The Drafting Committee is thinking about the accountability mechanisms that should be built into the new UNAIDS strategy on HIV and young people. John Murray provides an overview of some ideas.
What do you think? Any other suggestions we are missing? Drop us a comment!
Accountability is often called for but rarely defined in the current global dialogue on HIV. The notion of accountability is that progress towards goals, commitments or responsibilities are assessed, and those responsible for action in these areas are held to account in some public fashion. The ultimate goal of accountability is not passing judgement, however. Through a process of accountability, it is hoped responses will be improved, either because outside critiques help those responsible learn to refine their work, or because accountability mechanisms bring with them a perceived price to pay for underperformance…. In the field of HIVand health generally there are numerous possible answers to these questions, so accountability must continue to mean many different things. In fact, the diversity of perspectives and independence of credible voices are essential elements in holding governments and other institutions accountable. – taken from a 2008 article titled “Accountability in the Global Response to HIV: Measuring Progress, Driving Change” (a great background read even though it is three or so years old)
1. The importance of accountability on various sides:
Towards youth by UNAIDS + by youth leaders/advisory groups working within UNAIDS or UNICEF or UNFPA (as interns, paid researchers, paid trainers, etc.) towards diverse youth communities
Moving beyond poster presentations and discussions at international conferences.
2. Setting universal indicators that can lead to effective evaluation of priority areas in our strategy(check out Chapter 5 of the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of Community- and Faith-Based Programsguide for a good discussion of selecting indicators; also see a list of useful indicators for HIV/AIDS projects in the same guide) —thanks to Zahra for the ‘universal indicators’ point!
3. Using media-based approaches to report on indicators in the future—i.e., a web platform where regular video reports by community youth orgs, national orgs, government agencies, etc. can be collected and commented on to determine most popular and successful ways of meeting indicators—ensuring ‘human face’ behind stats and indicators and emphasizing global shared needs and desires (Michael’s points); an app that gives access to this web platform; radio and TV spots to track progress (which can also be added to the web gallery platform); SMS updates on indicators; etc.
4. Suggesting tools (online and offline actions) for community initiatives to use to stay accountable(scroll down in the INCITE! working document to see a list of “Community Accountability Strategies”; even though this document has to do with fighting community violence, we can gain insight from it and choose to adapt strategies and recommendations from it to apply to fighting cultural barriers, discrimination, etc.)
5. Adding youth component (including organizations + donors) into AIDS Accountability International web portal
6. Learning from the HIV Leadership through Accountability website—in particular, linking national campaigns with regional/international efforts
EVALUATING AND MEASURING PROGRESS
Good overview of the terms “monitoring” and “evaluation” from pp. 4–9 of the National AIDS Programmes: A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation
1. Calling for transparency through detailed online self-evaluation surveys—not simple checklists—that can be viewed by youth around the world (idea taken from the seminar “Accountability and Evidence-Based Evaluation in HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention and SRHR Promotion”)
- can be filled out by UNAIDS/UNAIDS-affiliated projects, youth orgs (local and national), development agencies working with youth, etc. and can be compared side-by-side
- SMS updates when surveys have been completed
2. Satisfying donors and giving them a way of evaluating and following up on funded activities by suggesting having a detailed programming checklist prepared by new youth orgs (take a look here for ideas)
3. Thinking about the design of the web platform and app mentioned in point #3 under Accountability above
- using features from sites like http://lta.civicus.org
- taking a “community tool box” approach
- including risk mapping component (idea taken from here)
4. Incorporating the ‘spider web’ model of assessment of collaboration
- also incorporating a graphic/interactive representation of the effects of collaboration, which can create a sense of fellowship into the future (Pradeep’s point)
—> maybe something like a puzzle-piece app that could show various efforts coming together to form one whole (see Investment Framework puzzle-piece diagram)