIDS divert
time, income and assets towards caring for those who are sick. Impacts are
compounded for women, girls and the poor. AIDS widows and orphans are often
disinherited. Even when drugs are free, families may not be able to afford the cost of
food or the travel cost for care.
Looking at the impact of MDG 1 on AIDS, infection rates are higher in the poorest
regions of the world and if one were to juxtapose a map of poverty and HIV, there
would be almost a prefect correlation. Two thirds of global infections are in Sub
Saharan Africa. However within poor regions, relatively wealthy nations have the
highest levels of HIV, as they attract migrant labour, people work in difficult
circumstances away from their families and may engage in risky behavior. Higher
rates are borne by socially disadvantaged groups, particularly women. HIV puts an
enormous financial burden on governments as antiretroviral therapy is a lifelong
commitment and requires infrastructure development and the provision of health
Looking at the link between HIV and education, teachers have been greatly impacted
by HIV. AIDS affected children including orphans experience lower rates of school
attendance and may perform more poorly. Girls may be most affected as they may
be pulled out of school to care for sick family members or their families may no
longer be able to afford school fees.
Looking at education and AIDS, early in the epidemic, higher levels of HIV were
found among the better educated as education was linked to affluence, mobility and
higher levels of sexual risky behavior. Now, education has become a protective
mechanism, although this is not universal. Protective effects of education operate
through multiple mechanisms, particularly for girls, and strong education
programmes and life skills programmes are critical for the response.
There are direct links between AIDS and gender and AIDS can disproportionately
affect women and girls, severely compromising their opportunities for social and
Linking AIDS and child mortality, AIDS accounts for a significant share of the total
under five mortality and in some countries AIDS is the major cause of under five
mortality. In South Africa and Swaziland, nearly 50% of under five deaths are due to
AIDS. With indirect mechanisms, the impact of AIDS on under five mortality is likely
to be even higher. E.g. Malnutrition is heightened in AIDS affected households and
maternal orphans experience a higher mortality rate.
Of all the MDGs, MDG 5, reducing maternal mortality has made the least progress
with a 22% decline from 1990 to 1998 which is well short of the target of a 75%
reduction. AIDS accounts for 18% of maternal mortality globally. In Sub Saharan
Africa prior trends which showed improvements in maternal mortality rates have
been reversed partly due to the impact of HIV.
MDG 7 looks at the environment. HIV/AIDS infected persons are forced by poverty to
rely heavily on natural resources to earn income through the sale and consumption
of charcoal, timber, fuelwood, and wild fruits and for nutritional supplements and
traditional medicines. Although a contentious issue, there is said to be a greater
incentive to exploit resources for short-term benefits either consciously or
unconsciously using unsustainable practices because people affected by HIV/AIDS
expect to die sooner rather than later.
Environmental degradation such as soil erosion and loss of vegetation cover leads to
reduced crop production and hence reduced macro and micronutrient intake.
Resource degradation also results in longer distances to fetch water, fuelwood,
construction materials, and to reach grazing sites. This in turn leads to higher
demands for labour, increased time to acquire resources, and increased demands for
unavailable calories and nutrients, thus stressing individuals. Increased travel
distances to resources increases the vulnerability of women to sexual violence.
(Example of women in Zambia selling sex for fish)
MDG 8 focuses on global partnerships and sets out to:
1. Address the special needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and
small island developing states. A level playing field must be developed so that
countries have equal voices and address the issue of debt cancellation for countries
that have high levels of HIV.
2. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and
financial system. As national income comes from trade, the World Bank, the IMF and
the OECD impose conditions that make it difficult for African countries to progress.
The rules are unfair to Africa.
3. Deal comprehensively with developing countries debt – the Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries (HIPC) initiative.
4. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable
essential drugs in developing countries. “Why should North American companies be
producing ARVs? Why should we not be making our own drugs?” India produces
ARVs and South Africa should also. The unpredictable trading system has an impact
on the MDGs.
5. In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new
technologies, especially information and communications.
Looking ahead, it is important to look at what role civil society can play and examine
what partnerships need to be developed. We must look at resource mobilization and
utilization and proper governance to ensure programmes are implemented.
Presentation on the MDG Targets and Indicators
by Domingos Mazivila
Mr Mazivila gave an overview of the 8 MDGs and explained that they each have time
bound targets to monitor progress. Initially, there were 18 targets and 48 indicators
and in 2008 the UN extended this to 21 quantifiable targets measured by 60
indicators. This was due to additional targets being added under MDG 1 regarding
employment. The official list of MDG targets and indicators is available on the UNDP
In measuring poverty, he stressed that it was important for each country to come up
with its own definition of poverty and national poverty lines should be used. He
pointed out that in some countries data is not collected on some of the indicators as
it is not applicable. For example, pollution data in small countries.
He discussed some of the challenges in data collection for the indicators. These
include diversity in the data sources which come from censuses, surveys and records
and also the quality of the data. He said that care must be taken when interpreting
country data as the average for the country can hide regional or provincial
variations. Differences in methodology may be a source of conflict and it is important
to question data provided by government. For example, the first MDG report
produced in South Africa was questioned by civil society. He said that statistics were
crucial for planning and monitoring the MDGs and tools have been developed for
monitoring the goals.
