Rosalia Rodriguez Garcia, Manager of the AIDS Strategy Action Plan (ASAP) together with Eric Gallard, who works on the planning of this strategy for Haiti, presented the advantages of this programme, promoted by UNAIDS and managed by the World Bank.
They want to make the training and necessary tools available to civil society so that the strategies are based on actual results of the work carried out by each sector.
“As Soon As Possible” is the meaning of the acronym of this programme and that is exactly the timeframe it hopes to achieve. “It was created to respond strategically to the epidemic and to make sure the resources were utilised effectively", explained Rodriguez Garcia.
We are not talking about a funding programme since there are no direct subsidies granted. What it does offer is technical service, measures to increase capacities and the development of tools.
“Many times, activities in the community sector do not appear in the budgets. We do not know what is an actual expense so there are many estimates” affirms Rodriguez Garcia.
“The international organisations do not know how much is spent on community interventions. You have this information”, he added, “Therefore, the objective of this strategy is to provide civil society with the opportunity to participate in the process at all times".
In turn, Eric Gallard explained in detail how to estimate the costs per unit of the community interventions carried out by the members of the networks and organisations, including the direct and indirect costs.
In many cases, this work is not accurately reflected in the budgets so the purpose of this strategy is to train each sector in calculating the actual costs that the sectors incur and not estimates that generally end up penalising them.
The representatives of civil society who attended the workshop acknowledged this weakness so they asked the persons in charge of the strategy to inform the networks and the organisations of the steps of the process and that this information reaches beyond the national programmes of each country and is shared with others.
By Mirta Ruiz and Alejandra Ruffo
Key Correspondent Team – Asuncion, 11/12/09