EHA Partnership Projects are those that are focused on national health priorities and are funded by donors for a certain time frame. They require coordinated partnership with other partners such as the state and national government and non-government organizations. They are not necessarily confined within the traditional focused geographical boundaries of the organization (EHA). While not losing EHA’s core values, partnership projects are allowed flexibility to prudently meet the requirement of the specific donors in terms of grant management.
Specific objectives and key achievements:
1. Closure of Projects completing their terms
2. Consolidating on-going Projects
3. Finding new Projects /Working with new partnerships
End of Project Closure:
Hifazat Project (GF RO9 HIV – IDU) - EHA was part of the team that applied for Global Fund (GF) Round 8 that came through under GF Round 9 where EHA was nominated to be the Principal Recipient (PR) for HIV – IDU Grant. The 2 phases of this grant came to an end on March 31, 2016 with 3 extra months being allocated to complete the closure process. The Project was designed to build capacity of individuals and institutions on harm reduction. Our partnership primarily was with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) with whom we selected 40 odd other partners including medical institutions, state resource and training centres, NGO learning sites. Together with them we trained all categories of staff of 350 IDU ‘TIs’ (Intravenous drug users Targeted interventions) across 33 states in India. The Project in the first phase had two Technical Partners (UNODC and Sharan NGO) and together with them with assistance from a dozen technical experts produced training materials on harm reduction that would meet the requirement of the national program for the country. The ‘efficiency gain’ over the entire Grant duration due to prudent expenditure and exchange gains amount to about INR 6 crores.
STRC Manipur and Nagaland - State Training and Resource Centre is a small training grant implemented in partnership with two States AIDS Control Societies under WB funding provided by NACO. We have had 3 rounds of two year funding each that completed by March 2016. The project requires training needs assessments for each categories of staff implementing ‘targeted interventions among high risk groups’ are conducted, pre and post training assessment are done and learning sites or good practice sites are established and assisted and operational research conducted on themes relevant to HIV/AIDS.
Technical Support - Our experience with BMFG funded Project ORCHID in the past had demonstrated that Technical Support for Harm Reduction among injecting drug users is on high demand especially from countries that faced increasing drug use problem. However we could not come up to their expectation, as applying and receiving donors’ fund for implementing projects outside India was not possible for EHA. There is also a lot of demand for assisting NGOs including faith based organizations on organizational development and financial management training. We helped two large faith based organizations in the Northeast. This is an area where we could do a little extra work to build people in an area of great need. Funding enough for a small team will yield immense benefits.
Consolidating on-going Projects:
Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) - MMT as a drug use treatment is still in limited use in India especially in the North East. The Project is to make a comparative study with oral drug substitution therapy using buprenorphine. Our part is really to help in the facilitation of production of training materials suitable for the North east (NE) context. This small partnership project requires close coordination with NACO, SACS, AIIMS, RIMS, PHFI and NIGH of Melbourne University.
Shalom Delhi - Care of AIDS patients, palliative care for the terminal cases, skills building for the wives or widows of AIDS patients, adolescent health young ones from the infected and affected families, effecting involvement of the churches in reaching to the poor and the needy within their reach – these are activities that grow stronger in spite of the funding challenges.
Shalom Mizoram - Vibrant, innovative, ever ready to issues of importance for the high-risk groups in Mizoram have always been the epitome of Shalom project team and these endeavours have been solidly backed up by a wellinformed and supportive Board. Its successful partnership with State AIDS Control Society and other government functionaries, churches, youth organizations and women’ organizations, other local, national and international agencies for its activities are phenomenal.
Project Axshya (TB) - EHA is a sub-recipient to The Union (PR) of GFATM Round 9 and NFM (New Funding Model) and is working in 25 districts of 8 states. The project is mainly focusing to give supplement to national TB control program through Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization. Like the previous years the project worked in 61 Tuberculosis Units (TU) and 155 Designated Microscopy Centre (DMC) in 25 districts through 91 local NGOs, and 6 Community volunteers of RHCP directly working in the field.
Finding Projects /Working with new partners:
IASPI Project (Improving Access to “Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV Services in public sector in India) (GFATM – HIV – PPTCT in Assam) - Plan India is the PR for this GF Project while we serve as an SR and took responsibilities for the state of Assam. We get the best of cooperation from Assam SACS and Assam state NRHM.
Prison Intervention Punjab - This is a proposal initially written for the NE states but shifted to Punjab at the request of NACO as the need to initiate a good program in prisons in the state is urgent. The project will be a new experience with a donor new to us viz. AIDS FONDS from the Netherlands. It will be implemented in close coordination with IG Prisons, Punjab SACS and NACO. It is also expected that in the years to come our operational area can cover Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana.
Impact of Partnership Projects: Since partnership projects are carried out to support national programs, their impact could not be determined in isolation. But we do claim that we did our best to contribute towards the national programs for achieving millennium development goals. We had successfully delivered our deliverables - trainings, training materials, referrals, etc.
Long term Strategies: Possible long- term strategies could include maintenance of a leadership team for partnership projects that can respond rapidly and efficiently to priority areas of health interventions that would impact the nation. Based on our experiences with big donors like BMGF and GFATM on HIV and TB, EHA will be expected to take an increasing role in being part of a national response to the emerging problems of communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. We need to stand equal to the needs and the opportunities that are opening up before our eyes. EHA would do well to identify and retain a ‘central’ technical team for this.
Thanks: May I take this opportunity to publicly thank God and EHA for allowing me to be part of the EHA family ever since I resigned my job in the government to join the family at the invitation of the then leaders of EHA (Lalchuangliana, Vinod Shah and Peter Deutschmann) in 1995. God has allowed me to be part of an amazing team who allowed me to sometimes stand on their broad shoulders and let me have the joy of winning laurels. His grace is indeed and always sufficient for me!
~ Dr. B. Langkham