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The Role of Business Coalitions in the multi-sectoral response to AIDS.

The Business Coalition response to AIDS takes place at the national, regional and international levels, which helps to ensure that programmes are truly multisectoral. Figure 10 captures some of the many relationships Business Coalitions have with other key stakeholders, which allows them to work in partnership to effectively support the private sector and strenghten national and international efforts.

International relationships

Although Business Coalitions exist to serve the private sector, some rely on international donors and stakeholders for funding and technical assistance, especially when they are first establishing themselves. Others apply for international donor funding for specific projects. A number of coalitions submitted applications and received funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2007 including NABCOA (Namibia), NIBUCAA (Nigeria), BBCA BBCA British Broadcasting Corporation-America
BBCA Bulgarian Business Consultant Agency
BBCA Bruce Business and Community Association (Australia) 
 (Botswana) and CIELS (DRC DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC Down (Stage) Right Center
DRC Director(ate) of Reserve Components
DRC Disability Rights Commission (United Kingdom) 
). In return, Business Coalitions offer international donors and stakeholders an effective platform from which they can connect with private sector stakeholders and quickly reach a large number of companies.

The UNAIDS UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS  Secretariat works with more than 30 national Business Coalitions on AIDS around the world. This is often in collaboration with the ILO ILO
abbr.
International Labor Organization

Noun 1. ILO - the United Nations agency concerned with the interests of labor
International Labor Organization, International Labour Organization
, which is the lead agency in UNAIDS for private sector mobilization and workplace policy and programme development.

Regional relationships

A number of national Business Coalitions link into regional coalitions. This relationship gives Business Coalitions the opportunity to share information, explore potential partnerships with other national coalitions in the same region, and contribute to setting regional strategies. This synergistic, mutually beneficial relationship is critical to strengthening both national and regional coalitions to support the private sector response to AIDS.

International donors and stakeholders also support Business Coalitions at the regional level. For example, the GTZ through its ACCA ACCA Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc.
ACCA Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
ACCA American Corporate Counsel Association
ACCA Association Communale de Chasse Agréée (France) 
 (AIDS Control in Companies in Africa) programme provides the PABC PABC Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia
PABC Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care
 (Pan-Africa Business Coalition) with regional training. This includes the most recent Cost-Benefit Analysis training, held in December 2007. GTZ ACCA's Peer Review Programme enabled 10 national Business Coalitions in sub-Saharan Africa to develop their capacity through learning and sharing information, tools and ways of working.

GTZ Aids Control in Companies in Africa (ACCA) programme GTZ supports Business Coalitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire and DR Congo.

Ongoing advice on organizational development through long- and short- term technical assistance is given in the following areas:

* Developing statutes, setting up organizational structure, formulating business plans (longterm strategies and stakeholder analysis)

* Financial planning and budget projections

* Developing feasible yearly action plans

* Applying for international funding Capacity development through peer learning and exchange

In 2006, GTZ ACCA conducted a self-evaluation as a process of mutual learning. The organization combined peer reviews from business coalitions with capacity development and networking for seven national Business Coalitons in sub-Saharan Africa. GTZ also facilitates annual trainings, which cover topics such as:

* Communication strategies

* Innovative peer education approaches

* HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. ,TB and monitoring and evaluation

* Design of community programmes

Joint development of services delivery of business coalitions to their clients and members in the areas of:

* Advocacy

* Information and education materials

* Situational and cost-benefit-analysis

* Training of coordinators, peer educators and management

* Negotiation of a common AIDS fund and insurance

* Reaching out through the supply chain

* Monitoring and evaluation

Developing and providing tools Providing small grants

National relationships

Business Coalitions contribute to national AIDS strategies in a variety of ways. Some coalitions are fully integrated into the national AIDS response such as BBCA (Botswana), KHBC (Kenya) and NABCOA (Namibia). In Mauritania, CEMA-VIH/SIDA is working with the National AIDS Commission to develop a strategy to train additional laboratory technicians and counsellors within inter-company clinics to increase the availability of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) services within the private sector. This partnership-driven strategy will bolster national efforts to reach the country's goal of 10% of private sector employees tested for HIV by 2009.

In Ghana, the GBCA GBCA Green Building Council of Australia
GBCA General Building Contractors Association
GBCA Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (Maryland)
GBCA Galveston Bay Cruising Association
GBCA Greater Boston Concierge Association
 was selected in 2007 to sit on the board of the Ghana country coordinating mechanism of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. FUNDEC-VIH (Guatemala) identified which parts of the Guatemala National AIDS Strategic Plan it fits into as a private sector entity. FUNDEC-VIH was very specific in selecting its mission and activities to ensure it addressed the goals set forth in the national strategic plan.