Mr Mazivila described the opportunities for CSOs which included documenting
evidence of achievements and key drivers of progress, identifying key challenges and
constraints to progress towards the MDGs and possible solutions, and mobilizing
commitments for concrete, comprehensive and targeted actions. MDGs should be
integrated into national development strategies and MDG policy coordination should
be enhanced. E.g. the creation of MDG Ministries or parliamentary committees. Civil
society could also advocate for budgetary allocation for unmet commitments such as
the Abuja Declaration. He concluded with a point that MDGs are not just about
numbers, but about REAL people.
Panel Discussion: Where exactly are we right now?
A panel discussion on “Where exactly are we right now?” was chaired by Olufunke
Osindele from Journalists Against AIDS. The two panelists were Innocent Laison,
Senior Programmes Manager of the African Council of AIDS Service Organisations
(AfriCASO) and Benjamin Ofosu-Koranteng, Senior Advisor, Development Planning
and HIV Mainstreaming, from UNDP, Eastern and Southern Africa Region.
The UNDP presentation clearly showed the interaction between HIV and the MDGs.
They both impact one another and do not stand alone. In looking at commitment for
human development and HIV, we must identify landmarks. In 2001, there was the
UNGASS Declaration and the Abuja Declaration. In 2006, we had the Call for Action,
the UN Declaration on Universal Access which focuses on prevention, treatment, care
and support services. When the MDGs were set, HIV was part of the process, in fact
MDG 6 tends to focus on HIV only and not malaria, TB and other diseases. It is
important to look at the linkages, the synergies and the divergence.
Coming from an advocacy perspective for the commitment to human development,
civil society must always remind governments that they have to keep their promises.
The deadline for Universal Access was December 2010 and looking at all the
processes from 2000 up till now, we have data that show realistically that we are not
making progress. Civil society must be involved in getting work done at country level
and we must ask ourselves: “How can we put this energy into supporting the MDG
process? How do we get HIV CSOs to work with other NGOs? Do we have a coalition
of development NGOs at country level?”
We must look at what challenges civil society face in getting advocacy projects
funded. Now that HIV civil society organizations are trying to work with other NGOs
to obtain resources, it is important for us to question out motives and ask whether
we are just doing this for the resources or to achieve what we are committed to.
To achieve human development we must ask how civil society can make a
difference. It is important to focus on the system in the village that organises the
community response to the need of the population and see how we can support and
strengthen the capacity of this community system. We also need to gather strategic
information on the ground using this community system as we are often working
with missing data. Civil society involved in HIV must also engage in dialogue with
other civil society organizations such as human right defenders and the women’s
movement at country level.
Mr Laison asked the participants to think about who the stakeholders are. The
government’s role is to propose plans and engage for well being, while the UN’s role
is to support the government to implement the plans. Civil society is involved in
advocacy and also the implementation process but civil society is the only sector that
has difficulty in obtaining resources. In reflecting how we can support the
achievement of the MDGs we must think about resource mobilization for civil society.
In closing he stated that the period from 2000 to now has been about promises and
The discussion of commitment sums up the situation of where we are in terms of
HIV and the total paradigm of development in Africa as a whole. This is the first time
we are engaging with civil society. Mr Ofusu observed that civil society did not
appear to understand the budgetary process or know where the decisions are made.
Civil society needs to engage in the national development planning process even
though this is a long process.
The MDGs and Universal Access are at cross roads because they overlap and
whatever happens with the MDGs will have consequences for the Universal Access
movement. It is time to start a process of reflection and see how the experience of
civil society can be used to engage the totality of the MDGs.
To make progress in one area will depend on how much progress is made in others.
For example, a country cannot developed with just basic education alone. We must
aspire to more as it is atrocious that there is still infant mortality due to HIV. If we
look at all the issues around poverty, education there is one common thread:
inequality. There are still countries where women have to be accompanied to open a
Coming out of two independent evaluations of UNAIDS and the Global Summit on
MDGs are recommendations to look at HIV in a much broader development sense
and interrogate the whole development system in our countries. Microfinance
institutions should become an avenue for addressing specific MDGs as they intersect
well. An example of this is the IMAGE Project, a micro finance project in South Africa
that looked at women’s access to finance and integrated HIV prevention and human
rights issues. Mr Ofosu felt that that there were many lessons to be learnt from this
project and that it had phenomenal results which could be replicated throughout the
Many studies prove that more progress would have been made if our advocacy
interventions on HIV had been integrated with other structural issues on the way. It
is important to use this forum look at this as it is shameful where Africa lies
compared to the rest of the world in terms of progress towards MDGs. During the
forum we must examine what lies behind this mal performance. We must not look at
the symptoms but look at the challenges and look for a common denominator for
civil society to link with the private sector and government.
