The Uganda HIV/AIDS Partnership Mechanism was established in 2002 by the Uganda AIDS Commission for the purpose of bringing together several constituencies working at different levels in the area of HIV/AIDS. The mechanism is an arrangement through which UAC performs its coordination task, by rallying all constituencies around One National Strategic Plan, One M&E Framework and commitment to recognize UAC as the One National HIV/AIDS Coordinating Authority.
The Partnership Mechanism has three main components, namely; the Partnership Forum, Partnership Committee, and Self-coordinating Entities (SCE). Each of these four structures plays a complementary role to the others.
This is an event of all stakeholders at national and lower levels that attracts political/policy and technical representation to share information on the status of the epidemic and response and agree on national priorities for action. The Partnership Forum (PFm) was established as the “apex body” for the partnership mechanism; where stakeholders would be represented to undertake and oversee all operations of the partnership. The forum provides an avenue for consultation and information sharing; joint planning and review in line with the national strategy for AIDS response. The Forum further looks into aspects of resource mobilization and the entire spectrum of support to HIV/AIDS interventions of all stakeholders.
In order for the Partnership Forum to meet its objective as an accountability platform/activity for key leaders of UAC, central and local governments, sectors and constituencies, UAC will carry out the following recommendations as endorsed by the Board. Streamline the functionality of the Forum and strengthen the linkage between the processes and outcomes of HIV and AIDS Joint AIDS Review/Partnership Forum and those of the Annual Sector Performance Reviews and Planning at national and decentralized levels. Specifically the following will be done;
- Hold Regional Partnership Forums to feed in the national forum
- Hold the National Partnership Forum once every two years
- Development and institutionalizing a Leaders Accountability Framework for holding the different leaders in the national response accountable during the Forum.
- Ensure that the District Annual Partnership Forum feed into regional Joint AIDS Review and Regional Partnership forum.
This is the backbone of the Partnership mechanism. Following the review, the PC is now constituted of representatives from Self Coordinating Entities. The Partnership Committee is an advisory committee of the UAC Board. The PC plays a dual role of policy and technical oversight as well as verifying operational effectiveness and accountability of UAC. The selection of PC members will aim to ensure only representatives that add value by bringing voice and technical expertise. The PC meetings will be held on a quarterly basis and will ensure contribution and feedback from Self Coordinating Entities.
Self-Coordinating Entities are clusters of stakeholders with similar areas of interest that come together in order to enhance participation, coordination and effectiveness on specific aspects of the national AIDS response. The idea to establish and operate SCEs was premised on the assumptions and principles that;
- Multiple actors existed with limited or ineffective connections and coordination, and lacking a shared or harmonized outlook to the national AIDS response and their role in it
- There was a minimum set of shared values that enable honest engagement on an equal footing
- There was a framework of connection or joint working through which to mobilize and organize stakeholders; and to manage and sustain the coordination process (or a clear plan to establish such a mechanism; if none was in place
- There were issues of shared interest for each SCE with respect to participation and contribution to the national AIDS response and the need to have a harmonized position in articulating these issues in AIDS related forums
- Value-addition to the national AIDS response was expected i.e. that better coordination will result in meaningful and worthwhile improvement in contribution to the national AIDS response.
Presently, the Partnership Committee is comprised of twelve (12) SCEs which include
- Ministries of government
- AIDS Development Partners
- The Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)
- Civil Society Organizations
- Private Sector and Artistes
- Faith Based Organizations
- Research, Academia, Sciences and Professional Bodies
- Decentralized Response
- The country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund.
Self-Coordinating Entities provide a unique opportunity to ensure effective participation by as many stakeholders as possible in the coordination and management of the national respons