Themen und Ressourcen

Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS using a community-led rights-based approach

A case study of ACORD Tanzania.

Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the core business of development has been seen as an important part of the process of achieving the vision of an ‘AIDS-competent’ society. For ACORD Tanzania, the concept of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in practice has meant developing a community-led rights-based approach, where the community is encouraged to take the lead in bringing about AIDS competence. The role of the community becomes critical at every level, from on-the-ground services through to national-level policies. The process of moving towards AIDS competence needs to evolve through a spiral of learning, action and reflection, challenging problems and making the best use of available opportunities. By promoting the role of the community, HIV/AIDS becomes fully mainstreamed into sustainable and relevant development plans.

ACORD Tanzania’s role in this cycle is as a facilitator rather than leader, and has focused on three inter-related tasks: > Increasing the participation of marginalised people in decision-making processes > Supporting the development of partnerships across communities, agencies, government service providers and policy makers, and donors to share responsibility for delivering change > Encouraging existing and emerging networks to ensure opportunities exist to share ideas and information, and develop appropriate systems within which partnerships may flourish.

This approach appears to have been particularly successful at challenging structural blockages such as stigma, discrimination and lack of skills within the Mwanza and Kagera regions of N. W Tanzania, where ACORD operates. Supporting community-led change allows the move towards AIDS competence to be at a pace that is locally acceptable, allows issues to be discussed and acted upon in an open manner and ultimately means any change is sustainable and holistic.

Community-led change towards AIDS competence can take many forms, but in NW Tanzania it included: • increased participation of women and PLHA in decision-making processes • awareness of and enforcement of the inheritance rights of widows and orphans • decline in cases of sexual violence and abuse • women feeling more valued by their community • increased transparency and responsiveness on the part of local government structures • improvements in health service delivery • the growth of community structures representing specific rights and needs • better partnerships between government agencies and communities • and opportunities to share experiences and learn lessons through networks. (2003)

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