25.2.5 Principles of community mobilisation to address HIV/AIDS
You need to recognise the key principles of HIV community mobilisation. They include the following:
- Community ownership and leadership. From planning to evaluating community mobilisation, the local community has to own the initiative and be involved in leadership responsibilities. This ensures sustainability of the programme, and capacity building of local managers and leaders.
- Shared sense of urgency by the target group and members of the community mobilisation groups.
- Involvement of most ‘at-risk’ and targeted populations. In Ethiopia, most at-risk populations include, among others, young people, commercial sex workers, construction workers, uniformed forces, men having sex with men, long-distance truck drivers, and daily labourers migrating from other areas for a commercial work purpose. In mobilising the community for control and prevention of HIV, these groups have to be actively involved in all steps of the process.
- Involvement of PLHIV. Maximising the involvement of PLHIV in both prevention and care interventions is important in reducing stigma and discrimination. It also ensures that PLHIV have an active role in HIV prevention and control activities.
- Evidence-based and result-oriented plans. HIV prevention plans should be clear in that they should address what needs to be done, by whom, when it should be completed, and how it is done. They should be based on clearly identified problems and on evidence-based solutions. They should also be accompanied by learning from the process of activities to be implemented, through monitoring and evaluation of the overall initiative.
- Coordinated effort and strong partnership. Coordination of all involved, with clear roles and responsibilities of partnership, is also important. You should play a lead role in bringing community groups together, and maintaining a healthy partnership for a common goal.