|Resource Guide for Theme Groups: Working together on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 1998, 61 p.)|
|V. Theme Group Management|
The core membership of the Theme Group should consist of the agency heads of those UN Cosponsors present in the country and other UN agencies, as appropriate. In addition, it is important that the Theme Group establish extensive in-country linkages, for example, with the National AIDS Programme, multilateral agencies, associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, bilateral donors and NGOs. This can be done in several ways, such as:
· expanding the Theme Group s Technical Working Group to include representatives of these various groups,
· expanding the Theme Group to include representatives of other interest groups,
· organizing a consultative forum to enable regular periodic interaction with the concerned groups, and/or
· arranging ad hoc meetings with particular individuals/groups on specific subjects.
In considering which option(s) to pursue, the Theme Group should bear in mind the desirability of maintaining a nucleus of members who would retain primary responsibility for policy and governance functions. Normally the nucleus will consist of the representatives of the cosponsoring agencies.
In some countries very limited UN presence does not allow for this mechanism to be established. In those cases, it is left to the agencies present to find the most appropriate solution.
· Are all the cosponsoring agency heads, including the Resident Coordinator, able to commit the time required to be effective Theme Group members?
· How does the Theme Group relate to the national government?
· How does the Theme Group relate to PLHA associations?
· How does the Theme Group reach out to other interest groups?
· In cases where the Theme Group has been expanded to incorporate these stakeholders, how are policy formulation and governance functions exercised?
· In many countries, the Theme Group membership is limited to Cosponsors and does not yet include government representation.
· Ethiopia is an example of broad membership. In addition to the Cosponsors, UNHCR, Ministries of Health, Education, Labour and Social Affairs, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are represented.
· Uganda is enlarging its Theme Group membership to include national representatives designated by the government and is considering the establishment of a Theme Group Forum, which would allow for broader-based consultation.
· In the Eastern Caribbean Theme Group the UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) is a fully fledged member.
· One of the largest NGO networks in Chile, the Red Comunitaria de Lucha contra el SIDA is an active member of the UN Theme Group
· In Pakistan, as contributors to a co-shared project, Norway and Japan are full members of the Theme Group.
· In Tanzania TG membership is limited to Cosponsors and the Government. APLHA NGO is represented on the TWG.
· In Kyrgyzstan all UN agencies present in the country, the ministry of Health/NAP, Ministry of Education and IPPF (an international NGO) are full members of the TG. Depending on the topic to be discussed, representatives of other partners, multi- or bi-lateral donors, government, or NGOsare invited to attend.
· In Ecuador, in addition to the Cosponsors present in the country, UNDCP, FAO, UNIFEM, the Netherlands Embassy and the Netherlands Development Corporation and USAID participate in TG activities.