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Non Governmental Organization

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    Non Governmental Organization

                In 2002, the United Nations started a project that aimed to alleviate global problems such as poverty and epidemic diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS (United Nations, 2006).  The project would be called the Millennium Project and out of it grew the Millennium Development Goals or MDG (2006). MDG has 8 goals, namely: eradication of poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and women empowerment; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and global partnership for development (UN Millennium Project, 2005,p.3). HIV/AIDS in particular, has been a global concern since it started in the 70s (Mann, Tarantola, and Netter, 1992, p. 11).  Given the extensive spread of it, HIV/AIDS has become the “first modern pandemic” (p.11).  An estimated 26 million people has been killed by HIV/AIDS (Garrett, 2005, par.4). In 2007 alone, 2.7 million people have contacted the disease (Johnston and Fauci, 2008).  What makes the disease more debilitating is that despite research and all, HIV/AIDS has remained the most complicated disease.   The cure for HIV/AIDS has been elusive.  Last July, U.S. president George Bush endorsed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or PEPFAR, which allocates $39 billion for AIDS research over the next five years (The Economist, 2008). While studies are being conducted to help assuage the spread of HIV/AIDS, the existence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) are instrumental in controlling the spread of the disease.

    The term non-governmental organization (NGO) was coined to distinguish it from intergovernmental specialized agencies and international private organizations following the establishment of the United Nations or UN (Willetts, 2006).  From UN’s point of view, NGOs are not controlled by the government or any political party (2006). Furthermore, NGOs should not be non profit and non criminal and concentrates on human rights issues (2006).  NGOs may be “based in a single country and operate transnationally” (2006). Additionally, there may be grass-roots organizations or community-based organizations (2006). Then there are those called international umbrella NGOs that offer hierarchy for various NGOs (2006).

    From 1990, the number of NGOs that dealt with HIV/AIDS has increased tremendously (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2002, p.4).  These organizations have been instrumental in the “prevention, care, and impact mitigation” of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (p.4). Through their technical and organizational capacities, NGOs and CBOs have helped put awareness of the disease in the frontline. One international NGO that has risen to the call of HIV/AIDS consciousness is the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. (Its’ logo is seen below). The icon is a representation of global partnerships.

    Image 1. Logo of International HIV/AIDS Alliance (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2008)

    The International HIV/AIDS Alliance ( or The Alliance), with a secretariat in Brighton, United Kingdom, comprises linking organizations around the world in assisting communities that are at risk for the disease (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2004, p. 5). The secretariat follows this structure:

    Communications and resource mobilization department
    Executive Director’s office
    Field Programs department
    Finance and administration department
    Policy Department
    Technical Support Department (International HIV/AID Alliance, 2008)

    The Alliance started in 1993 and has since formed strategic alliances with other NGOs from countries like Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ecuador, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine and Zambia (p.5).   A list of its Alliance’s linking organization is discussed in succeeding sections. The Alliance has also started to extend their work in China, Eastern Caribbean, Zimbabwe and Myanmar (p. 5).

    In the years that the Alliance has been in existence, it has already endowed financial support to roughly 2500 projects, executed in 1,800 communities around the globe (p. 5).  The Alliance has provided technical assistance in terms of skills building and organizational development (p. 5).  The Alliance has roughly allotted an estimated US $100 million to organizations around the world (p. 5). The Alliance, which is also an UNAIDS collaborating center, received funding from varied donors, such as CIDA (Canada), DANIDA (Denmark), BUZA (The Netherlands), NORAD (Norway), AECI (Spain), Sida (Sweden), DFID (United Kingdom), USAID (US) and private firms and foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Comic Relief, European Union, GlaxoSmithKline, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Merck and Co., Inc., Nuffield Foundation, Pfizer Laboratories, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Ford Foundation, UNAIDs, UNDP, and WHO (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2008).

    Following the outbreak of HIV/AIDs in the 80s, acknowledgement of the disease has brought global attention, resulting in the creation of programs that aimed to address it. By 1991, several funding agencies and international organizations convened to find ways on how to provide sufficient support to developing countries that have been stricken with HIV/AIDS (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2004, p. 5). In a span of two years, the group was able to arrive at training needs assessment, project design and pilot project proposals for two countries (p. 5).  It was called the International Alliance Supporting Community Action on AIDS. The name was later changed to the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (p. 5). On December 1993, the Alliance was incorporated and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under number 1038860 (2007, p.3) A board of trustees act as the “highest policy-making body” in the organization (p. 3).  The board, comprising global experts in the Alliance’s focus, is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s strategic framework is followed (p.3).

