Funding for multi-country and/or regional HIV programmes in Africa has decreased significantly in recent years. This paper argues for the importance of multi-country and regional programmes for HIV and for key populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) populations.
It sets out the unique contributions of multi-country and regional programmes on HIV towards (i) creating safe spaces for inclusive interactions; (ii) supporting the development of regional strategies and guidance; (iii) galvanizing national level responses; (iv) strengthening regional and sub-regional institutions; (v) strengthening advocacy opportunities; (vi) building the evidence base on creating enabling environments; (vii) improving human rights norms and laws; (viii) supporting South-South learning and adoption of good practices; and (ix) addressing key gaps in national service delivery.
The paper also tackles the various challenges encountered by regional programmes, suggesting ways in which these can be managed to maximize the unique contributions of regional programmes, working in synergy with national programmes.
It hopes to highlight the ways in which the challenges of multi-country and/or regional programmes can be overcome, through careful focus on their potential strengths, realistic recognition of their contributions and mitigation of their limitations, in their design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.