Contributor: Kunal Kishore, Project Officer, UNODC ROSA
Adovacy Strategy to combat HIV and Drug Use in SAARC Countries
UNODC, Regional Office for South Asia is supporting a regional project titled "Prevention of transmission of HIV among Drug Users in SAARC Countries". This project is being implemented in collaboration with UNAIDS and WHO. One of the focus areas of this project is supporting the implementation of the 'Comprehensive package' of services for drug users and their sex partners.
Developing an advocacy strategy is a vital componenet of this project. The strategy will encourage governments of the SAARC countries to take increasing ownership of the project's effort to combat HIV/AIDS among drug using population. The advocacy strategy of the project aims to focus at removing barriers in scale up of interventions in the conetst of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS in the region.
Mr. Kunal Kishore, Project Officer, Prevention of transmission of HIV among Drug Users in SAARC Countries, UNODC ROSA, visited Maldives and Sri Lanka to facilitate the development of the advocacy strategy and organise meetings with relevant stakeholders. During his stay from 23 April 2009 to 27 April 2009, he consulted and worked very closely with Barbara Franklin, Regional Advocacy Consultant, key NGO partners and with the line Ministries in the Government of Maldives. Soome of the important meetings iincluded interactions with ministers of Health and Home Affairs, Government of Maldives. Further, Mr. Kishore also met with the Vice President of Maldives who showed his interest for the advocacy strategy.
In Sri Lanka a similar exercise was followed with stakeholders and some of the key meetings included interactions with donor AusAID, the senior management of the National Dangerous Drug Control Board and the national advocacy consultant Mr. Pubudu Sumanasekara and NGO partners.
The purpose of his visit to both countries was to facilitate a consultative reflection exercise on the advocacy strategy The following processes were involved in the consultative reflection exercise:
Orienting the audience on the Advocacy component of the project.
Sharing of the advocacy strategy format
Prioritizing issues for advocacy.
Identifying target groups for advocacy
Identifying objectives and outcomes for the advocacy strategy
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