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									Proposal Writing Guidelines

NAPWA – National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Australia) APN+ - Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS September 2001

Proposal Writing Guidelines – September 2001

Index
Page Introduction Ten Top Tips 3 3

Some Common Reasons Why Proposals Are Rejected

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Potential Funders (Donors) Public Funders Philanthropic Trusts and Non-Profit Development Agencies

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Private Funders

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A Possible Structure For Your Proposal

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Budgets

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An Example of A Successful HIV Project Proposal (APN+ Speakers Manual)

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Some Useful Websites

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Acknowledgements & Our Contact Details

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Introduction
You will find in this document some ideas about preparing written proposals to seek funding for your projects. The suggestions described, the reasons why some proposals are rejected, the formatting and budget layouts are a guide. The guide has been compiled from the experience of those who have been involved in seeking funds for plwha and HIV/AIDS projects. It might be useful to think of the written proposal as "a door opener". It is an important way to get the attention of a possible donor. But you might also think of the other ways in which 'the door can be opened'. Phone calls and personal approaches can also be important in the process of gaining funding. Wherever possible, a written proposal needs to be accompanied by some other contact. Even with phone calls and personal approaches there will be a time when a written proposal will need to be prepared. What follows is a guide only. You will have to adapt it to your organisations particular needs and circumstances. Good luck.

Ten Top Tips
10. Start Early  Writing a good project proposal will take time. Time to collect background information such as chasing up reference documents, supporting material (eg. Country reports) and data.  Check out potential donors by phone, letter or email.  What sort of funding criteria do you have?  Do you fund this type of project?  Have you got any funds now?  Applications forms? Preferred proposal format?  Deadlines?  Can you send me any relevant information?  Maybe try a „preliminary‟ project proposal (concept paper) first to determine if your particular type of project is supported by the funding agencies and your colleagues?  After writing the first draft of any proposal, seek comments from colleagues, friends and peers. Have a „brainstorming‟ workshop to gather feedback. Revise the draft.  Keep an eye on any deadline. Contact the agency early (before the deadline) if you think you might need an extension. 2. Use the language of the donor  Use the words of the donor agency. Example:  How will the project address the issues of gender equity?  The project will address the issues of gender equity by…….  Avoid jargon not used by the donor. Limit technical language to those new words or technical terms that truly lack an equivalent in common language. Guidelines are available from some aid agencies that can guide you in the use of appropriate language eg. „AusAID Guide to HIV/AIDS & Development‟ – see AusAID website.  Abbreviations – expand on abbreviations early in the document when first used eg. APN+ (Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS).

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 3.   

Glossary – include an explanation of terms in your project proposal, if necessary. Write clearly Simple is better than complex – do not use complex terms or long sentences. Be brief – more is not necessarily better! Spell and grammar check – use your word processor spell (and grammar) checker but do not rely on them. They can let mistakes through. Ask colleagues to check your proposal for correct spelling and grammar.

4. Format  Tell a story from beginning to end – each section of your proposal should build on the one before.  Introduction – the introduction is one of the most important sections of the proposal. It is your opportunity to grab the reader‟s attention. Be clear, forceful and determined!  Use headings to show logical progression through the proposal.  Use paragraphs to break up large sections of writing.  Use diagrams and charts to illustrate points eg reporting flow charts – to show where copies of project reports will be sent to.  Choose a dark, clear typeface – fancy is not necessarily better! 5. Gender and Environment  These are two „buzz‟ issues that must be addressed. They cut across all issues.  Gender – examples of how to address:  Breakdown of female/male in target group  Role of women in the project  How will you support women to be involved as beneficiaries and decision makers in the project.  What are the particular needs of women.  How will the recruitment (staff) policy for the project ensure gender equity.  Project strategies for empowerment and participation.  Environment – examples of how to address:  Impact of the project on the environment, including physical, social and cultural eg encouraging the increased use of condoms will change the way women & men negotiate safe sex in their culture.  Strategies to cope with any negative environmental impact eg needle disposal. 6. Sustainability  What will happen when the project finishes?  Who is going to pay the ongoing costs, if any, of activities once the project finishes eg who is going to continue to fund the hospice costs?  Examine both medium and long-term benefits from the project, examples:  Trained workers/peer educators who will continue to provide services.  Processes – community committees formed and village leaders trained in project management.  Do not focus on buildings and motor vehicles, they are very expensive to maintain. Focus on sustainable benefits. 7. Monitoring/Evaluation  How is the progress of the project going to be assessed?  Show the donor how you are going to make sure the project‟s objectives are achieved eg quarterly reporting of achievements against objectives. Examples:

