It is now the end of Quarter One of Year 2, and I am struck by how quickly the project cycle moves. We are almost at the halfway mark in the life of the grant, with much to do. Fortunately, we built a strong foundation in Year 1 but we are all aware that we now to focus on implementation across all subrecipients and activity areas.
Over the past month we have been focussed on preparing the PUDR and I thank everyone for their contributions. We have done our own self-assessment and awarded ourselves a B rating. We are hopeful that the Global Fund will agree. Hitting the Performance Frameworks targets in Year 2 and 3 will be more challenging because the deliverables are of a higher order. In response to this we are providing the subrecipients with additional technical support and resources to meet the targets.
The Regional Steering Committee was held on 5 September. After much discussion we have decided to disband this Committee and to mobilize strategies to engage with country partners including the Country Coordinating Mechanism more actively. We will continue to bring country partners together annually for planning purposes.
SKPA-2 was proud to a host a seminar titled, “Beyond the Hype: Setting Up Social Contracting to Sustain Key Populations Programs” on 5 September. This was a hybrid meeting with over 100 participants. The seminar highlighted the challenges facing countries in moving forward in social contracting. It was noted that many countries have regulatory policies and procedural barriers that limit the ability of community-based organizations to legally register along with complex government procurements systems. Moving forward, SKPA-2 will be supporting a deep dive into social contracting in Bhutan, Mongolia and Sri Lanka in addition to supporting the Philippines to further consolidate their strong model on social contracting.
On 6 September, the SKPA-2 team took the day to focus on its Year 2 workplan. Having the subrecipients all together in Bangkok made this an easier process because we were able to go Objective-by-Objective and assess the activities and budgets. As result, some realignment and minor reprogramming of subrecipient budgets will be undertaken with the goal of completing this task before the end of October 2023.
We were also fortunate to be able to shine a light on Community led Monitoring with representatives from the SKPA-2 attending the “Line-up for Change: Collaboratively shaping the Asia Regional Observatory Indicator” workshop hosted by the Seven Alliance with support from PEPFAR and UNAIDS from 11 to 12 September. Following this on 13 September, the SKPA-2 team in partnership with the Seven Alliance hosted the “Strengthening and Streamlining Community led Monitoring Initiatives across Asia and the Pacific” workshop. Together these two workshops will help to consolidate the partnership between SKPA-2 and the Seven Alliance. We welcome this collaboration, and we look forward to the Asian approach to Community led monitoring being globally significant.