CSOs Website & Database Launched In Zimbabwe

A Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Website and Database has been launched in Zimbabwe with the view of boosting communities support health systems and expand reach to thigh risk vulnerable HIV and AIDS affected communities.

By Michael Gwarisa

Zimbabwe AIDS Network (ZAN) National Coordinator, Mr Taurai Nyandoro said the evolution of the HIV epidemic is changing the landscape of HIV the response hence the need for a modern day systemes that guides and tracks trends in the HIV treatment, care and prevention matrix.

They are operating in a changing landscape and need to find ways to remain relevant and to participate more effectively in the response. In 2018 UNDP, UNAIDS and the Global Fund to support the development of a Strategic Action for HIV and Health NGOs.

“A participatory dialogue held by civil society groups facilitated by UNDP and UNAIDS reviewed the issues and opportunities, as well as the changing landscape. This prioritised the need to; i) define and clarify civil society’s new role in supporting the achievement of the goals of 90-90-90 in HIV; ii) expand civil society’s role in the move to a more coordinated health and HIV approach; iii) focus on the achievement of Universal Health Coverage; and iv) develop the capacity of networks of civil society groups to strengthen their voice and advocacy role,” said Mr Nyandoro.

He added that the meetings with a cross section of civil society and community groups reviewed the issues, identified the strategic gaps and agreed what activities would address these strategic gaps.

“This enabled a review of the strategic direction and developed the HIV and Health CSO Strategic Priority Action Plan, which detailed activities and indicators to assess progress towards each strategic priority. The strategic priorities included, the need to develop a CSO Community Charter and a CSO Engagement and Accountability Framework, Capacity strengthening on Related Managing Governance Related Risk in the Health Sector, CSO Mapping together with a CSO Database among other key strategic gaps.”

Meanwhile, the UNDP commissioned a CSO Mapping consultant to map all the CSOs in Zimbabwe who are into HIV and Health. A total of 375 CSOs submitted their organizational details and resources for inclusion in the Zimbabwe HIV and Health CSOs database. A total of 141 met the inclusion criteria and these appear today in the database. Efforts are on-going to support all the potential CSOs to meet the inclusion criteria.

The Zimbabwe Health Civil Society Database includes verified and registered organizations working with topics around HIV and integrated health. Also a  Zimbabwe Civil Society Charterwas validated in March 2019 and supports building capacity for policy development, leadership, effective and responsive programming.

“It is a common response towards addressing the implications of the changing HIV and AIDS epidemic and corresponding challenges facing CSOs in the national response, as well as the urgent need to redefine the focus of CSOs in the health sector and providing them an opportunity to take up emerging community health needs as well as to adapt to new approaches and shifts in funding priorities and mechanisms,” added Mr Nyandoro.

CSOs have also come up with an Engagement and Accountability Framework which outlines the approach and modalities for effective engagement and collaborative partnership engagement between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders. Effective engagement and collaborative partnerships will maximise the impact of health policies and programmes while enhancing aid effectiveness in the health sector in Zimbabwe.

“A total of 180 CSOs are currently being trained on these key documents (Engagement Framework and Community Charter), to enable them to effectively use these documents.Globally, corruption in both health system functions and health programs continues to undermine health outcomes, the realization of SDG#3 and Universal health Coverage.

“Tackling corruption in the health sector is no easy feat. It requires concerted and coordinated partnerships. Recognizing the need to bridge the health and anti-corruption communities, UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Team and UNDP’s Governance Team through its anti-corruption global and regional initiatives, have been working closely with the Global Fund and the World Health Organization towards the formation of an Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (ACTA) Alliance for Health. A total of 69 senior members from the public sectors and CSOs have been trained in dealing with governance related risks.”

The Zimbabwe HIV Civil Society Organisations Database  was launched on the eve of World Aids Day in Masvingo and was produced as a key part of the CSO Strategic Action Plan. The database and website is a hub of registered and validated community based organization (CBO) and civil society organisations responding to HIV & AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in Zimbabwe.

The HIV & AIDS, SRH and Health CSOs database https://zimhealthcsos.ngo/csos/search/ can be searched geographically and mapped https://zimhealthcsos.ngo/csos/directory/using GSI coordinate, making it possible to identify CBOs and CSOs working in specific provinces, together with their expertise and the services they can provide. This will help to improve coordination and collaboration between CSOs, communities and with partners.

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