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 

Objective – to ensure that a minimum of thirty new health care workers attend our HIV Workshop each month. Report – a total of thirty-five health care workers attended the HIV Workshop in June.

8. SMART Objectives Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time related  Example of SMART objective:  To ensure that 80% of PLWHA attending the Nashi Province HIV Care Centre have access to clean blankets by December 2001. 9. Participation  Show how the project has been designed using „participatory planning techniques‟ eg community workshops held – community leaders attended, scooping (proposal) paper developed and distributed – comments incorporated, meetings held to discuss project with all key agencies. 10. Other Contributors  Clearly document who else is going to contribute resources (funds, time, workers, equipment) to your project.  Describe any other fundraising activities that you propose to carry out to assist the project eg raffles, sale of finished products (manuals), and how much you expect to raise.

Some Common Reasons Why Proposals Are Rejected
1. What am I funding? Failure to explain what the donor is actually purchasing (funding) – eg in regard to a project focusing on caring for PLWHA, they will want to know to what extent will the project improve PLWHA health. If it is difficult to specify the health output/aim (eg infections prevented), then tell them how another, intermediate objective (eg condoms distributed), results in the health output/aim being achieved. 2. Does your project duplicate existing projects? Failure to explain how the project will fit in with other existing projects and programs (context). All donors are concerned about the risk that proposals will duplicate existing work. You should explain how your proposal fits within your national AIDS strategy and complements the work of other projects and programs.

3. Who are the beneficiaries of your project? Failure to clearly identify and explain who will be the beneficiaries of the project. Not just the principle target group (eg HIV+ people), but also the wider beneficiaries (eg women, children, minority groups, disabled people). 4. Will your project be fulfilling a need?

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Failure to explain how the projects objectives meet clearly identified need/s – „who said it was a need?‟ – evidence (refer to statistics, reports, etc) 5. Does your projects goals and aims link with your objectives? Failure to effectively link lower level objectives with overall goals/aims –eg how does supplying blankets to people with HIV improve their quality of life? 6. Does your project have a realistic timeframe? Failure to convince the donor that there is a high likelihood that the project will succeed within the specified timeframe. Benefits will be delivered, goals, objectives and workplan are realistic, effective performance measurements will be undertaken. 7. Does your project work with the community? Failure to take into account gender and environment issues and how the project will work with the community ie facilitate community participation. 8. Will your project’s impacts be sustainable? Failure to address issues of sustainability and impact – what effect will the project have in the short, medium and long-term and which of the projects outputs (achievements) will be sustainable after the project is completed. 9. Is your project value for money? Failure to convince the donor that the project is „value for money‟ – cost/benefit ratio.