In terms of the AIDS response we should ask ourselves the following questions:
“Who owns the AIDS response?” Is it UNAIDS, Global Fund, PEPFAR or the
countries? Who writes the strategic plans? Where is the contribution of the real
people who have to deal with the issues? Who is there to change this?”
Mr Ofosu challenged participants to be active participants in the development
process down to the community level and to consider the MDGs to be significant. It
is necessary to liaise, partner and synergize with other development organizations as
we are addressing massive human rights issues.
The floor was opened for discussion and the following points were raised:
1. We must consider the new vision of UNAIDS and Michel Sidibe: zero new HIV
infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths by 2015 and see how we
can move forward towards this in our discussions.
2. The definition of poverty was discussed. It is generally considered to be a US
Dollar a day but as the US dollar is weakening it was suggested that we change the
definition and take ownership of it instead of relying on a definition that is imposed
by wealthier nations.
3. Referring to ownership of the AIDS response, whether civil society is involved, the
response ends up being civil society owned rather than government owned. For
example, the National Strategic Plan 2007-2011 in South Africa was largely driven by
civil society. It is not possible to kill the AIDS movement and expect the women’s
movement to rise and so we must look at how we can build others into the
movement and share lessons learnt and experiences. It is also important to become
consultants in our own communities.
4. Some of the participants attended the African Union (AU) meeting where the
Ministries did not appear to know about the content of the documents. When the AU
document was signed, it was not a position that Africans were aspiring to or wanted
to own, yet this is the document that will be taken forward as the Africa position.
5. Referring to the UNDP presentation on the MDGs, a question was raised on how
much the workshop would focus on Africa’s poor performance rather than focusing
on what has been achieved in Africa. It was felt that we must stop painting the
picture of Africa as having no hope. There have been significant improvements
particularly for people living with HIV. For instance, absenteeism is almost zero in
people living with HIV compared to people with diabetes or high blood pressure. It is
also important to look at the intention of statistics and stop painting Africa as a
hopeless community. For example, in Angola, there is extreme poverty due to war
yet the HIV prevalence is only 2% whereas in Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho and
South Africa which are comparatively rich the HIV prevalence is high.
6. Participants were asked how many of them are working with organizations that
are not working with the HIV movement. HIV organizations are way ahead of other
movements and it is important to reach out and create partnerships.
7. In order to achieve the MDGs we need reformation and we need to work together
and collaborate. This is a challenge as civil society currently works in silos and
organizations do not communicate with each other.
8. Resource allocation is needed for HIV and health and it is important to get
government to commit to finance all the agreements that they sign. For example,
last year there were drug stock outs due to insufficient funds. We therefore need
ownership and we need to ensure that resources are allocated and monitor how they
9. It is important to use a human rights approach, we need to prioritize finances
and we need legal and policy frameworks.
10. Civil society needs to be optimistic rather than pessimistic. In countries where we
have succeeded civil society has been responsible for 60–70% of the success.
11. How do we come together to form a platform in the case of Cameroon where we
have 60,000 civil society organizations?
12. It is important to support community systems and help communities to map out
their vulnerability. We are currently not engaging as the participants at the seminar
are not grassroots people.
13. We must shift from HIV to focus on inter linkages in development and the
integration of the MDGs. Civil society clings onto the territory of HIV. As long as we
are not at the table where the development planning takes place, it will be difficult to
14. In West Africa civil societies do not have access to resources mainly due to the
language barrier. Most research and reports are in English and a donor will not fund
a region where they do not have data. The UNDP presentation did not look at West
Africa, in fact the map actually omitted West Africa. It was recommended that the SA
AIDS Trust must advocate for West Africa.
Response of the Speakers
Referring to the ownership of the response, a development plan must be based on
need, and needs must be based on evidence. Evidence should be collected at
country level by civil society and the UN. At the community level, a system should be
in place in the village or rural area to respond to need. In order to improve and to
make a revolution in treatment, our plans must be based on need. Regarding
technical assistance which is the most expensive part of every plan, we must provide
own technical assistance and use our own consultants to draft work plans.
Referring to the question on donors funding East and West Africa, it is necessary for
West Africa to engage our governments as we are relying on the same source of
resources. A donor will not invest money if they do not have data. It is important to
see how we can work with other NGOs. The UNAIDS zero vision is challenging to civil
society and we need other ways of partnering with other civil society organizations
such as human rights defenders and traditional leaders. As long as the health system
is poor we cannot prevent people from dying from HIV.
We cannot be everywhere in implementation and so we must identify new partners
and give lead to people who have the capacity. In Africa in 2015 we will be saying
that we made progress but there are still a lot of challenges. We do not want to be
saying this in 2015!
