Networking HIV and AIDS Community of South Africa

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Vision:  Collectively turning the tide on HIV, AIDS and TB

The Networking HIV and AIDS Community of South Africa (NACOSA) emerged out of the National AIDS Convention of South Africa in 1990. Since then, NACOSA has developed and put in place a three-tiered model of capacity building, networking and promoting dialogue to build a sustainable civil society response to HIV, AIDS and TB and build healthy communities in Southern Africa.

NACOSA is a principal recipient of round nine funding from the global fund to fight HIV, AIDS, TB and Malaria and manages the grants to organisations, home-based carers and patient advocates countrywide. Through this, NACOSA is able to distribute and monitor funding to smaller community organisations that find it difficult to access and account for development aid. In partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the NACOSA Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Community Systems Strengthening Project, aims to improve the wellbeing of families and their vulnerable children. This assistance from American people enables NACOSA to provide comprehensive and coordinated evidence-based interventions that strengthen the capacity of families and communities to care for vulnerable children in sub-districts and districts with high prevalence, high maternal mortality and a high number of OVC.

NACOSA is represented on national, provincial and local structures and forums including the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Provincial AIDS Councils in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, the Resource Mobilisation Committee (RMC), the Joint Primary Health Committee and the Global Fund Management Committee.  NACOSA has been deeply involved in the consultative processes around a policy framework for community health workers.

South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV and AIDS, the fourth highest TB incidence and a heavy burden of chronic diseases, exacerbated by poverty and a lack of access to services. Civil society plays a vital role in fighting the twin epidemics of HIV, AIDS and TB and building healthy communities, providing services to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach. But organisations face serious capacity challenges, often working in isolation and without access to training and networks. NACOSA builds the capacity of these organisations and individuals so they can deliver effective and accountable health services in communities. NACOSA promotes dialogue between government and civil society and advocates for a united, holistic and multi-sectoral response to HIV, AIDS and TB.


Global Fund

As a principal recipient, this is NACOSA’s flagship programme, with NACOSA responsible for the oversight of five large national recipients as well as 69 provincial recipients. NACOSA also runs a number of other programmes funded by national and provincial government and other funders. These programmes allow NACOSA to provide capacity development services to its members for free.

NACOSA's contribution to the Community-Based Response of the Global Fund Round three Roll-On Continuation Grant (RCC R3) programme in the Western Cape grew out of the organisation’s first Masibambisane Conference where organisations specifically requested resources for the community response to HIV and AIDS. NACOSA receives referrals from sub-district and district coordinators of community-based organisations in need of capacity development. NACOSA identifies the specific needs of these organisations using a capacity assessment tool and develop their organisational capacity, as well as providing technical assistance and mentoring. NACOSA further identifies training and broader capacity development needs.

OVC Community Systems Strengthening

Approximately 22 percent of the country’s 18.6 million children are affected by HIV and AIDS and two million children have been orphaned by HIV and AIDS. A large number of children, particularly girls, are vulnerable and live in extremely difficult socio-economic circumstances. With assistance from the American people, the NACOSA OVC Community Systems Strengthening Project builds on the organisation’s existing community systems strengthening model to create integrated plans for service delivery to OVC and sustainable systems to support families and their vulnerable children. This model has been proven and tested through NACOSA’s experience of managing a Global Fund-sponsored OVC programme and the Children’s HIV/AIDS Network (CHAiN). The model addresses the specific challenges of the children’s sector in a holistic and sustainable manner.

Community-Based Response

Through NACOSA's participation in national and provincial decision-making structures and working groups, issues from organisations are compiled and brought into these structures. NACOSA lobbies government and service providers for increased civil society participation in provincial programme planning and access to resources and assistance. NACOSA hosts consultative meetings and produces regular communications to enhance networking, information sharing and dialogue between civil society and government. The organisation also facilitates sub-district meetings and capacity building sessions for comprehensive planning, monitoring and evaluation of district and sub-district plans and processes.

Health Systems Strengthening

NACOSA has a long standing partnership with the national Department of Health and has developed this programme in consultation with the provincial departments of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape. The programme contributes to the implementation of objective two of the Department of Health's Negotiated Service Level Agreement (NSDA): ‘A long and healthy life for all South Africans’. It aims to strengthen community and primary health-care systems to expand access to services, combat HIV, AIDS and TB, increase life expectancy and build healthy, informed communities.

NACOSA facilitates forums for the HIV, AIDS and TB sector for networking, capacity strengthening and mapping of services. These meetings are followed by training sessions, as well as providing regular communications on issues affecting the sector; we also represent civil society at local, provincial and national government. Through this programme, NACOSA facilitates the implementation of support groups for people living with AIDS (including children) and supports partner organisations to provide ‘know your status’ information sessions and stigma mitigation.

Cape Town Capacity Building

Community organisations operating in the City of Cape Town show selfless dedication to the cause but many have little experience or knowledge of the rigours of organisational development. Weak governance structures are often not able to support individual skills development. By offering a combination of training workshops and structured mentoring - with a governance focus - NACOSA can help small organisations to make major strides in developing their organisations. Supporting structures and systems such as Multi-Sectoral Action Teams (MSATs), ensures sustainability within affected communities.

NACOSA's City of Cape Town Community-Based Response Capacity Building Programme provides short-term cluster mentoring services, training and support to MSAT leaders and coordinators. This includes capacity building training workshops to organisations funded by the City health funding programme - as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) not funded by the programme to increase organisational capacity in financial management and reporting, organisational governance, monitoring and evaluation as well as basic HIV awareness and education.


NACOSA has an exceptional, 11-year track record in capacity development and training. NACOSA provides accredited training and technical support to organisations, companies and people working in community health and social development. With full accreditation by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) and with level two Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) status, the organisation’s capacity building team offers a range of courses and workshops at affordable rates.

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