Potential Funders (donors)
Public Funders
National governments through their international aid and development agencies fund projects of varying size and nature in many countries, in general this is through a local nongovernment organisation (NGO), for instance, a local PLWHA organisation. There are a number of ways to access these funds, and these will vary with each national government. You will need to research each national government‟s development agency to determine your organisation‟s eligibility for funding, and how to apply for these funds. Below are 2 such ways that NGOs may be able to access funds. 1. Often national governments will have small grants funds attached to their embassy, post or consulates overseas. National NGOs can apply directly to the embassy, post, consulategeneral for small grants in their own country. These are most likely to be accessible for 'one-off' or pilot projects. 2. Another way to access national government funds is to partner with an NGO from the country of the national government who has a development and aid program. This will require a longer term and collaborative approach to access larger amounts of funds. Your organisation will need to have established policies and procedures, in areas such as finance and administration and a track history of project work. Some countries will have peak national bodies, to which international development NGOs are members. For example, ACFOA, the Australian Council For Overseas Aid, is the peak non-government organisation representing Australian NGOs working in international development and aid. Contacting these bodies is one way of finding out about suitable
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organisations to consider establishing a partnership with and more about what issues and regions they work in. Another approach is to speak with national NGOs in your country who are already partnering with an international NGO and listen to their experiences. It is important to distinguish UNAIDS here. It is an advocacy and coordinating body rather than a funding body, but may fund pilot programs on advocacy. Some examples of countries with large development and aid agencies include: United States - USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Australia - AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) United Kingdom - DFID (Department for International Development) Canada - CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) Japan - JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) JICA has offices in many Asia-Pacific countries and separate websites for all of them Germany - GTZ (Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit) The Netherlands - DGIS (Directorate General for International Cooperation) (refer to „Some Useful Websites‟ at the rear of this document for web addresses. As a rule, internet searches using the aid agencies abbreviations only will find the relevant site for you).

Philanthropic Trusts and Non-Profit Development Agencies
Several international trusts exist that will give grants for specific projects. These include philanthropic trusts such as The Ford Foundation or Rockefeller Foundation. Non-profit development agencies such as World Vision and Care tend to manage their own projects rather than fund external ones, as do „for profit‟ development agencies. The main thing to remember for philanthropic trusts is that they will normally have specific application requirements and categories for providing grants. They are also likely to prioritise making grants to specific issues and/or geographical regions. Grants from philanthropic trusts can range from very small grants of $US1,000 to large grants of $US400,000. They tend to fund projects or programs through organisations, rather than directly to individuals, say for travelling costs associated with attending a conference, for instance. Some examples of grants given: Levi Strauss & Co. and Levi Strauss Foundation (www.levistrauss.com)
(information available on line at: levistrauss.com/responsibility/foundation/grants/apd99.htm accessed July 2001)

 

AIDS Concern Foundation Limited, Chai Wan, Hong Kong $US50,000: to expand peer support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and to provide meals, counselling and other programs (under their AIDS, Asia Pacific category). AIDS Society of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines $US35,000: to support a pan-Asian training seminar on HIV prevention and harm reduction for health care providers, community-based AIDS workers, program developers, and policy makers (under their AIDS, Asia Pacific category)

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 

Une Fleur, Tokyo, Japan $US4,622: to assist women infected with HIV find employment to achieve financial independence (under their AIDS, Asia Pacific category) Pusat Pengembangan Sumberdaya Wanita (PPSW), Jakarta, Indonesia $US39,983: to support community-based organising and microenterprise development programs for women (under their Economic Empowerment, Asia Pacific category)

The Rockefeller Foundation (www.rockfound.org)
(information available on line at: rockfound.org/display.asp?context-4&collection-12&Preview-O&ARCurrent-1 accessed July 2001)

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Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat for East, Central and Southern Africa, Arusha, Tanzania, $US97,556: in support of a meeting of health and finance ministers to discuss priority issues that relate to increasing government financing of HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs in east, central and southern Africa (under their Health Equity category) University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, $US10,917: toward the publication of a booklet on HIV/AIDS education and its distribution to primary and secondary school teachers in Kenya (under their Regional Activities category)

Other examples of philanthropic trusts:  Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (www.kff.org)  Elton John AIDS Foundation (www.ejaf.org)  Ford Foundation (www.fordfound.org)  The Asia Foundation (www.asiafoundation.org)  Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute (www.soros.org) Tips in regard to Public Funders and Philanthropic Trusts: Find out by internet, email or phone  what the specific application requirements are and follow these guidelines  if they categorise their grant monies into particular themes or subject areas of work and choose your approach accordingly  if they are currently prioritising particular themes, approaches or geographical regions  deadlines for applications Be clear and specific about your project, its budget and what the money will be used for.

