Three Tiers of Oversight: Accountability, Ownership & Programme Governance under Pehchan

Members of the hijra community in Chennai meet regularly to share information, experiences and discuss issues that are important to them. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

Members of the hijra community in Chennai meet regularly to share information, experiences and discuss issues that are important to them. (Photo by Prashant Panjiar for India HIV/AIDS Alliance)

In order to ensure transparent and ethical programme governance, the Pehchan team has established a three-tier system guided by stakeholders across a wide-ranging spectrum, comprising representation from the MSM, transgender and hijra (MTH) communities, people living with HIV/AIDS, state and national governments, other NGOs and bi- and multi-lateral organisations. Involving a range of stakeholders inculcates ownership, essential to programme sustainability after the funding ends.

At the regional level, Pehchan’s beneficiary voices are captured through Community Advisory Boards (CABs), which have been developed in six regions in India. Each CAB enables the creation of linkages between implementing partners, state governments, and the communities that the programme serves. The purpose of these CAB is to guide programme direction, resolve conflicts as they arise, and ensure the programme runs ethically while remainimg attuned to real community needs.

At the state level, State Oversight Committees (SOCs), located in each of the 17 Pehchan implementation states, serve as the interface between Pehchan and the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS). This committee provides oversight and technical guidance and consists of members from the SACS, Pehchan’s implementing partners, and Pehchan’s Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

At the national level, the Programme Advisory Body (PAB), which is chaired by the National AIDS Control Organisation with membership from the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, UNAIDS, and the Pehchan consortium, ensures smooth, technically-sound programme implementation in coordination with the priorities of the National AIDS Control Programme. Through this holistic three-tier governance system, Pehchan continues to ensure accountability to its key stakeholders and increases programme ownership.

Read more about Pehchan here

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With support from the Global Fund, Pehchan builds the capacity of 200 community-based organisations (CBOs) for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras in 17 states in India to be more effective partners in the government’s HIV prevention programme. By supporting the development of strong CBOs, Pehchan will address some of the capacity gaps that have often prevented CBOs from receiving government funding for much-needed HIV programming. Named Pehchan which in Hindi means ‘identity’, ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ this programme is implemented by India HIV/AIDS Alliance in consortium with Humsafar Trust, SAATHII, Sangama, and SIAAP and will reach 453,750 MSM, transgenders and hijras by 2015. It is the Global Fund’s largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable sexual minorities.

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One thought on “Three Tiers of Oversight: Accountability, Ownership & Programme Governance under Pehchan

  1. This is great move that was inbuilt in the initial phases of the project instead implementing in the last stage. The idea of transparency,governance and support mechanism systems will ensure expected outcomes and impact. In order to broaden or reach more communities, even Pehchan can try conducting social audit every year and it will enhance reach for the above good practices and acceptance of wider communities.

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