The Mexican experience of the community response to HIV and AIDS supported by public funding

As part of the side events during the International Conference on HIV Science, organized by the IAS AIDS in Mexico City, a Case Study on the Mexican experience in social contracting was presented

This publication was the result of collaboration between the National Movement fighting HIV and AIDS from Mexico, the Regional CRG Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean (Global Fund / Vía Libre), the Civil Society Sustainability Network (CSSN) and the International Civil Society Support (ICSS).

The response to HIV and AIDS, and in particular the channelling of state resources to civil society in Mexico, has been a leading case and good practices on multisectoral work during decades that has inspired similar models in the region and the world. Recently, the Mexican new government has decided on a different approach to health that exclude the civil society response. This crisis led Mexican civil society to organize itself into a National Movement to reverse these changes.

The case study focuses on describing: the creation and evolution of the social contracting approach, the achievements and the lessons learned; with the purpose of documenting an experience that has shown great achievements, and at the same time, being able to inform decision-makers with this publication.

The Civil Society Organizations, mentioned above, that partnered in the development of this review exercise have in common that the work supporting civil society organization accessing support  in a process of transitioning of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. , whose model since its inception was based on the multi-sectoral partnership enabling a leading role for the communities.

One of the approaches that has proven to contribute on the sustainability of the community response, after end of the Global Fund investment is the implementation of programs where the government channel resources or hire the services of NGOs and CBOs. “The Mexican experience – Strategy of public financing to civil society organizations to strengthen the response to HIV and AIDS” was meant to be a contribution to understand these collaborative, effective and effective work strategies, as well as, some of the challenges.

The digital versions of the publication are available in Spanish in this link  and in English in this link .

A Change in Leadership

Founding Executive Director of International Civil Society Support (ICSS), Peter van Rooijen, has stepped down as head of the organisation. Peter founded ICSS in 2006, following his engagement in the HIV response and global health since the onset of the epidemics. Peter van Rooijen will continue in a new role through a partnership between the Joep Lange Institute and ICSS, in which he will focus on the future of aid.

From January 2019, taking over as Executive Director is Raoul Fransen, who has been at ICSS since its inception as a Senior Policy Adviser and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. He has been actively involved in supporting global health and, in particular, community-led programmes supporting people living with HIV.

“It has been a privilege to be witness to the leadership and diverse accomplishments demonstrated by Peter over the past nearly two decades. It also sets a high bar,” said Raoul Fransen.

“As Peter will remain on the ICSS team to lead on the future of international development aid and global health financing, an area of great significance and potential to ensure access to quality services for all. I am grateful for the confidence and support expressed by many of our partners and I look forward to furthering our collaboration in this new role.”

“The best way of expressing how I feel is ‘being proud’. Raoul and I have worked side-by-side for over 20 years, we have shared the passion for our work as well as the many frustrations,” said Peter van Rooijen. “Raoul has become a unique leader in our field who combines professionalism with a deep knowledge of the role of communities and people living with HIV in the response. I am delighted that he, as a young leader, will guide ICSS into the future.”

“The Supervisory Board of ICSS believe this change in leadership can bring new opportunities to achieve our shared goals.”, said Frans van den Boom, PhD, chair of the ICSS Supervisory Board. “We express our sincere appreciation for the commitment and vision demonstrated by Peter over the past years, as well as the inexhaustible array of innovative initiatives he established. Raoul’s understanding of current priority issues, key stakeholders and his technical expertise ensure our confidence in ICSS’ ability to continue its work towards its mission and goal to enhance the response to HIV and broader global health through strategic partnerships supporting strong and effective
community and civil society leadership and policy advocacy at country, regional and global level. “

ICSS, a non-profit NGO, facilitates civil society partnerships in global health such as the Global Fund Advocates Network, which brings together more than 600 individuals and organizations from the global North and South in advocating for a fully funded and effective Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, the Free Space Process, convening key global civil society and community networking organisations with a focus on HIV, and the Civil Society Sustainability Network, which coordinates the work of activists and advocates from around the world to address the funding crisis in middle income
countries, in the light of the current rapid withdrawal of international donor funding for the HIV/TB and malaria responses.

Goodbyes and welcomes at ICSS

International Civil Society Support (ICSS) has begun a new year and with it there have been a number of transitions: we wanted to take this opportunity to welcome new colleagues and pass on best wishes to departing colleagues.