Private Funders
Here are some tips on how you might go about raising funds from the private sector (private companies rather than government or charity organisations). There are two reasons a private company might contribute. One is that they have a philanthropic policy, they are an organisation that likes to assist those in need. The other is that they are looking for a Public Relations or marketing opportunity, which will lead directly to more exposure or publicity and then to more sales for them. In this second case the organisation will want to know “What is in it for me?” So try and find a way they are likely to benefit. Find a way to promote their name and recognise the assistance they have given.

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There are three types of assistance you might request. 1) Money 2) Goods or services for your use Goods might include: office equipment like computers, printers, photocopiers, answering machines, chairs, tables, refrigerator, air conditioners, microwave etc. Consumables like paper, nutritious foods, condoms Services could include: Printing, travel, hire of rooms 3) Items you could raffle to raise funds Those would include anything that might be suitable to raffle as a desirable prize, from TV sets or mobile phones to dinner in a restaurant or a weekend at a hotel. In the case of goods and services go to those companies who either manufacture or import the products themselves or their retail outlets, or who provide the services. Some international companies have a local budget for such donations and some do not. Often there is no policy, so it is a case of trying your luck. The local manager may be prepared to send a submission to the regional office if they have no funds. In the case of local companies there are some that will have a policy of assisting and others not. Often it will depend on the individual manager or owner. Just keep trying and don‟t forget to tell them “What’s In It For Them.” You should approach any organisation that you think might be able to help. The ones that experience shows look most favourably on HIV/AIDS funding are:  The pharmaceutical companies, especially those most involved in HIV medication (Glaxo Smith Kline , in some countries still Glaxo Wellcome, Shire Biochem a subsidiary of GSK, Hoffmann La Roche, Merck Forsst, Agouron – Pfizer, Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb)  Ansell or other condom manufacturers  Life insurance companies  Cosmetic companies, hair care and skin care  Some airlines are likely to assist in travel to conferences with either free of charge flights or discount fares.

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A Possible Structure For Your Proposal
SUMMARY Clearly and concisely summarise the request A request for $5,000 for running costs for one year for a recently formed support group in Princetown of People Living With HIV/AIDS

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE OR PROBLEM

Brief statement of the reason that the project is necessary There are an estimated 1,200 people living with HIV/AIDS in Princetown, with no support organisation to assist them. These people need guidance on treatment, assistance with accommodation and moral support and legal and other advice. Establishes the outcomes or end results of the project To provide a support organisation for up to 2,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, providing information on treatment, legal issues, workplace related issues, and to provide a meeting point for exchange of ideas and for support, and physical assistance for those in need. (Cleaning, shopping, cooking and care.) Monthly newsletters circulated to up to 2,000 people, lobbying at government level on treatment and other issues, weekly meetings to provide support and break down stigma issues, social activities, assistance for those people who require physical assistance. Hire of a room once a week for 5 hours, use of a computer, photocopying and mailing of

STATEMENT OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

Describes what are the activities to happen during the project, providing quantification wherever possible

LIST OF REQUIRED RESOURCES

List the resources, both human and physical to make the project work

Proposal Writing Guidelines – September 2001

Newsletters, as many as 10 part time staff provided through volunteers, travel expenses within the city for lobbying, organisation of social events including snacks and soft drinks, telephone line and answering machine. More volunteers for care roles will be required on a needs basis. BUDGET MONITORING APPROACH AND SYSTEM Breakdown of all the costs associated with the project, personnel, travel, equipment, consumables etc. Description of how the activities and the costs will be monitored and accounted for, headings and frequency Detailed budget allocation for 1 year, broken down monthly. All expenses will be paid against receipts only. There will be a monthly budget based on annual divided by 12, with entries in a monthly journal to be kept by the treasurer and reviewed monthly by a committee of 4 people. Only items in the budget will be paid, unless by special agreement of the committee and assuming that funding is available.

