The first step in developing rights-based, gender-responsive programmes for AGYW is to conduct an assessment of the HIV epidemic and response, in order to understand the various factors that drive the epidemic amongst AGYW, the services currently available, the barriers to access to services and what is needed to expand the response.
A critical first step to developing national plans, investment cases, Global Fund funding requests or other related national policies and strategies that respond to AGYW requires a country-led, evidence-based consultative dialogue and process to identify and understand the HIV epidemic amongst AGYW and the national response.
This helps to identify who has, and who is at risk of HIV, considering information on incidence, prevalence, mortality and the coverage, quality and uptake of prevention, treatment, care and support services, including for AGYW. It is equally important to consider structural barriers that impact on risk and vulnerability to HIV.
An open, multi-stakeholder, nationally owned and led country or national dialogue is a useful forum for identifying the factors that drive the HIV epidemic amongst AGYW. Ideally, a country / national dialogue should create an open and safe space to bring together a wide range of key stakeholders from government, the private sector, non-governmental and civil society organizations representing affected populations, faith-based organizations, academia and bilateral, multilateral and technical partners. It is a country-led process to facilitate frank dialogue about who has and is at risk of HIV, TB and/or malaria and how laws and human rights impact on the lives of affected populations.
As a follow up to the findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, UNDP has supported country stakeholders to conduct national dialogues on HIV, law, human rights and gender equality. The national dialogues help to identify human rights and gender equality issues, including for AGYW in all their diversity, the barriers they create for access to HIV-related health services, and programming accordingly.
The process of conducting a national dialogue is critical to a successful outcome – it promotes country-led, multistakeholder, rights-based responses to HIV. A consultative process that is country-led, ongoing and involves all key stakeholders, including AGYW helps to:
For more information on understanding and responding to law, human rights, gender equality and HIV, see UNDP’s Capacity Development Toolkit: Critical Enablers
The organisation is able to understand and utilise Country Co-ordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) to engage in country dialogue, funding requests and the design, delivery and monitoring of AGYW servicesThe organisation has the capacity to engage with a wide range of key stakeholders from government, the private sector, non-governmental and civil society organizations representing AGYW, to ensure a country-led, evidence-based consultative dialogue and process to identify and understand the HIV epidemic amongst AGYW.
AGYW have a right to participate meaningfully in these processes, to help identify factors that drive HIV acquisition and transmission and to shape the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the HIV response.
The participation of AGYW and the consultative gender assessment processes can take many forms, to ensure that AGYW, including young key populations, are able to make meaningful inputs. In the case of adolescents, this may require innovative approaches (e.g. use of technology-based approaches such as social media) to ensure their confidential, safe engagement.
PACT and UNAIDS Youth Participation Tool shows how youth can be involved in Global Fund processes from start to finish. This tool can also be specifically adapted to AGYW.
Meaningful participation requires programmes to
AGWY-led and serving organisations should be supported to be representatives on Country Coordinating Mechanisms and to participate more broadly in Country Coordinating Mechanism processes, country dialogues and consultations, and the implementation and monitoring of programs. This may also require strengthening their capacity to participate in advocacy, decision-making and planning, implementing and monitoring programs.Global Fund (2017) Adolescent Girls and Young Women in High-HIV Burden Settings: Technical Brief