NOT MUCH BANG FOR THE AID BUCK
FUND for HIV/AIDS IN
The handing over of money to the international NGOs, UN agencies,
7) Pyi Gyi Khin (Darlings of the Big Country)
The MMA received the smallest amount of funds from FHAM, at USD21,390. To be fair to the organisation they only received the funds to tide them over after the Global Fund left. For this money the MMA (or members of the organisation) apparently achieved the following:
- tested 591 people for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The number of those testing positive was not disclosed and whether they were treated effectively was also not provided. It is not clear if this was the total number tested or the increase in the numbers tested (by whom exactly is not clear)
- treated 1,487 people with HIV/AIDS for opportunistic infections. No information was provided about the nature of the treatment, the infections or the results. It is also not clear, if this was the total number of people treated or the extra amount that could be treated given the funds provided
- referred 76 people for HIV tests
The MNA received around USD91,000 for projects in 2003/04 (the first funding round). Despite receiving this money they did not manage to impact on any of the so-called performance indicators developed by FHAM. The MNA was not directly funded in the following rounds and maybe their lack of performance was the reason, but became part of a ‘consortium’ headed by Save the Children (UK). So based on the information provided by FHAM the USD91,000 added nothing to improving the health of the people of
The MHAA as with the MMA only received the funds at the end of the FHAM, to cover them after the Global Fund stopped funding projects in
- 38, 206 (very precise) condoms were distributed.
seems to be awash with condoms. The issue is whether people are using them regularly, not the number being given away. Burma
- Conducted 28 health education sessions on HIV/AIDS for 15,148 young people (of which 604 received counseling). So on average there were 541 people at these gatherings, rather large for health education on such sensitive issues. There is no information that such gatherings are successful in communicating information about HIV/AIDS, and more importantly in affecting behaviour. There is no information about where the education sessions were conducted, advertised and the reasons people attended. Incentives are an important determinant of behaviour and new information, even if properly understood, does not necessarily change behaviour.
- 13,249 pamphlets were distributed. Presumably people attending the education sessions were provided with some pamphlets. Not that there is anything wrong with pamphlets, but there mere existence provides absolutely no indication that behaviour of those reading pamphlets changes. How many smokers have seen “DON’T SMOKE” and continue to do so. No NGO working in a Western country could get up and state we distributed blah number of anti-smoking pamphlets. People would ask, but yes what has happening to number of people smoking.
- 190 peer educators trained. Again this tells us nothing about impact. There is no information even on the quality of the training, the length of the training, and what the peer educators learnt from the training. What were the incentives of those undertaking the training? Did they have nothing else to do? How active are they in the communities? Training people is one thing, but does not tell us anything about quality and what the educators are doing.
- 310 people were given HIV tests
- 195 people referred for HIV tests
The MRCS seemed to engage in lots of meetings and distributed lots of condoms. Not much for a ½ million USD. Lets look a bit more at what they did
- 411,378 condoms distributed - again did they put them on?
- 6 Mass Awareness Sessions held by MRCS. It seems that 21,689 young people were educated at these sessions. They must have been big events with more than 3,5000 young people attending each. Of the 21,689 young people reached, 3,259 were reportedly provided with counseling. FHAM reports this as video shows, TV spots, public talks, festivals. Possibly unfairly, but mass awareness sessions in Burma brings to mind having to listen to mind-numbing speeches given by mind-numbed government apparatchiks to people, who have been rounded up and forced to listen. We might be cynical, but if any of the poor participants were left awake at the end, maybe they picked up something about HIV/AIDS, but who knows what.
- 30,917 pamphlets or HIV/AIDS educational materials distributed, possibly at the mass rallies. At least local the printeries must be doing well. (Wonder, who owns them?) Am I being cynical to suggest that there might be lots of pamphlets lying around in some near empty MRCS warehouse? Hopefully, they were put to better use pasted on the walls of people’s homes to improve insulation.
- 2 Workshops for healthcare providers and 91 peer educators trained
- 72 people referred to services for sexually transmitted diseases. Maybe after the mass meetings or a discussion at the tea-shop, the educators tell their peers “Hey you better go and get a test. Could have caught something”
- Lots of Meetings
- 46 advocacy meetings
- 48 multi-sector meetings
Does anything more need to be said about this? The New Light of Myanmar comes to mind. The meeting was held and advice was given.
- 5 drop in centres (established or run was not specified) and 58 workshops were held, presumably in the drop in centres. From this 868 intravenous drug users (IDU) were reached. 1 of these was referred for drug treatment, and 96 received HIV tests.
- 48,000 syringes were distributed, though none were 868 – an usual needle exchange program. It is not clear, who obtained the syringes, but presumably they were distributed to the 868 IDU’s reached.
- Total of 9 reports, which included 8 evaluations, reviews and 1 survey were undertaken. None of these have been made public.
- 13,649 condoms 30,995 pamphlets distributed
- 110 health education sessions & 10 mass awareness sessions, though no-one was reported as being reached. Maybe there was no-one at the meetings. 31 advocacy meetings were also held, though it is not clear, who with or what for.
- 91 peer educators trained & 14 workshops. It is not clear that these are in addition to the original training provided for the 91 peer educators, or whether it took 14 workshops to train 91 peer educators
- 10 workshops for non-health professionals & non-peer educators
- 2 large companies with HIV/AIDS policies
- 38 people referred for HIV tests
- 142,599 condoms and 335,000 pamphlets were distributed
- 33 advocacy meetings were held, though there is no information for what or with whom these were held. Another 83 multi-sectoral meetings were also held, with no more information provided.
- 30 peer educators trained and 5 workshops for peer educators. As with the MBCA it is not clear that it took 5 workshops to train the 30 peer educators or these were in additional to the original education provided.
- 689 education sessions held, where 462 were reached, with 29 receiving counseling. As only 462 people were reached, some of these education sessions must have been without participants.
- 1 needs assessment and 1 base-line study were conducted. Again these are not publicly available.
- 418 people were given HIV tests
- 400 received with AIDS received home based care
- 1,012 with HIVS were treated for opportunistic infections
Comparison of the Costs of Outreach of Burmese NGOS
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Average No. People at each Health Education Session
Cost of each Education Session