Planning a visit to Geneva, Switzerland – for a meeting, business, or to save the broken world?
Many people say Geneva is boring. I know — I used to be one of them. Over the years I’ve found a few places to love.
So grab your tram ticket and start with…
I’m lucky to be starting 2017 in Grenada, a flawlessly beautiful island nation of just 100,000 people. But Grenada, like many countries, has found it hard to gather basic HIV data in a context where same-sex sexuality and sex work are illegal.
You can circle the whole country in a jeep in one sunny afternoon, as a friend and I did last week, and be greeted warmly everywhere. One local friend says that if he gets a flat tire, at least three people he knows will stop to help. But in part because the country is so close-knit and stigma is deep, many people living with HIV remain hidden, unreached and uncounted.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has a uniquely democratic and inclusive model of governance. Half of its Board is made up of 10 constituencies representing 123 countries that receive health financing from the Global Fund, as well as civil society organizations, and networks of communities living with HIV and affected by TB and malaria. Last week, it was my honor to join the Implementers Group of the Board to co-facilitate their annual retreat in Nairobi, Kenya.
The banners are rolled up, the Durban Convention Center floors are swept and the 18,000 delegates to the International AIDS Conference have all gone home. For many, the euphoric week of hugs, protests and panels blew by too fast. As global funding shrinks, there won’t be many more of these massive meetings. That makes it all the more critical to step up investment in and support for civil society now, as the engine that has driven funding, research, science and innovation in the AIDS response. Two recent reports I wrote explore both innovations and the challenges in actually getting the funds to communities.
The first was a report for African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) on key populations’ engagement with global health financing. I worked at the Global Fund in 2013-15, during roll-out of the “new funding model”, and pushed for space for communities to advocate at the country level as an integral part of that model. So the job of assessing key populations’ satisfication with that experience felt a little like my old Human Rights Watch colleague Marc Garlasco, who did high-value targeting in Iraq for the Pentagon before he went to the war zones for HRW to document civilian casualties caused by the bombs. (Though I hoped that the Global Fund’s “new funding model” had been less damaging than the Iraq invasion.)
“Well, good-bye. I must be going on.” Pooh started to climb out of the hole.
He pulled with his front paws, and pushed with his back paws…and then…
“Oh, help!” said Pooh. “I’d better go back.”
“Oh, bother!” said Pooh. “I shall have to go on.”
“I can’t do either!” said Pooh. “Oh, help and bother!”
“The fact is,” said Rabbit. “You’re stuck.”
“There’s only one thing to be done,” said Christopher Robin. “We shall have to wait for you to get thin again.”
— A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Reposted from Health and Human Rights Journal
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