|IAS2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre|
During the IAS 2015 conference, the International AIDS Society has been holding a series of strategic planning consultations with members, as well as calling for input via an online Membership and Strategy Survey.
A key issue in the consultation for the new IAS 2016-2020 plan is what balance is struck between its three key missions; representing HIV professionals; convening the IAS conferences; and engaging in advocacy.
|IAS Strategic planning consultation participants included representatives|
from Maurtius, Taiwan, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi and Australia
Participants in the meetings were drawn from a range of sectors – clinical, community LGBTI, and national civil society organisations. They were also drawn from a range of locations, from Africa, to India, to Australia.
When asked about the IAS mission, a number of participants expressed strong feelings that it should remain an HIV scientific organisation first and foremost. They posited that there were other gatherings to focus on the social aspects of HIV.
AFAO argued that it would like see the IAS provide an opportunity for cross-sectorial exchange, between scientists, community, donors and clinicians. It also argued that it would like to see the IAS focus on key advocacy issues for affected communities.
IAS conveners also asked what value participants would like to get from the IAS membership. Suggestions included capacity building opportunities for members, providing regular summaries of important HIV related science/research, as well as research/knowledge translation.
It seemed that IAS wants to engage more deeply in advocacy activities, and this potentially bodes well for the community sector. However, the benefit of this, of course, will be dependent on what areas IAS chooses to focus its advocacy on.
The IAS is currently undertaking online stakeholder engagement as part of its strategic planning consultation. AFAO encourages you to share your views by taking part in the online Membership and Strategy Survey
As many community voices needs to be heard as possible – IAS member or not! Encourage others to participate by sharing the survey URL: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JSMHLQG
Michael Frommer, AFAO Policy Analyst, is blogging live from IAS 2015.