The UNAIDS zero vision will not be achieved without exploring innovative synergies
and so we must challenge ourselves to build partnerships. He suggested that civil
society organizations were not accessing Global Fund money due to a lack of
capacity. CSOs must come together and build synergies to broaden the scope of
Global Fund resources are shrinking and the gap between what is requested and
what is provided is widening. The funds will not be there continuously. The question
is how do we engage government. No country has developed as a result of foreign
aid. Those countries that do well are investing their own money and depending on
their own resources so we must look at how to allocate our own funds. It is often
thought that if Global Fund is allocating resources there is no need for countries to
spend their own and there is a tendency not to track funds that do not come from
our own pocket. The challenge is to put pressure on governments to invest in the
Osten commented on the language used in the workshop. We are not using “results”
language. We have been saying “We need” for the last 20-30 years and there are
only four years to go before 2015. There are so many meetings on the same issues
and it is time that we change gear and ask ourselves what we are getting out of the
all the meetings (apart from conference bags) and what we can do better. There is
no time for business as usual, it is time to change gear.
With regard to resources allocation, civil society must ask government whether the
resources are going to the intended recipients. It is also our role to make
government responsive and responsible to their people. It they are not delivering to
their people then they have no right to be there.
On the question on poverty, a dollar a day is a basis of comparison from the World
Bank. Each country has its own definition based on house hold surveys done every 5
years. When the UN reports they use country specific reports of poverty
With regard to promises and lies, no country has developed on resources from
outside. One must look at what role civil society can play to make sure that
governments allocate resources. Civil society must fight for a bigger voice in the
national debate and governments ought to be afraid of civil society as they play the
role of watch dog.
Lastly on the issue of data, information and national ownership, where government
produces “glorified” reports on MDG achievements, civil society should challenge the
government, and provide an alternative view from the government. There are times
when the government may not want to show failure in providing specific services
and this is when they should be challenged by civil society.
Thematic Group Discussion and Presentations
Participants divided into four groups to discuss MDGs One to Four and the possible
programme linkages in Africa. Each group facilitator presented a brief overview and
then the groups discussed key action points for civil society for each specific goal.
Their findings were then presented to the plenary.
MDG 1: Eradicate Poverty and Extreme Hunger
The group discussed ways that CSOs can engage and contribute to the eradication of
poverty and hunger in the context of HIV and AIDS. Firstly, they considered the key
issues for a person living with HIV apart from the cost of ARVS. These include the
cost of drugs, transportation to access drugs, food, opportunity cost and loss of
business. Secondly they discussed how to change the economic situation at the
community level to create an enabling environment for PLHIVs. This would include
CSO engagement in community level income generation and building the grassroots
economy. Civil society should focus on job creation, sustainable income, food and
nutritional security, discriminatory laws and fair trade (global trade agreements). The
new baseline definition of poverty was considered to be less than 1.25 USD per day
with extreme poverty being anyone who cannot afford the basics such as food.
Key roles and recommended actions for civil society
CSOs should share innovative ARV supply and distribution methods with
Engage retired community based health nurses in the distribution of ARVs to
reduce transaction cost to PLHIV
Build HIV CSOs capacity and increase engagement in other sectors of the
Build linkages, partnerships and synergies with CSOs in other sectors – fair
trade, food security, green economy (bio fuels), entrepreneurship and
Play a lead role in informing communities about nutritional value of food
crops as well as propose alternative crops and farming practices for
sustainable and increase engagement with parliament to play the activists
role (for CSOs) with government
Capacity building sessions for parliamentarians on MDGs and other
Make expertise and skills available to partner organizations including
government to improve community action
Invest in community level evidence research – evidence based programming
and engagement with governments
Advocate for increased investment in rural development – health systems,
infrastructure, local institutional capacity strengthening (reduce migration)
MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
This group discussed how civil society can work with communities, governments and
other CSOs to influence policy and law around education for young girls and boys.
They recommended advocating for and campaigning for access to education for all
boys and girls including the disabled and PLHIV. Schools should be as close as
possible to the children and nomadic communities should also be accommodated.
E.g. Schools without walls programme in Botswana. Fees should be eliminated
including the cost of uniforms and text books. They discussed universal access to
treatment in all areas including providing rural teachers with access to ARVs within
the areas that they work. Incentives should also be provided for teachers to work in
Civil society can also play a role in educating communities on the human rights of
children, for example in the case of early marriage of young girls. Civil society can
also assist in community level strengthening of the home to allow children to go to
school. Eg home based care programmes and school feeding programmes
Key roles and recommended actions for civil society
CSO partnerships and strategic collaborations
Increase national budget for education
Monitor and track the use of these resources
Participatory approaches to change cultural practises that prevent boys and
girls from going to school
Programmes for curriculum development of sexual and reproductive health
education from primary level
Stiffer laws and enforcement of these laws to prevent sex with minors
Pregnant girls continue with education
Focus on PLHIV, girl child, children with disabilities
MDG 3: Promote Gender Equity and Empower Women
This group considered the Beijing platform for action as the entry point for gender
and focussed on five critical areas: women and poverty, gender based violence
(GBV), girl child education, women and the media, and women empowerment.
They noted that gender equality should also mean transforming society, that is the
way men and women relate to one another. Gender is a cross cutting issue with
linkages to all the MDGs. The legal/policy framework should recognise gender
equality and resources should be allocated to realise this goal.
