Accreditation – guaranteed standards and shared values
The accreditation system is how we guarantee standards and a shared sense of vision and values across the global Alliance. Using assessment teams from peer Linking Organisations (LOs) we rigorously assess good governance, organisational management and good practice HIV programming. The accreditation system is the backbone of a strong Alliance and promotes South-to-South learning through the LO to LO assessment visits.
In 2015, 12 LOs initiated the enhanced accreditation process (Cycle 2). To date, 27 LOs and the secretariat have initiated Cycle 2 accreditation process. Following 28 peer review team visits, 309 capacity issues had been identified. By the end of March 2016, with significant support from the secretariat, 266 of those issues had been addressed.
By the start of 2016, 19 LOs and the secretariat had met all 38 standards and were awarded accreditation. For an overview of progress see Where are we now?
Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU)
CHAU, an Alliance LO in Uganda since 2013, is a national partnership of community-based organisations and networks of people living with HIV working to support community action on sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV in Uganda.
A peer review assessment team comprising of colleagues from Nigeria, Kenya and the UK visited CHAU in March 2015. While they deemed CHAU to be a well-functioning organisation they noted some capacity issues, in particular, in relation to the governance and sustainability standards of accreditation. As a result of recommendations from the assessment team, CHAU reviewed and updated their 5-year strategic plan. Consultations were held with key stakeholders including the Alliance secretariat to ensure these views guided the strategic direction of CHAU. Significant input was provided by the secretariat to ensure CHAU’s strategy was aligned with the Alliance global strategy. In line with the strategic review, the resource mobilisation strategy was updated with a focus on diversifying funding and long term sustainability.
In December 2015, following a concerted effort to meet all required standards CHAU was accredited.
The challenge is now with us to ensure we maintain the standards, and work harder to build more resilient systems.
Bharam Namanya, Executive Director of CHAU said: “Thank you for the guidance provided. The challenge is now with us to ensure we maintain the standards, and work harder to build more resilient systems. Our appreciation to the accreditation team and the secretariat team for the guidance, support and continued collaboration.”
The Embassy of Sweden in Uganda awarded a grant of $13m over 5 years to the Alliance secretariat for the establishment and implementation of a new funding mechanism for civil society organisations in Uganda. As a result of CHAU’s strengthened organisational capacity and systems, the Embassy agreed that CHAU will coordinate and manage the funding mechanism and have a central role in strengthening institutional capacity of implementing organisations (5 NGOs/14 CBOs) to deliver quality and inclusive HIV and SRHR programmes for vulnerable populations in Uganda . It is hoped that this funding mechanism will also attract new donors in-country.
Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC)
MAC is an umbrella organisation that supports and coordinates the efforts of its 47 partner organisations (non-governmental and civil society organisations) working on HIV issues in Malaysia.
At the end of 2014, a peer review assessment team comprising of colleagues from India and the UK visited MAC. A key recommendation was for MAC to review and update their resource mobilisation strategy with a particular focus on long term financial sustainability. This was deemed crucial since Malaysia being defined as a middle income country is seeing reductions to overseas development assistance. The secretariat supported MAC with the development of a long term financial sustainability plan through 5-year financial analysis and modelling, and by helping them explore alternative revenue sources. MAC has since launched an initiative selling products online to generate income from members of the public. MAC has also been successful with corporate social engagement having brokered income generating agreements with Firefly (an airline carrier) and the Marriott hotel. With support from the secretariat, MAC is currently exploring digital marketing opportunities to generate funds.
As a result of peer review team recommendations, MAC were challenged to have difficult conversations for an organisation in a predominantly Muslim country on adopting a positive approach to sex in their prevention activities. Consequently, MAC has initiated internal staff training on a positive approach to sex which they intend to rollout to their member organisations. MAC has also started advocating for comprehensive sex education in schools.
In December 2015, MAC met all of the required standards and was accredited.
We look forward to living up to the expectations.
Hisham Hussien, Honorary Secretary of MAC’s Executive Committee commented: “Thank you for the good news. We definitely look forward as an accredited member of the Alliance to live up to the expectations. With this, the Alliance and MAC will be standing together side by side and will be united under one umbrella, one belief and towards our mutual cause and objectives. So proud.”