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ID: 737

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Research

Topics: Funding and Donors for Harm Reduction

Presenting author: Ivan Varentsov

Presenting author biography:

Advocacy advisor in the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network. Spheres of interest: harm reduction, drug policy, human rights, MSc degree in Public Health from LSHTM.


Ivan Varentsov, Graham Shaw

After the Global Fund’s new approach to resource allocation was introduced in 2014, there was a decrease in funding available for middle-income countries with concentrated epidemics. Discussions took place on how to ensure the successful transition and sustainability of HIV programs from Global Fund support to national funding, especially interventions that targeted key populations.
In 2016, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network conducted 5 case studies in Albania, Bosnia Macedonia, Montenegro and Romania to evaluate the readiness for transition of harm reduction services, analyse the transition related processes and possible consequences for sustainability of such services.

The standardized approach was used to analyze the situation in each country. The Transition Readiness Assessment Tool (TRAT) was developed. Experts were hired to conduct a comprehensive transition readiness assessment which included collection of quantitative and qualitative data through a desk review and interviews with key informants as well as use of the excel-based tool to assess and score the benchmarks of each indicator in each thematic area of transition. TRAT was updated based on the results of field-testing.

In the majority of countries, transition planning processes didn’t take place at all or started too late to have any impact. Mostly governments had neither a tenable plan, nor sufficient human and/or financial resources in place to maintain its HIV program. Governments did not prioritize HIV prevention programs among people who inject drugs. As a result, programs that deliver services for key populations have no resources to continue their work after the end of GF support and, in most cases, collapse.

The transition processes should begin well in advance of the GF withdrawal, at least 2 allocation periods beforehand. Services delivered by NGOs are at special risk of termination within the transition especially without existence of national mechanisms for contracting NGOs to provide HIV prevention services.