BBCA (Botswana) operates within the context of the National Strategic Framework

The Botswana Business Coalition on AIDS (BBCA) operates within the context of the National Strategic Framework (NSF) 2003-2009. It promotes the message that the private sector must ensure that all companies engaged in business in Botswana apply the Minimum Internal Package (MIP MIP

See: Monthly income preferred security
), which outlines nine minimum requirements that companies should aim to fulfil:

1. Undertake an intensive promotion campaign and link staff to VCT services by establishing institutional partnerships with VCT service providers

2. Ensure condom availability and accessibility in all central and district offices and intensively promote their use

3. Ensure staff awareness of all relevant HIV/AIDS programmes, including HBC/OVC, PMTCT PMTCT Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission  and ART/TB and facilitate linkages with the programmes to increase access

4. Develop and implement targeted Behaviour Change Information Communication with all staff to support relevant national programmes, especially VCT

5. Collect and disseminate routine information on absenteeism,morbidity and mortality Morbidity and Mortality can refer to:
  • Morbidity & Mortality, a term used in medicine
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a medical publication
See also
  • Morbidity, a medical term
  • Mortality, a medical term
 using a human resource database system and submit the appropriate reports to ministry management and NACA NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
NACA Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific
NACA National Action Committee on AIDS (Nigeria)
NACA National Advisory Council on Aging
NACA National Association of Consumer Advocates
 

6. Provide access to counselling services for all staff cadres

7. Develop HIV/AIDS strategic documents including an organizational profile and annual Action Plan; mainstream HIV/AIDS into the organization's overall strategic plan

8. Ensure appropriate workplace policies are in place and enforced

9. Establish a sector budget line for both internal and external HIV/AIDS programmes

The guiding principle of the organization is to become actively involved in a multi-sectoral effort that not only addresses issues of self-interest from a business perspective, but also complements the government's efforts in formulating a workable and sustainable solution that contributes to an improved general quality of life and standard of living, which in turn encourages social and economic development.

International organizations have been instrumental in establishing and supporting national Business Coalitions. For example, The Sudanese Business Coalition against AIDS (SBCAA), launched in early 2006 by group of prominent private sector companies, is primarily supported by the UNAIDS Secretariat and UNDP UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDP Unión Nacional para la Democracia y el Progreso (National Union for Democracy and Progress) 
, which provide technical and institutional support to enable SBCAA to play effective role. The coalition is:

* Developing and implementing a strategy for scaling up private sector involvement in the national response

* Facilitating public-private partnerships within the framework of the HIV national response

* Acting as an advocacy body for mobilizing more private sector partners

Other national relationships include connecting with community- (CBO CBO

See: Collateralized Bond Obligation.
) and faith-based organizations (FBO) such as JaBCHA (Jamaica) with the Jamaica Network of Seropositives (JN+).

In addition to a strengthened relationship with the government, international aid agencies and civil society, Business Coalitions provide an avenue for the private sector to strengthen its relationship with the local and international NGOs and civil society. As a result of the development of CONAES CONAES Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems  (Mexico), a network of Mexican AIDS NGOs was formed-Impulso. This network has emerged as a highly-skilled provider of technical assistance to the private sector in policy development, reducing stigmatization stigmatization /stig·ma·ti·za·tion/ (stig?mah-ti-za´shun)
1. the developing of or being identified as possessing one or more stigmata.

2. the act or process of negatively labelling or characterizing another.
, and disseminating best practices. Impulso is based in Mexico, but the network has shared its expertise and lessons learned with coalitions in Jamaica and Guatemala.

Business Coalitions have developed strong working relationships with multinational companies to reach out to national SMEs. For example, SABCOHA is working with Volkswagen SA and Eskom to implement AIDS workplace programmes within their supply chain companies. Standard Charted Bank Tanzania is partnering with ABCT (Tanzania) to provide their SME banking customers support in developing HIV workplace programmes. BBCA (Botswana) is working with Stanbic and BCL Mine to reach suppliers and contractors, particularly SMEs with workplace programmes. TBCA TBCA Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS
TBCA Transportation Brokers Conference of America
TBCA Total Brand Communications Awareness (market research) 
 (Thailand) is currently working with Chevron and Shell in HIV and AIDS training and community outreach programmes.
Figure 10
Business Coalitions hold relationships at all levels in the
multi-secto response to AIDS

International   * International donors and stakeholders e.g. UNAIDS,
relationships     GFATM, PEPFAR, World Bank, USAID, AUSAID, UNDP, WHO,
held by BCs       Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GBC, IOE, ITUC ILO,
                  GTZ, GHI

Regional        * Regional Business Coalitions e.g. PABC, PCBC,
relationships     ABCAR, APBCA
held by BCs     * Private Sector
                * Other regional and national Business Coalitions
                * International donors and Stakeholders
                * Regional donor programmes e.g. World Bank
                  ACTafrica, GTZ ACCA, CCA, PharmAccess
                * Regional organizations of the UN system

National        * Government National AIDS Commission (NAC)
relationships   * Ministries of Health, Education, Planning,
held by BCs       Labour and other relevant ministries
                * Chambers of Commerce
                * Employer Federations
                * Labour Unions
                * Faith Based Organizations
                * Community Based Organizations
                * Civil Society
                * Private Sector
                * National Business Coalitions in the same or other
                  countries
                * International donors and stakeholders
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Publication:Business Coalitions Tackling AIDS: A Worldwide Review
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:1436
Previous Article:Activities and services of Business Coalitions.
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