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close this bookHIV/AIDS Networking Guide - A comprehensive resource for individuals and organisations who wish to build, strengthen or sustain a network (International Council of AIDS Service Organisations, 1997, 48 p.)
close this folderChapter 1 - Networking for a More Effective Response To HIV and AIDS
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWhat Do We Mean by Networking?
View the documentCharacteristics of a Network
View the documentWhat Are the Benefits of Networking?
View the documentWhy Network?
View the documentNetwork Activities
View the documentOrganizational Features of AIDS Networks
View the documentThe ICASO Story
View the documentPHA Involvement in AIDS Networks
View the documentEnsuring the Inclusion of People with HIV/AIDS In AIDS Networks
View the documentNetworking for Mutual Support

The ICASO Story

The International Council of AIDS Service Organizations is an international network that exists primarily to strengthen the response of the community sector. The ICASO mission is to promote and support the work of community-based organizations (CBOs) around the world in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, as well as care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). ICASO places particular emphasis on strengthening the response in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, and in communities with fewer resources.

Through the ICASO networking process, organizations establish and maintain essential communication with each other, ensuring the active exchange of information that is vital to the evolution of the community response. At the regional level, ICASO draws from networks of community experts who provide training and skills development, advocate for sound public policies and services, facilitate and support the creation of other groups, monitor the application of human rights, and promote the changes necessary for the creation of supportive legal and social environments for viable and effective prevention and care services.

ICASO is anchored by five Regional Secretariats and coordinated through a Central Secretariat. To maximize effectiveness and to minimize cost, each Secretariat is housed within an existing organization: AfriCASO (Africa) is hosted by ENDA Tiers Monde in Senegal; APCASO (Asia/Pacific) is hosted by Citra Usadha Indonesia Foundation in Bali Indonesia; EuroCASO (Europe) is hosted by the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos-institut) in the Netherlands; LACCASO (Latin America and the Caribbean) is hosted by Colectivo Sol in Mexico; NACASO (North America) is hosted by the National Minority AIDS Council in the United States; and the ICASO Central Secretariat is hosted by the Canadian AIDS Society in Ottawa, Canada.

Although the core activities vary by region, the overall goal is to facilitate network building and coordination, information sharing, and advocacy. The Secretariats have also produced guidelines outlining a generic regional programme and structure. The Networking guidelines work as a framework to assist with regional activities which are guided by principles established by “grassroots” organizations. The guidelines promote the ongoing development of national networking processes.