As Rico Gustav has taken up his new role as ED of GNP+, we have recently welcomed Javier Hourcade Bellocq (based in Buenos Aires, Argentina) as Senior Policy Advisor (CSSN).

Rico has been with ICSS since June 2017, as the Senior Policy Adviser, CSSN. Before becoming part of the ICSS team, Rico was the Executive Director ad interim for Global Network of People Living with HIV as well as Community Development Manager (GNP+). We wish him well in his return to GNP+ and look forward to working with him in his new role. The ICSS team is grateful for his great insight, advice, support and friendship over the years.

Javier started working on HIV in 1988 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a founding member of the Argentinean and Latin American PLWH Network. As many of you who know him well, Javier has served on my international and regional boards, committees and working groups including GNP+, the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board and the Global Fund Board as well as being a staff member at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance for 13 years. Currently, Javier serves as the Civil Society Representative in the GFATM LAC Board Delegation, and he is the Chair of the Global Network of People living with HIV. Javier is looking forward to the work of CSSN because the realities of rushed transitions and poor sustainability planning hits civil society hardest and he believes that the work of CSSN to translate the concerns of civil society and to protect community organizations and their ability to continue to do their work is critical. Javier can be reached at

Secondly, in a new position for ICSS, at the end of 2018, we welcomed Sive Stofile (based in Johannesburg, South Africa) as ICSS Grants Manager.

Before joining ICSS, Sive worked in grants management for the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and prior to that at a government agency established to invest in biotechnology research and start-up companies as well as in a project management role for an NGO focusing on youth development and child welfare. Sive brings significant technical experience in writing grant proposals and frameworks to monitor the progress of the programmes and identifying and addressing risks, challenges and opportunities central to the success of the investments. Sive will support the ICSS team across our 3 networks (GFAN, the Free Space Process and the Civil Society and Sustainability Network) to improve our operational capacity and specifically will be engaging in our work as a technical partner of the New Venture Fund for Global Fund Advocacy.  Sive can be reached at

…and lastly (but certainly not least!) Meaghan Derynck.

As many of you know, with the end of our formal role as the TB High Level Meeting Communities and Civil Society Platform, so too we said goodbye to Meaghan Derynck at the end of 2018. Meaghan was with ICSS/GFAN for almost 3 years in several capacities: covering maternity leaves during 2016 and 2017, and since mid-2017, leading our efforts to facilitate an open, accessible platform for discussion and joint action for advocates ahead of the TB HLM. In her 3 years here, Meaghan helped to build and shape our family of GFAN advocates.

G20 / World AIDS Day Campaign: | November 27 2018

On December 1, World AIDS Day, world leaders are gathering in Argentina for the G20 meeting.  This campaign is aimed at putting global health on the minds of these leaders as they meet.  We are calling on them to support global health by signing on to the declaration supporting a 2019 replenishment of the Global Fund.

We are encouraging you to reach out to your G20 elected officials, champions in Parliament and those in respective Ministries or Heads of State (HoS) and call for the insertion of language supporting the Global Fund in the G20 declaration.

Please find our Social Media tools here and support our campaign on World AIDS day at G20.



What Happened at the HLM

The UN High Level Meeting on TB on September 26th was a momentous and historic occasion that we as a community have never had before.   Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to ensure the voices of civil society were heard.  Coming out of the HLM, we have a Political Declaration and commitments that we can hold our governments accountable to.

A few highlights from the HLM:

  • Registration was over-capacity, with very large numbers of civil society and community members attending in person
  • Over 120 countries registered to make official statements, including 16 Heads of State personally delivering remarks
  • In general, the statements made by countries made it quite clear that there is a lack of knowledge of TB at the highest levels
  • The US announced they would be ‘reprogramming’ US $35 million of existing USAID funding for the development of a performance-based measurement system, as well as an additional US $30 million for India (pending an increase from Congress)
  • The UK pledged £7.5 million to TB Alliance
  • Peru was the only country to mention domestic financing in their official statement
  • Asia-Pacific countries spoke quite a bit about access to medicines
  • Some issues that were not addressed in the plenary sessions were highlighted in the multistakeholder panels, including calls for an independent accountability framework from Bill Gates, Nick Herbert, and others
  • RD Marte from APCASO made an intervention in the multistakeholder panels on behalf of communities and civil society, drawing attention to the Civil Society Statement. You can read her intervention here

Want to know more?