Key roles and recommended actions for civil society
Listen to what traditional leaders are saying in order to change harmful
Support boy girl education from primary to university
Countries should domesticate international conventions (CEDAW) and draw
up indicators so that they can be measured
Work with traditional structures (E.g. Chiefs, traditional leaders, opinion
leaders) to buy into gender
Give an opportunity to women at grassroots level to talk about issues that
Should not discriminate against lesbians in training programmes (progressive
law in South Africa but implementation is a problem)
Petition Ministries of Gender and Sport to go to traditional leaders to accept
gays and lesbians
Since HIV/AIDS involves care givers, governments should offer support to
people caring for people living with HIV/AIDS
Need to implement numerous existing gender policies
MDG4: Reduce Child Mortality
The group discussed the following responses that could work to reduce child
Access to primary health care within the community health service delivery
Comprehensive and integrated approach to address both maternal and
Comprehensive Postnatal care
Reduced user fees especially for Maternal Health Care and increased access
to services at grassroots to reduce other out of pocket costs
Enable and fund policies to scale up child survival intervention e.g. CARMA
Improve access to quality post natal care including PMTCT services
Key roles and recommended actions for civil society
Influence policy processes that reflects inter-linkages (Maputo Plan of Action)
Encourage gender and child responsive budgeting to empower and avert
Develop or strengthen partnerships for integrated service delivery
Integrate HIV and AIDS with SRH to create feasible entry points for family
planning, PMTCT, and antenatal care within primary health care system
Re-examine the International Conference on Population and Development
and the relationship it has with the MDGs (link outcomes of the conference
Develop technical capacity for mainstreaming
Strengthen existing community systems
Reduction of user fees in community clinics
Community and family centered approach (package)
Review what has been done and identify gaps
Strengthen technical capacities (link MDG 4 and 5)
Case study in Malawi – significant reduction of child mortality where
community took charge
Thematic Group Discussions and Presentations: MDGS 5-8
The following questions were put forward to guide the discussions on Day 2.
1. In your view, what are the key milestone achievements and lessons learned?
2. How does your work (as CSOs) contribute to the achievement of this goal?
3. In your view, what are the key challenges or threats to achieve these goals and
how can CSOs help to overcome this?
4. Identify key strategic roles CSOs can play to ensure a more accelerated
achievement of this goal.
5. How do you think this MDG links with all the others?
MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
International and national laws (legislation and policies exist on paper but the
reality is different )
PMTCT programme as a result of ART treatment from MDG 6 (link)
Contribution of CSOs through existing programming
Trained mentor nurses on PMTCT (quality mentors)
Community mobilisation and awareness on HIV/MNCH integration and
support for maternal health (community mobilisation, advocacy, male
Supporting and strengthen existing referral systems
Key Challenges and Threats
Culture (talking about pregnancy before it shows is taboo E.g. Senegal)
Poor integration of services ( long distances/ different clinics)
Not enough financial resources
Safe abortion (personal attitudes by activists when discussing safe abortion)
Inadequate skilled labour (staff shortages, motivation and capacity)
Poor recording of information
Drug stock outs
Mother’s fear of knowing HIV status and disclosure, mother does not return
Pregnant women accessing services late or only when complications
Poor referral systems and follow up (lack of integration)
Key Strategies for Accelerated Achievement
Need information on rates of maternal mortality and HIV (evidence)
Help capacitate government at local level (district)
Review what has been done and identify gaps
Support governments through complementary programming (E.g. providing
family planning services, MNCH programming, set up and promotion of safe
Engagement with opinion leaders (politicians, traditional and faith leaders)
Capacitate CSO and communities on safe abortion (information and linking to
Lobby for and support SRH/MH integration
Key Strategic Roles CSOs can play
Mobilise communities, CSO and government and create awareness on MDGs
Build CSO capacity on data collection
Utilise such platforms as the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of
Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), Maputo Plan of Action
How MDG 5 links to others
MDG 1- Ensure the mother remains alive (productivity) and links to the nutritional
support of the mother
MDG 2- Education for young women and men to be able to make decisions on
accessing SRH services (assertiveness)
MDG 3- Legislation in place to support rights of women
MDG 4- Good health of the mother ensures good health for the baby
MDG 6- Ensure access to care and treatment for HIV and other diseases
MDG 7- Sanitation and clean water for pregnant mother
MDG 8- Leadership, partnerships, MPoA, CARMMA, etc
MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB and other diseases
Key Milestones and Achievements
Improved access to treatment and care
Comprehensive information on HIV available especially for young people
Decreased death rate due to AIDS related illness
People from rural areas can access treatment (been advocating for health
Mosquito nets free in government health centres
Many government have dealt with drug stock outs
Addressing malaria and TB
Fight discrimination, E.g. Decriminalisation law in Uganda – CSO played a role
More involvement in scientific development – microbicides /vaccines
Sharing and learning from best practices E.g. South Africa
Key Challenges and Threats
Traditional healers and faith based healers
People with non detectable levels of virus believe they are healed and stop
Drug stock outs in some countries
