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Case study: Capacity building for UNAIDS

UNAIDS is the leading UN organisation in the global response to HIV, bringing together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organisations.

Across its programmes, partnerships with local NGOs and community based groups are key to successful delivery.


Partners in West and Central Africa have limited resources and are reliant upon a few sources of funding. The recent financial crisis is beginning to deplete those resources. (‘French Cooperation’, the biggest funder in the area, has announced a reduction of 60 million Euros for 2009.) =mc’s brief

In order to ensure the survival of HIV AIDS programs in West and central Africa, and enable local organisations to expand their work on HIV AIDS in the region, UNAIDS needed to develop the capacity of its partners so that they could become financially self-sufficient. UNAIDS asked =mc to develop a specific programme to meet these objectives.

What we did

After assessing the training needs of potential participants, =mc created an intensive, 4-day training course designed to fit local organisations with the skills to take a pro-active role in identifying and bidding for alternative sources of funding in the public and private sectors. The course focussed on preparing cases for support and making asks to donors, and included interactive simulations of ‘ask’ situations. The course ran in Dakar in November 2008, and was attended by 25 participants from 11 different countries of Western and Central Africa. The participants were from civil society networks at national and regional level including PLHIV, women’s groups, Faith based organisations, and youth groups.


Since this workshop, UNAIDS has continued to collaborate with local groups. It is still too early to discern any direct impact that the training has had, but UNAIDS staff are confident that it has been useful, and are now considering replicating the same training in other regions.

Helen Badini, of the UNAIDS regional Support Team for West & Central Africa, has commented:

“We’re very happy with the type and quality of =mc’s training. They deliver a very interactive and enjoyable programme that has really benefited the participating NGOs.”