Cross-cutting isssues
Home Contents Introduction Opening Remarks Objectives Introduction to NPMS CSOs/Govt Partnership Poverty Assesment Day One Recap Research Methodologies Monitoring Technique Cross-cutting isssues S E Database Role of CSOs in PRSP Lobbying & Advocacy Monitoring Strategy Lesson Learned Closing Remarks

 

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Presentation on Mainstreaming Cross-cutting Issues (Gender, HIV/AIDS) in Monitoring Poverty and PRSP

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10.1 Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Poverty Monitoring

Rev. Casimir Mabina from NGO TAC started by saying that poverty and HIV/AIDS are inseparable and that the two are linked in a dialectical relationship. Poverty contributes to the further transmission of HIV/AIDS, and HIV/AIDS contributes to increased poverty levels. Thus monitoring poverty and PRSP must also take in consideration the devastating impact and effects of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS affects all people of all ages, race, religions and social status. It affects all sectors (including the PRSP priority sectors), causing far reaching consequences for the social, economic and political life in Tanzania.

The socio-economic implications of HIV/AIDS are more greatly felt at family, household and community levels. The impact of the epidemic at the micro-level is eventually felt at the macro-level, affecting key indicators of national development.

Women are more affected by the killer disease than men due to their relatively low social and economic status, high trends of poverty among women and the biological make-up of their reproductive bodies. Children and the youth are also vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. The epidemic has produced orphans who have increased considerably, street children and households which are headed by non productive children or the elderly have also increased.

HIV/AIDS drains much needed human resources and labor force. People who die from HIV/AIDS are people who are in the productive age groups, people who have been trained to contribute to national development. HIV/AIDS also drains financial resources and affects economic performance at all levels, leading to increased poverty. A lot of time is spent in providing care to people with HIV/AIDS. Due to loss of bread-earners, children and women lack support and access to basic social services. Likewise, child labor is now on the increase due to increased poverty levels partly contributed by HIV/AIDS.

Apparently there is no cure of the epidemic in sight. HIV/AIDS is treated only through palliative care. As a result, HIV/AIDS patients now occupy 50% of hospital beds. This trend drains the already meager Government and health care resources. It affects the public sector, private sector, education, health, agriculture and the informal sectors as well.

Plenary Discussions:

bulletPeople must admit for sure that HIV/AIDS is a killer disease in Tanzania and CSOs have a great role to sensitize all types of people and social groups about the epidemic and how to promote behavior change through IEC/BCC (Information, Education Communication/Behavior Change Communication) activities.
bulletTime has come to break the silence on HIV/AIDS, meaning that we should talk openly about HIV/AIDS to members of the family especially targeting at children and youth.
bulletSafer sex and use of condoms should be promoted by CSOs.
bulletWe are worried by the fact that there is no integrated framework in place that shows us what the Government is doing to combat HIV/AIDS. How can we then monitor HIV/AIDS prevention efforts?
bulletIt is surprising to us to see that the PRSP has set a goal to achieve 70% HIV/AIDS awareness level by 2003, while the current level of HIV/AIDS awareness has already reached 98%!!! Is this PRSP reducing poverty progressively or taking us back to a target of 70%, which we had already long passed?!! What happened is that the World Bank/IMF wanted indicators that will justify Tanzania to access full debt relief, the Government gave them indicators which are already long achieved!!
bulletHIV/AIDS poses a big risk that the PRSP targets will not be reached. Given the impact of the epidemic on the social and economic sectors, we might not be able to disaggregate what contributes to failure of achieving certain PRSP targets. Will the IMF/World Bank accept a situation where the Government has done its obligation in addressing priority sector development goals but the final situation turns out that poverty has worsened because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic or they will think we were not that serious in implementing the PRSP?
bulletCSO should continue to pressurize for the availability of cheaply manufactured HIV/AIDS generic drugs. In the Seattle WTO meeting, CSOs called for the WTO to be shut down. Sometimes our Government cannot be vocal enough when it challenges international bodies such as World Bank, IMF and WTO because it is a signatory, voluntary subscriber, shareholder and sometimes even board member of such organisations. We have nothing to loose. We oppose TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights). HIV/AIDS medication cannot be reproduced because the original patent owners, who are mainly the international pharmaceutical companies oppose it! WTO supports TRIPS!!! This move is inhumane and immoral, we will continue with our international advocacy initiatives to condemn it.

Recommendations:

CSOs should adopt the best practices in monitoring poverty and PRSP so that HIV/AIDS is well captured because it is one of the indicators of measuring poverty at all levels (as it affects all sectors). HIV/AIDS impact should be monitored at all levels both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Strategies should be put in place in order to deal with HIV/AIDS using innovative approaches.

10.2  Presentation on Gender Mainstreaming as Gross-Cutting Issues in PRSP and Poverty Monitoring

The presentation was done by Ms Gemma Akilimali of Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP). The presentation started with an analysis of how gender was considered during the process of drafting the PRSP. As a point of departure she pointed out that gender as a concern was not fully addressed in the PRSP because there was a total lack of understanding of gender mainstreaming during the whole PRSP process.

It was therefore pointed out that in essence, for any gender mainstreaming undertaking to be meaningful, gender concerns should be trekked and traced right from the start/beginning of the process. This was not done in the formulation of the PRSP as gender groupings were not consulted and treated on equal terms.

    It should be noted that gender concern and analysis is not only analysis about women, but also all people and everybody (men, women, children, youth, elderly people etc). This analysis takes into account the gender dimension for every grouping in the society.
    The PRSP process ignored gender mainstreaming and because of this there are always big questions around the PRSP process. These questions include:

Who were the representatives during the PRSP formulation process?
Who and whom did they represent?
Did all the groups represented take into consideration gender needs and concerns?

Gender concerns are the determinant/underlying factors of poverty and poverty reduction. They are therefore an important factor in poverty monitoring and assessing the PRSP. Poverty monitoring should take into account gender needs and requirements at all times.

The process of gender analysis and mainstreaming must start from lower levels beginning at the grassroots level and move upwards to the national level. It should encompass all groups and actors contextualising gender concerns and analysis in the process at all stages.

In the context of poverty analysis, it is important to capture not only the gender concerns but also gender desegregation, which must be gathered from the local level. It is common knowledge that the existing local government structures at the district and grassroot levels are not at all gender responsive because the majority of those who hold positions and make decisions at that level are men, who more often do not take into account gender concerns. Women and girls are often disfavored in the decision making process. Reasons for all these problems were singled out to be due to:
    Lack of awareness of gender issues
    Lack of skills and understanding on gender parameters
    Lack or limited capacity in gender issues and tools for mainstreaming gender.

10.3 Plenary Discussions

bulletGender representation should be balanced in the poverty monitoring system taking into consideration all social groups at all levels of life and governance levels.
bulletParticipation of key stakeholders and a balanced gender representation is very crucial especially in poverty/PRSP monitoring process.

10.4 Recommendations

bulletGender analysis and mainstreaming in poverty monitoring and assessing the PRSP should be mandatory.
bulletFor effective participation in the poverty monitoring process and PRSP, CSOs must be given the necessary training on gender analysis and mainstreaming.
bulletGender mainstreaming manuals should be prepared and distributed to all stakeholders.
 

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