Stigma is very high especially in rural areas
(People born with HIV experience stigma, women continue breastfeeding
because of stigma)
Discriminatory laws E.g. Uganda, Kenya
Proposed legislation on anti homophobia, criminalization of HIV and putting
TB patients into prisons rather than health facilities creates a defeating
Misconception and lack of information on female condom use
Prioritizing health and budgeting for HIV and health
Not up to date with science E.g. mothers on ARVs can now breastfeed
Young people do not have the power to disclose without discrimination,
continue to take risky behaviour and infect others
People unwilling to use condoms yet enjoy sex
Increased in cost of living
Key Strategies for Accelerated Achievement
Effective ways of engaging government and partnering
Form coalitions to make a stronger voice
Repackage information for difference age groups particularly for people in
Education and information sharing to reduce stigma
Training of TBAs
MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
All African countries were able to develop National Policy on Environment
Create Regional Integration and ministries to implement the process
Key Challenges and Threats
When indicators were created MDG 7 only focused on environment not HIV
Policies alone are not enough, policy implementation and budget allocation
There is a crucial need to translate the policy language to the community
level as language used is not understood
Lack of African CSOs representation in global meetings on environmental
Terminologies used in addressing environmental issues cannot be
understood by local communities and CSOs
CSOs need to engage with slum dwellers to attain environmental
sustainability on water and sanitation
Key Role for CSOs
Mapping and partnering with other CSOs
CSOs will need to monitor the environmental sustainability
CSOs need to interlink and adopt these policies into programmes to assist
Awareness creation in community e.g. condom and glove disposal
CSOs need to invest in environment sustainability
MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Key Milestone and Achievements
The Global Fund is a big achievement and contribution
UNGASS to support global attention to HIV and AIDS
Acknowledge the creation of Abuja Declaration with the benchmark of 15%
Maputo Plan of Action
Gender protocol, Namibia
SADC pool procurement discussions, ACHAP
National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA)
Contribution of CSOs
Advocacy on planning issues and trade agreements
(E.g. AfriCASO involved in the replenishment debate)
Implementation of projects and plans
Challenges and Threats
Economic climate/credit crunch
Donor countries and NGOSs not keeping their promises
Trade agreements limiting
Strategies for Accelerated Achievement
Advocate for improved trade agreements
Support Financial Trade Tax (FTT)
Continue to advocate for replenishment of the Global Fund
Key Roles for CSOs
Push for access to affordable drugs through improved trade agreements,
intellectual transfer and local manufacturing.
Push for creative ways of generating more funding (airline tax, cell phone
companies, CSI programmes, tax incentives for philanthropists)
Encourage development partners to build capacity for implementation and
Challenge donor systems
Discussion at G20 summit
Run active campaigns
1. Action AID accountability campaign focusing on governance.
(Created simple popular usable versions of budgets)
2. ARASA “Where’s the Money? “campaign
3. AfriCASO ITCP Campaign
4. FTT campaign
Group 8 proposed the development of a 1-4 minute video to be shown at the HLM
meeting. The video would be developed by NACOSA in collaboration with WAC and
would contain the following key messages:
Where is the Money? (Only 5 countries have met commitment of 0.07%
Government to keep promises
Country ownership and investment
15% Abuja promise
How much money is going to civil society?
Improve allocation for essential services such as prevention, ARVs, female
Community system strengthening for data collection at local level
Interview participants from the workshop
Emerging Key Issues and Proposals for the Action Plan
Common themes emerging from the presentations included:
Advocacy role of civil society
Strengthening of existing community systems
Linkages and synergies
Discussion on Targets and Indicators
After the presentations from Groups 1-4, some questions were raised on the targets
within the MDGs and how Universal Access would fit in to these. It is important to
use the monitoring indicators of MDGs rather than develop something new. It
emerged that the level of knowledge of MDG targets and indicators varied amongst
participants and it would be impossible for civil society to play an advocacy role and
hold governments accountable without sound knowledge of the indicators. The
programme was therefore adjusted to make provision for an additional presentation
on MDG targets and indicators at the beginning of the second day before the group
discussions on MDGs 5-8.
Comments on Individual MDGs
MDG2 Achieving Universal Primary Education
Free education has failed in some countries so we must be realistic when advocating
School feeding programmes should be provided only as an emergency, instead
household food security should be promoted. Feeding programmes are
disempowering and not sustainable.
While we use community nurses we could also use teachers as they could remind
children to take their medication.
Civil society should advocate for free education and access to education everywhere.
We must also introduce new technologies and use ICT to improve access to
education. MDG 2 focuses on children, yet many older people cannot read or write.
There are many older care givers of PLHIV or orphans who cannot access
entitlements because they cannot read or write. Functional literacy is therefore
With regards to MDG 2, there should be a request to the UNDP experts to identify
the entry point into the government system. Civil society organizations need to
influence MDG based planning.
MDG 3 Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women
In addressing gender inequality it is important to readdress the imbalance of the
past and so cannot achieve equality without having a bias towards girls and women.
