Money Can Buy Health If You Budget For It — Eurasian Regional Consortium

Who we are

The Eurasian Regional Consortium brings together 3 regional networks, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN), the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM), and the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Union of PLWH (ECUO) to build the capacity of community-based organizations of key populations to identify priority HIV services, estimate their cost and advocate for resource to be allocated to them.

Why we are working together
EECA is home to the world’s fastest growing HIV epidemic. While the number of new infections and AIDS deaths is declining in most of the world, both are still increasing in EECA.  Key populations disproportionately bear the burden of the epidemic and have disproportionately low access to services. To make matters worse, the region is transitioning from donor to national funding, which means that existing services might be scaled back instead of being scaled up.  Often governments are reluctant to allocate funding to these stigmatized and criminalized populations. Moreover, the services that key populations need along the continuum of HIV care are often best provided by non-governmental organization (NGOs) and governments often lack the legal framework and will to finance the work of NGOs.

Project goal:
People living with HIV, men who have sex with men, trans* people, and people who use drugs and their allies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) will influence the mobilization of resources for effective and sustainable responses to the HIV epidemic.

Project objectives:
1. To build the capacity of regional networks and their members who represent PWUD, MSM, TG and PLHIV and those who work in their interest in EECA to influence investment in sustainable, effective responses to HIV, which address the needs of ISP;
2. To advocate for strategic, sufficient and sustainable investments in responses to HIV, which address needs of PWUD, MSM, TG and PLHIV.

What we will do 

We will aim the project goal by working to achieve two objectives:

To achieve our first objective, “to build the capacity of regional networks and their members who represent PWUD, MSM, TG and PLHIV and those who work in their interest in EECA to influence investment in sustainable, effective responses to HIV, which address the needs of ISP,” we will:
- Work with organizations to strengthen their capacity to conduct Service and Investment Assessments and to carry out advocacy activities;
- Provide small grants to support the local activities of communities;
- Provide technical support to small grantees and country partners on budget advocacy;
- Facilitate peer-to-peer exchange of best practices in budget advocacy.

To achieve our second objective, “to advocate for strategic, sufficient and sustainable investments in responses to HIV, which address needs of PWUD, MSM, TG and PLHIV” we will:
- Work with organizations to build capacity in budget advocacy and monitoring activities, including to monitor and highlight countries’ progress in allocating domestic resources to fight the HIV epidemic among key populations;
- Provide small grants to support the local activities and work of communities;
- Provide technical support to small grantees on budget advocacy and on planning and implementing advocacy activities;
- Implement a regional communications campaign to monitor the allocation of domestic resources to HIV;
- Develop a regional report to document best practice approaches and tools for community-drive budget advocacy and monitoring. 

The three-year project will be implemented between 2016 and 2018 in three countries of the EECA region – Armenia, Estonia and Kyrgyzstan. The tools and experience developed through this project and its impact on narrative about state investment in HIV services will be applicable to the entire EECA region. 

Strategic objective 1: Financial and programmatic sustainability of harm reduction programs
Countries covered by the project
Armenia
Estonia
Kyrgyzstan
Project timeline
January 2016 - December 2018
Project donor
Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund