The Uganda Networks of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO) undertook efforts to produce this directory in order to contribute to the effective implementation of the National Strategic Plan 2007/2008- 2011/2012. The directory will enhance coordination and transparency by providing information to stakeholders about the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that are engaged in the HIV and AIDS national response, where they are located and the HIV&AIDS intervention activities they are engaged in. The directory will also promo telearning and sharing among ASOs, facilitate communication between the UNASO Secretariat, ASOs and other stakeholders, and will act as a reference tool for various stakeholders to verify the existence of certain organizations.
The mapping of all organisations that appear in this directory, involved carrying out of a physical verification exercise in 80 districts in Uganda to ensure that the organisations were existent and operational. This was done with the support of the data collectors recruited from district networks and renowned CSOs who are operating at the district levels and knowledgeable about the organizations that are in existence and are providing HIV & AIDS services. To enhance the integrity of the exercise, UNASO worked in partnership with district officers who supervised the exercise, and district authorities who authenticated the filled questionnaires with their personal signatures and stamps.
UNASO has compiled a comprehensive database out of the filled questionnaires, and the database will be accessible online. This directory is only capturing the basic details. Given the fluidity nature of CSOs whereby new organizations are established while other close, UNASO is undertaking arrangements to ensure that in future the database will be updated regularly in partnerships with district networks and local governments, using an online system.
On behalf of the UNASO Board of Directors and Management, WE extend our thanks to the district local governments for supporting this exercise. We extend special thanks to Civil Society Fund for providing the necessary financial resources that enabled UNASO to produce this directory.
2. CIVIL SOCIETY CONTRIBUTION TO HIV & AIDS RESPONSE IN UGANDA, 2009
We are pleased to share with you this report which documented the contribution of civil society organisations to the national HIV and AIDS response in the country in 2009.This report which captures CSO contribution to the main thematic areas of the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan – prevention, care and treatment, social support, systems strengthening, and advocacy and policy engagement – is a clear manifestation that the civil society has not grown tired of devoting persistent efforts to counteract the effects and impact of HIV and AIDS in Uganda.
We take this opportunity to thank external development partners and the Civil Society Fund, who contributed the resources on which the civil society organisations largely relied to make the reported contribution to the national HIV and AIDS response.
We would also like to thanks the Government of Uganda for creating the necessary environment and the legal and policy framework for all of us to participate in the national HIV and AIDS response under the Multisectoral approach. Despite the above commendable contribution, the report also reveals that civil society faced a number of challenges during the year, and several recommendations to address the challenges have been fronted.
What remains critical for all of us is to persistently continue to devise innovative approaches and strategies that are cost effective in mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS epidemic. My hope is that this report will be a source of valuable information for all stakeholders including decision makers, development partners, academia, and the general public to further appreciate the contribution of civil society and to see how more partnerships can be developed for a more effective response to HIV and AIDS in this country.
We applaud the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO) which commissioned the documentation of this report on behalf of the Civil Society Inter-Constituency Coordination Committee (CICC), and all study participants who willingly provided the information that has culminated into this report.
We would also like to thank Civil Society Fund for providing the financial resources that facilitated the documentation process and the publication of this report.
3. THE ACCOUNTABILITY AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK AND TOOLS FOR AIDS SERVICE ORGANISATIONS IN UGANDA
In thirty years since HIV and AIDS was first identified, confusion persists over effective mechanisms for controlling the epidemic. The disease has evolved from primarily a public health concern into a major development challenge of crisis proportions.
Over the years, a number of different players have continued to play different roles in the fight against the epidemic and have made substantive contribution to the national response.
UNASO as an umbrella of AIDS Service Organizations has learnt that strong leadership, openness and commitment – together with board participation in decision- making can improve the effectiveness of the AIDS response.
It’s against this background that UNASO Secretariat developed Accountability Framework and Tools to facilitate capacity building process of CSOs to be able to assess and improve management and governance styles in their respective organizations. This framework is to assist CSOs adopt best practices in accountability,governance and transparency. This will enable us claim our position as key stakeholders in the HIV/AIDS control and response at national and lower levels.
UNASO Secretariat commits to ensure that issues of good governance and good accountability are taken on board at the secretariat and will provide all the necessary support to its members to maintain good governance and accountability.
We urge CSOs to use the guidance provided to improve efficient use of the limited resources available to address
the enormous work in the HIV & AIDS response.I would like to acknowledge the financial and technical support provided by UNDP in the development of this document.