In discussing lesbians we should expand to the LGBTI issue as a whole. We need to
rethink gender as it is no longer about the relationship between a man and a
There is a special group of people with different sexual orientation and we need to
address the special needs of all girls and women. E.g. widowhood, and inheritance.
We need strategies to end paediatric AIDS. There was a 3 year campaign to end
paediatric AIDS in 6 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia,
Mozambique and Nigeria. The campaign has ended and these counties have been
left in the lurch without knowing how to continue.
We need continued advocacy with regard to PMTCT as this programme has missed
the target and women still cannot disclose their status.
MDG 5 Improving Maternal Health
Advocacy for resource allocation for MDGs and monitoring of resources is a critical
point. One of the biggest challenges is maternal mortality and the problem for
women being their ability to access health services because of long distances. If
there is no investment in providing facilities near to women they will continue to die.
MDG 6 Combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases
We must work towards a generation that is free of HIV. At the recent Mali summit it
was suggested that facebook, twitter and cell phones are used to reach young
people but today we are hearing that young people still do not have access to the
information in rural areas. What about the villages? We need to use strategies that
are close to the community and we must let youth organizations develop this.
There is a need to advocate for the training of young people as care givers. Young
people living with HIV currently fall between the cracks as they are not covered by
paediatric programmes or adult programmes. Young people give care and support to
young people living with HIV.
There must be meaningful involvement of youth in all levels of decision making on
prevention strategies. “When it comes from within us we will do it!”
Still on MDG 6, we need a rights based approach. The SADC model on HIV/AIDS is
an inspiration to legal drafters. When drafting HIV bills, policies and legislation this
document should be used as a bench mark to make sure it is within a human rights
based approach. East Africa is also developing a model law to inform a rights based
MDG 7 Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) will be held
in Durban from 28 November to 9 Dec 2011 and will be a good platform for civil
society. The relevant websites are www.UNFCC.int or www.cop17durban.com
MDG 8 Developing Global Partnerships for Development
Oxfam and CIDA, Canada will be hosting a pre G20 on the 16 May 2011 and
participants should attend as there is a need to be better organized as a continent.
While we are asking for technical capacity from our partners, we must use the
existing capacity to support and train others partners. We should develop a
community system support or mentoring.
SAT is developing a terms of reference to train community based organizations to
identify what they are working on with the involvement of UNDP.
More than 45 African countries have MDG plans and these should be examined as
the entry point to see how civil society can leverage its position and get involved in
existing programmes. Very few countries are undertaking an MDG plan from scratch
so while it is too late to get involved in the planning process, organizations can still
liaise with the Ministries of Economic Planning.
Science and communities need to work together otherwise we will be behind. For
example new research recommends that ARV treatment should start at a CD4 count
of 500 rather than the current recommendation of 350. This will mean an increase in
the number of people requiring treatment.
Civil society can play a role in data collection as there is often a lack of data. We
must acknowledge the weakness in the collection of data and look at the gap
between the data collectors and community. An example of the role of civil society
was given from South Africa where SANGOCO, a coalition of NGOs challenged the
reliability of the data presented by the South African government in New York. They
conducted their own research and were able to play a role in terms of evidence
based policy advocacy.
Role of Parliamentarians
Lobbying and capacity development should be accelerated to influence the work of
Parliamentarians with a view to provide evidence and technical support geared
towards advancement of health and HIV/AIDS to be central to the Parliamentary
oversight, budget appropriation and expenditure tracking, constituents
representation and legislative agenda. Seemingly the focus has been building roads,
bridges etc that are lasting rather than invest in health which is not visible and not
considered a priority issue.
SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) works with members of Parliament and plays
an oversight role on programming, legislation and policies. The forum is advocating
for partnerships between CSOs and members of Parliament as they can work with
communities. Members of Parliament are as good as the CSOs in their community
and it is possible for MPs to go straight to Parliament to table a motion from their
community. Civil society must ask whether it is a policy, programme or legislative
issue and then they will know who to engage.
Civil society must engage with members of Parliament as they tend to go for high
visibility projects in order to obtain votes. UNDP has a programme on
Parliamentarians and MDGs, educating them on their role in ensuring human
development. On an ongoing basis, CS must consult with Parliamentarians on issues
of development and give prominence to the issues of health, food security, the
environment etc. Civil society’s role is to work closely with Parliamentarians to
champion the development agenda of their communities as well as the country.
In Kenya, civil society is engaging female Parliamentarians and doing research for
them. Civil society is forcing strategic partnerships and providing evidence to help
them to build their capacity.
Action Points for Civil Society
1. Integration of scientists and civil society in terms of information sharing and
2. Continue evidence based advocacy on PMTCT, stigma and discrimination
3. Strategies to end paediatric AIDS
4. Mentoring and training using existing skills within civil society and community
5. Advocate for an HIV free generation and this should be informed by the
6. Use of a rights based approach- SADC model law
7. Affirmative action to ensure the meaningful involvement of youth living with
HIV from planning to programming
8. Participate in the global climate change conference in Durban, South Africa
9. Participate in the implementation of programs that are consistent with the
10. Advocate for resource allocation for MDGs and monitor use of the resources.
Support the “Where is the money?” campaign. Also link to G20 summit and
other resource campaigns
11. Advocate for inclusion and training of young people as care givers and
support to their peers
12. Conduct research to develop tools to halt the epidemic
Related processes including the UNGASS meeting in Namibia in March of this year,
the high level meeting (HLM) in New York in June and the Africa road map process
were discussed and the need to avoid overlap in these processes was emphasized.