    The Alliance’s mission is to “reduce the spread of HIV and meet the challenges of AIDS” (p.11). The Alliance is not only committed to prevent HIV infection but also assist “access to treatment, care and support, and eventually minimizing the impact of AIDS (p. 11).  With regards to its organizational vision, the Alliance dreams of a world where nobody will suffer and die from AIDS (p.3).  Achieving this would mean that HIV/AIDS is already manageable and that HIV transmission has been reduced or if not prevented at all (p. 3).

    Since 2006, the Alliance has provided assistance in over 30 countries, partnering with local community organizations and non governmental organizations (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p. 12). The linking organizations, as stated earlier, do the legwork of The Alliance’s thrust, conducting “operations research, training and good practice development, policy analysis and advocacy” (p.12).  A list of its linking partners and their work is summarized below.

    Linking Organization
    Type of Work
    Instituto para el Desarrollo humano -Bolivia
    Key population

    Capacity Building
    Initiative Privee et Communautaire de lytte Contre le VIH/SIDA au Burkina Faso- Burkina Faso
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment, Orphans and vulnerable children
    Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance- Cambodia
    Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- The Caribbean
    Prevention, Key Populations, Care and Support, Treatment, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- China
    Anti-stigma, Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, and Care and Support
    L’Alliance Nationale Contre le SIDA en Cote d’Ivoire- Cote d’Ivoire
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- China
    Anti-stigma, Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, and Care and Support
    L’Alliance Nationale Contre le SIDA en Cote d’Ivoire- Cote d’Ivoire
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Orphans and vulnerable children
    Corporacion Kimirina- Equador
    Prevention,  Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance (Delhi), International HIV/AIDS Alliance (Andhra), LEPRA Society, NAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, Palmyrah Workers Development Society, Vasavya Manila Mandali- India
    Anti-stigma, Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support
    Colectivo Sol A.C.-Mexico
    Anti-stigma, Key Populations, Capacity Building

    Alliance’s Global Reach Part 1 (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p. 12)

    Linking Organization
    Type of Work
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- Madagascar
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity

    Association Marocaine de Solidarite et Developpement- Morocco
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- Mozambique
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- Myanmar
    Anti-stigma, Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support
    Network on Ethics, Human Rights, Law, HIV/AIDS, Prevention, Support and Care- Nigeria
    Prevention, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment
    Via Libre- Peru
    Key Populations, Capacity Building
    Philippine NGO Support Program, Inc.- Philippines

    Alliance Nationale Contre le SIDA-Senegal
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS alliance- South Sudan
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building
    AIDS Network Development Foundation- Thailand
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Representation
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance-Uganda
    Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment, Orphans and vulnerable children
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- Ukraine
    Anti-Stigma, Prevention, Key Populations, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment
    International HIV/AIDS Alliance- Zambia
    Anti-stigma, Prevention, Capacity Building, Care and Support, Treatment

    Alliance’s Global Reach Part II (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p.13).

    Among its objectives listed in its annual 2007 report included the following:

    Health advancement, especially those that concern HIV, sexual and reproductive health
    Advancement in  resource usage by civil society organization particularly those that concern HIV, sexual and reproductive health
    Promotion of human rights as set by the UN
    Assistance to people afflicted with HIV and their families
    Advancement in equality and diversity issues (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p.4).
    To fulfill these objectives, the Alliance laid out IMPACT 2010, which formed the

    core of its strategic directions.  There are four strategic directions, namely

     Deliver scaled-up, quality community-based HIV programs and increase access to health and social services
    Increase civil society capacity to implement effective community responses
    Strengthen communities’ ability to influence national programming and international HIV policies
    Strengthen the Alliance as partnership of strong national linking organizations (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p.4).

    The highlights of its 2007 achievement include reaching 47, 496, 738 people through

    information and education campaigns, distributing 19, 728, 186 condoms, reaching 1,302, 328 people through programs and other activities, distributing 544,436 publications and resources through electronic and hard copies, providing 267,061 people with HIV counseling and testing services, training 83, 379 people to offer HIV services, helping 55, 862 orphans and vulnerable children, providing 16,061 HIV-infected people with antiretroviral treatment,  and providing 824 grants to NGOs and community-based organizations (p.6).

                The year 2007 was one that saw the expansion of the Alliance’s work in addressing the consequences brought on by HIV/AIDS. The Alliance has helped put in the forefront scouring financial support for program maintenance (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p.7). Through money made available by the Global Fund, financing for HIV drugs has been possible (p. 7).   Furthermore, it also saw an increase in the Alliance’s work in countries such as Peru, Central Asia, Bolivia and Uganda (p. 6). The Alliance has also expanded its reach with regards to children. It started new projects focusing on children in India, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and Senegal (p.6). The Alliance has also started working with China in managing an outreach and needle exchange program (p. 6).  Additionally, the Alliance has developed more resources, such as publication for distribution (p. 7). A revised edition of its anti-stigma toolkit Understanding and challenging HIV stigma, A toolkit for action has been revised to include feedback from field trainers (p.7).  The Alliance also started on a new publication called Nothing about us without us, which is aimed at providing tools and strategies for policy makers and program managers (p. 7).

