The consortium of three leading organisations has launched a working group dubbed “Budget advocacy skills for key populations” in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. On April 25th-27th, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN), the East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV (ECUO) and the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM) are holding an open dialogue among the participants, who include budget advocacy experts, NGO staff taking part in national consortia of Armenia, Estonia and Kyrgyzstan, and representatives of the most affected key groups in those countries (people who inject drugs, men who practice sex with men, people living with HIV, sex workers, transgender people).
The primary task the meeting’s organisers are faced with is to facilitate discussions on effective and rational approaches to budget advocacy which aims to secure state financial support for harm reduction services and HIV prevention measured aimed at the most affected populations. Another task is to coordinate working plans and budgets allocated for sub-grants within consortia in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Estonia through the involvement and active participation of civil society representatives.
"We set a goal to hold a seminar as a face-to-face meeting and discussion, to give the participants detailed information about their capabilities, as representatives of NGOs, to influence the drawing up of countries’ budgets. Hosts and coaches will introduce the audience to the practical experience and methods which have already proved effective in the area of budget advocacy. We hope that these three days will provide a solid platform for further successful work in this direction," — says Alexander Tsekhanovich, the coordinator of the network and community capacity building team at EHRN.
The “Money Can Buy Health If You Budget” regional program will be reviewed at a working meeting. The participants will be presented with the projects’ objectives, structure and main milestones, as well as with information on the Robert Carr Fund’s grant rules and the requirements for program and financial management, monitoring and accounting.
"Such seminars are an excellent example of strategic partnership in joint advocacy and of communication on projects that are being implemented. It’s extremely important to discuss existing problems and possible solutions, because there are enough successful practices out there." — Daniel Kashnitsky, manager, the harm reduction programs’ sustainability and transition to public funding team at EHRN.
The “Budget advocacy skills for key populations” working group is held as part of the “Money Can Buy Health If You Budget” regional project, led by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network and financed by Robert Carr Fund for Civil Society Networks.