The following points arose from the discussions on the way forward and these have
been incorporated into the action plan developed by the drafting team.
Stakeholder mapping is needed to identify who is critical to take the process to the
national level. Regional platforms are good structures to support advocacy and
create a platform for sharing information. Many countries have an MDG plan and
there is need to review programmes at country level and identify strategies for
moving forward. The importance of working with and building on existing platforms
at the country level was emphasized. For example in Southern and Eastern Africa the
existing platforms can be used to integrate HIV with the other MDGs. Regional
organizations represented at the seminar should conduct the regional mapping.
It is important to create awareness of MDGs. As demonstrated in the seminar the
level of knowledge of the MDGs, their targets and indicators varied greatly among
participants and so it is important to raise awareness and also sensitize partners that
were not present. The outcome of the meeting must be shared widely as it was not
an exclusive meeting but part of a larger campaign.
The meeting of African civil society in June 2009 also came up with an action plan
and although that meeting looked at Universal Access rather than MDGs, it was
similar and should be used as a starting point for this meeting’s action plan. There is
a need for synergy between the MDGs and Universal Access process.
The importance of involving young people and youth movements and networks was
raised as young people can bring social and structural change. The recent situation
in Egypt clearly demonstrated this and it is important to reach out to the youth at
the national level.
There was a discussion on the difficulties encountered by the West African
francophone countries and some of the participants felt that language was a barrier
as it is difficult to share reports and also to access funds. This had led to low
participation from French speaking countries in this conference. French countries
have information to share but they are not able to do so because of the language
barrier. It was recommended that the report is translated and shared with French
counterparts. The Lusophone countries should also not be omitted.
There was also a discussion on the role of UNDP in Johannesburg and Dakar and the
level of coordination between the two, as there was concern that the two offices
may have different priorities with regards to the MDGs. This was clarified by the
UNDP delegates who explained that UNDP Dakar is in charge of West Africa
(ECOWAS countries) and Central Africa (ECAS), and Johannesburg is in charge of 22
countries in East and Southern Africa. Priorities of both offices are directed by
UNDPS strategic plan which is drafted in New York. Regional priorities are therefore
in line with the strategic plan. The Johannesburg office has counterparts in Dakar
working on the MDGs and HIV and the report from this meeting will be translated
and shared with them. The regional HIV programme covers the whole of Africa and
so issues are therefore not conflicting. Once there are actionable points from this
meeting they can be shared.
High Level Meeting in New York
The high level meeting (HLM) in New York was discussed. It was suggested that the
results of this meeting could be shared at a side event in New York and others asked
whether there was a civil society agenda that could be tapped into.
The lobbying process has started already with the missions in the US. Swaziland
would be leading Africa to develop the African position paper. During the week of
23-29 May, formal negotiations would start with engagement of the missions and
about three of the seminar participants would be attending, whilst ten of the
participants would be attending the HLM in June.
The drafting of the zero outcome document began in 2008 and countries met in
Namibia to provide their input. The draft has already been circulated and civil society
has already sent in its inputs. It would not be realistic to input at this stage. The
International Committee of Civil Society has already met in New York but there is a
need for strong people to go to New York to lobby the UN mission. There was also a
debate about the people selected to represent the countries and the feedback they
provide to civil society.
Support to carry this process forward has been offered from UNDP but will depend
on the outcome of this meeting. SAT has an emerging commitment and is willing to
look at working at the community level, perhaps to create a model. The process
cannot be implemented by WAC but they can support partnerships (E.g. AFRICASO,
EANASO, CATAG and WATAG). Trust Africa is also willing to support countries.
Drafting of Summary Action Plan (Drafting Team)
See Annex 1
Mr Ofosu gave brief closing remarks and thanked participants for their attendance.
Mr Coates told participants that SAT would make their networks available to any
strategic partners in the region. SAT will be conducting a mapping exercise of 135
organisations to identify what they know about MDGs, how they monitor them and
where the gaps are and they would be asking UNDP to provide materials and skills to
facilitate this. They would accelerate their commitment once they have seen a report
of meeting. In closing, Mr Otwama said that MDGs need to be the framework for all
UN agencies and not just UNDP. In future it is important to connect with regional
bodies and include them. Resources are needed and external resources cannot be
relied upon as HIV is still an emergency and a disaster.
Vote of Thanks
Ms Mafu thanked everyone for attending the seminar and for working so hard. She
said that it was exciting to see so many young people present. She thanked Mr
Molekele and all the organizers. She said that the success of the process will be
demonstrated at country level and we will work with partners at country and local
level to see how development plans are related to the MDGs.