                While the figures are flattering, the Alliance is still affected with the challenges that NGOs regularly face.

                Ross and Segal (2002) state three challenges that NGOs deal with:

    Accelerating rate of change in the sector
    Demand for new services in response to changing needs among users
    Competition for resources among nonprofits and among nonprofits and public or even private bodies (p.10).

    Ross and Segal believe that NGOs may turn these challenges to improve their

    performance and analyzing drivers that have the most impact (p. 10). The burgeoning of NGOs has allowed them to be “powerful forces” in global politics (McGann and Johnstone, 2002). According to the Independent Sector, another NGO, an estimated 1.5 million NGOs are based in the US along (2002). The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) observes the same sentiment, saying that the increase of NGOs globally has been dramatic (2002).  McGann and Johnstone lists several reasons that have cause the proliferation of NGOs, from increased in democratization , demand for information and analysis, heightened awareness in civil society, advances in communication technologies, escalation of non-state and inter-state actors, increased in project funding, and belief that they can do it (2002). Since their inceptions, NGOs have proven their worth, making corporations and government accountable to the public and sometimes exposing its dirt (2002).  However, the reverse cannot be said for NGOs.  McGann and Johnstone further explain that while NGOs hold the liberty in scrutinizing the works of the government, transparency and accountability of NGOs remain skittish. A New York Times article suggests that NGOs must also “practice what they preach,” meaning they should be open to criticisms lest they lose their credibility and independence (2002).  An international dialogue on the topic with the NGO community is the first step in accomplishing this.  Transparency concerning finances, governance and programs should be discussed.

                In the case of the Alliance, based on its annual 2007, its main challenge is risk management. In fact, the organization has already placed a risk management strategy (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2007, p.4).  A team has been formed to tackle risk management within the organization. Among its responsibilities include  monitoring compliance with donor regulations, managing the response to suspected fraud and other financial concerns and ensuring that  the Alliance has adequate security procedures and policies in place” (p. 4),. Furthermore, Alliance’s risk management system consists of the following components:

    Strategic directions and strategic objectives. Ensuring that the four strategic directions of the alliance is translated into 21 focused strategic objectives
    Risk identification and risk assessment. Ensuring that major risks are in synch with the strategic objectives
    Risk mitigation. Ensuring that mitigation strategies are identified, complied and implemented by concerned teams
    Monitoring and review (internal audit). Ensuring that monitoring and review process are completed by risk management and compliance team
    Risk Reporting. Ensuring that the trustees are aware of the risks that the Alliance is facing or possible risks that it may faced (p. 4).

    Embarking on a risk management system is an effective way for the Alliance to monitor,

    check, solve and prevent possible threats that come its way.  It is a great toolbox for the Alliance to help the organization achieve its goals and objectives.  However, it is not the end-all tool. It will not stop the Alliance from encountering problems but with the risk management system in place, it may help the organization in trying to achieve breakthroughs or changes that it hoped to achieve when it was created: to reduce the spread of HIV.

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                Retrieved August 30, 2008, from

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                Retrieved August 30, 2008, from

    Johnston, M. and Fauci,A.  The New England Journal of Medicine. An HIV prospects-

                challenges and prospects,9. Retrieved August 30, 2008, from.


    International HIV/AIDS Alliance.  (2002). HIV/AIDS  NGO Toolkit/CBO support.

                UK: International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

                (2004). Strategic framework 2005-2007. UK: International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

                (2006). In from the margins 2006 annual review.

                UK: International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

                (2007). International HIV/AIDS Alliance website.

                Alliance reports and accounts 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2008, from


                (2008).  International HIV/AIDS Alliance website.

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    Mann, J., Tarantola, D. and Netter, T. (Eds.). (1992). A Global report AIDS in the world.

                USA: Harvard University Press.

    Mcgann, J. and Johnstone, M. (2006). Global Policy Forum. The power shift and the

                NGO credibility crisis.  Retrieved August 30, 2008, from


    Ross, B. And Segal, C. (2002).  Breakthrough thinking for nonprofit organizations.

                California: Jossey-Bass.

    United Nations. (2006). UN Millennium Project. UN Millennium Project.

                Retrieved August 30, 2008, from

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                achieve the millennium developmental goals.  Retrieved August 30, 2008, from


    Willetts, P. (2006). COTY City University. What is a non-governmental organization.

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