The UNAIDS Technical Support Mechanism (TSM) is a solution that provides countries with high-quality technical assistance using United States Government resources. It matches HIV programmes experiencing programmatic challenges with their Global Fund grants to the required experts. Essentially, the TSM pays professionals to serve governments, civil society and other stakeholders in countries receiving Global Fund support.
Belize tapped into this resource to pull together a high-powered consultancy team for its most recent Global Fund proposal. And Suriname is using it to source technical expertise to conduct an HIV investment case and review their National Strategic Plan. The Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica have all benefitted.
“Through the TSM, countries can source targeted, results-driven technical support to help them shape public policy, reach those being left behind and reduce inequalities,” explained Dr Otilia St. Charles, UNAIDS Caribbean PEPFAR/Global Fund Adviser.
In the Caribbean, countries and sub-regions in the process of transitioning from the Global Fund to domestic resources may have access to the mechanism. Generally speaking, requests should be made through governments but could involve other stakeholders such as civil society.
Mr Enrique Romero, Chair of the Belize National AIDS Commission, noted that using the mechanism allowed Belize to tap into a cadre of highly-trained regional professionals aware of the Caribbean context and Global Fund systems.
The following types of assignments can be supported through the TSM :
- Develop Global Fund applications
- Introduce efficiency-enhancing interventions in NSPs
- Undertake HIV estimates modelling, National AIDS Spending Assessments; improve investment cases, target setting, costing and allocation optimization through modelling
- Undertake Integrated Bio-Behavioral Surveillance studies, key population size estimates, gender assessments, and synthesis of data to enhance efforts to target key and vulnerable populations
- Improve programme design and impact assessments for prevention programmes, including PrEP
- Strengthen civil society organization capacity, including initiatives for adolescent girls and young women.
- Support elimination of user fees, costing of social contracting, implementation of Stigma Index 2.0, and expansion of community-led responses
Ms Monique Holtuin, HIV Focal Point at the Ministry of Health, Suriname, advised that to optimize the process, country stakeholders should define technical assistance needs in advance and assign an officer for the administrative preparations.
To inquire about accessing the TSM, please contact Dr St. Charles at email@example.com. Requests for support should be made by letter and be addressed to UNAIDS Caribbean Director, Dr James Guwani at firstname.lastname@example.org