The International Council of AIDS Service Organizations approves 2012-2016 Strategic Plan
Toronto, February 20, 2012
Defining bold and innovative strategic direction for a more effective response
to address the realities of the HIV pandemic
In 2011, the ICASO Board of Directors, staff and partners from all around the world came together to review and reflect where ICASO was then and how the organization might best evolve to contribute to end the HIV pandemic. The outcome of these consultations resulted in a forward-thinking strategic plan to guide the organization through 2016. With a vision to put an end to the HIV pandemic through universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support within a human rights framework, we together agreed to fortify our dedication to end the pandemic based on three major agreements: That as an HIV movement, we must expand the fight against HIV in face of economic constraints. That we must consolidate our gains in building community-based organizations focused on health and rights. And that we must also transform our organizations to improve efficiencies, reduce redundancies, and take advantage of new science and new funding approaches.
This new ICASO Strategic Plan is therefore a statement of our commitment to the future. It is based on four bold and transformative strategic directions:
- Strengthen the capacity of community-based leadership and advocacy to develop a comprehensive HIV response
- Strengthen our ability to transfer knowledge, share information, and engage with community partners and stakeholders to support community engagement, leadership, and advocacy
- Increase capacity at the local level to increase the range of services offered locally and advocate to ensure access points are safe and cost effective
- Pursue options to restructure and strengthen the organization in order to fulfill the ICASO mission, including changing the current governance structure of the organization.
“In order to achieve a strong community-based HIV movement, ICASO is convinced that we need to transform ICASO as an organization. This includes redirecting from maintaining a secretariat based ‘network of networks’ to building and nurturing outcome-based coalitions among community-based advocates at global, regional and national levels” said Ton Coenen, Executive Director of AidsFonds and ICASO Board member. “Now, all Directors on the Board will be selected through an open, consultative and democratic process” – explained Mr. Coenen. The composition of the Board will continue to reflect geographic diversity, gender equity and ensure representation of people living with HIV and other key populations.
The new Board structure is a substantial change to ICASO’s past governance in which the Regional Secretariats appointed a representative to the Board. “The new structure will allow for an expansion of the network to meet the evolving commitment and growing demands evidenced in our new mission statement.” said Jacqueline Coleman, Chair of the ICASO Board. “In addition, ICASO is committed to keeping its programmatic ties with the current Regional Secretariats, and building new ties with other regional partners who will continue to play an important role in ICASO’s program and policy development”. This includes the creation of a Partners’ Forum – an advisory body to the Board on policy issues.
While the decision to become mutually independent organizations and change the governance structure of ICASO was welcomed by most, two Regional Secretariats - AfriCASO and LACCASO – have withdrawn from the proposed partnership as they do not agree with the new governance structure of the organization. Both AfriCASO and LACCASO believe that having a seat at the Board is key for the partnership.
Mary Ann Torres, Executive Director of ICASO confirmed the continued commitment of the Board and staff for programmatic and policy directions to be rooted in the communities, “The change in the governance structure will not change how ICASO consults and is informed by the realities at ground level; on the contrary, it will allow for more dynamic, productive and efficient partnerships”.
Founded in 1991, the mission of the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) is to mobilize and support diverse communities for an effective response to end the HIV pandemic.
For questions, contact:
Mary Ann Torres
416 9210018 ext 16
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