BACKGROUND ON History, qualifications and other brief details of the people The group was started in November 2000 PROPOSED INSTITUTION and organisation making the request and running the by 20 volunteers, with a background OR GROUP project, including experience in similar projects ranging from medical to business Administration. All volunteers are HIV+

OTHER SUPPORT COMMITTED

List any commitments to assist from other sources. including type and quantity of assistance

$5,000 has been committed by xyz, and plans are being formulated to raise a further$5,000 from the community through raffles of donated items.

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Budgets
It is useful to include a budget summary as part of the project proposal for the donor. The donor may or may not stipulate the format of the budget. Some tips to include in presenting the budget include: 1. Show the budget break down under 3 or 4 key headings. Headings may include personnel costs (eg. staff salaries, staff travel), project costs (eg. stationary, meeting costs, resource production and distribution), capital equipment (eg. computer, fax), and other (eg. monitoring and evaluation); 2. State if costs are in local currency or the currency of the donor organisation; 3. Show that costs are reasonable and justified. This may mean providing up to three quotes per budget item for expenses greater than $1000 for example; 4. Be aware that donors may require an audit of project expenses, hence there needs to be a clear audit trail of all expenses. This means keeping accounting records and copies of all receipts and transactions; 5. The donor may use the term „financial transparency‟ to refer to a process whereby an organisation must be accountable for how it spends project funds. 6. In most cases, the donor will require an organisation to sign a contract before the project commences stating that funds are to be used for agreed upon project costs only. 7. Changes to the budget will usually require written authorisation from the donor before the funds are redirected or spent elsewhere. 8. It may be helpful to show if any other sources of funds will be spent on the project. This may include funds from another donor or the organisation‟s own funds. In many cases an organisation will just ask the donor for 100% of the project funds. 9. In the final analysis, the donor will want to be certain of three key things: a) that their money has been spent on the activities outlined in the budget only; b) that the project is good value for money; and c) that there is financial transparency.

Proposal Writing Guidelines – September 2001

An example of a simple budget form: Project Budget
Donor money $ Project Personnel Costs eg. Staff salary eg. Staff travel 6000 350 1000  Other $ (if applicable) Show if quotes attached ()

Project Activity Costs eg. Meeting costs eg. HIV/AIDS Resource production eg. HIV/AIDS Resource distribution 700 2500 400  

Capital Equipment eg. Computer eg. Fax Other * eg. project monitoring eg. Community consultation Total Project Cost Total Funds Requested From Donor 250 100 $ 13 300 $ 11 950 1700 300 

* (insert heading/s)

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An Example of A Successful HIV Project Proposal
Funding Proposal to produce a Positive Speakers’ Manual APN+ - Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS Building the Capacity of People Living with HIV/AIDS ACTIVITY SETTING In 1994 in response to the explosion of HIV in Asia and the poor recognition within the region of the central role of people living with HIV/AIDS (PWA), APN+, the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, was established to create a strong regional voice. APN+ has fast become the most developed regional network of PWA in the world and now has representatives in 14 countries in the region. The aims of APN+ are:  To advocate on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Asia Pacific region  To lobby for equal representation of PWA on all relevant decision making bodies  To facilitate communication and exchange of information between PWA  To provide opportunities for PWA to develop skills in order to respond to HIV/AIDS  To counter the fear, ignorance, prejudice and discrimination PWA face  To lobby for improved access to treatments, care and support Within the Asia Pacific region many emerging peer support groups contain competent and committed people who are often at a major disadvantage in contributing because of a lack of skills retraining in the AIDS arena. At its strategic planning meeting in September 1998 APN+ identified the urgent need to train positive people in a variety of skills, in particular skills to enable them to speak out in public. APN+ has identified capacity building amongst PWA as a definite way of strengthening PWA to prepare them in taking on roles as community leaders and getting them involved in the policy and decision-making processes at all levels. The project objective is to develop sustainable presentation skills to be used by and for people living with HIV/AIDS to enable them to participate appropriately and effectively within regional community responses to AIDS. This urgent need to train people living with HIV/AIDS is in line with the Paris AIDS Summit Declaration signed by 42 Governments in 1994. The Declaration states that: The success of our national, regional and global programmes to confront HIV/AIDS effectively requires the greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS....through an initiative to strengthen the capacity and coordination of networks of people living with HIV/AIDS....By ensuring their full involvement in our common response to HIV/AIDS at all - national, regional and global - levels, this initiative will, in particular, stimulate the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments. Building and strengthening specific skills of PWA was also one of the recommendations from the GIPA (Greater Involvement of PWA) Initiative meeting hosted by UNAIDS during the 8th International Conference for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Chiang Mai, Thailand in November 1997. APN+ now requires committed support to provide PWA with the resources to move beyond tokenism by training positive people who are in the front line opening up the debate around AIDS. This proposed project is a program of capacity building which

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will lead to sustainable skills development within each country in the Asia Pacific Region. APN+ CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECT A Public Speaking Manual The most effective HIV education and prevention strategies have proven to be those involving people living with the virus. Positive people have a unique perspective on HIV and are best placed to discuss the social and cultural impact of AIDS. We are a necessary part of the solution. Those who have witnessed the impact of positive people speaking out publicly agree that articulate positive people are the most powerful educators. Giving a face to AIDS and challenging society‟s assumptions about who is infected. Speaking out about living with HIV is, however, frightening and confronting as gross human rights abuses towards people living with HIV occur in every country. An urgent need expressed by many PWA within the region is training in public speaking and presentation skills. Because this need is widespread, the production of a Public Speakers‟ Manual will be the most appropriate and effective way of beginning to cater for this need. The Manual will be informed by interviews with various PWA who publicly disclose in Asia. It will include reasons why people choose to disclose publicly, the reactions public speakers encounter, aspects on discrimination, support needed when publicly disclosing, practical do‟s and don'ts of public speaking, advice on how to structure a presentation, guidance on answering common questions, and evaluation techniques. The manual will be translated into five languages: Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Tagalog and Thai. It will be launched at the Fifth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in October 1999. TIMELINES 1999 April – July August September October BUDGET Research, Writing Design Printing Publicity Postage and Admin Total Research & Writing Design Printing Distribution $ 5,000 2,000 10,000 1,000 2,000 $20,000

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Some Useful Websites
www.napwa.org.au www.gnp-plus.net www.unaids.org NAPWA: National Association of PLWH/A (Australia) GNP+: Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (includes APN+ page) UNAIDS: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS WHO: World Health Organisation USAID: United States of America Agency for International Development – includes HIV/AIDS Division AusAID: Australian Government Agency for International Development DFID: United Kingdom Department for International Development CIDA: Canadian International Development Agency FHI: Family Health International AFAO: Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations APCASO: Asia/Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations Directory of National Aid Agencies

www.who.int www.usaid.gov

www.ausaid.gov.au www.dfid.gov.uk www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/home www.fhi.org www.afao.org.au

www.31stcentury.com/apcaso www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/aid/nat_lorg.htm

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Thanks to all those who contributed their time and efforts into developing these Guidelines, including: Robert Baldwin, Shellee Korn, John Rock and John Rule (NAPWA) Susan Paxton (APN+) Alex Turner (Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations - AFAO)

Enquiries and comments in regard to these Guidelines can be directed to: NAPWA (Australia) PO Box 876 Darlinghurst NSW 1300 Phone: 61 2 9281 2511 Fax: 61 2 9212 5322 Email: admin@napwa.org.au

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