RTI, partners develop web-based system to reduce HIV discrimination in Ghana

WA, Ghana— HIV-related stigma and discrimination remains a serious challenge in Ghana. The launch of a new web-based system for handling cases of HIV-related discrimination is designed to improve access to justice for people living with HIV and key populations at higher risk of HIV.

The system was developed through a partnership of the USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Ghana AIDS Commission, along with other government and non-governmental stakeholders. RTI International is a member of the consortium, led by Futures Group that implements the Health Policy Project.

Individuals and organizations will use the system to report cases of HIV-related discrimination by completing a short questionnaire. Additional features, such as case tracking, are accessible to organizations that register. These features will enable organizations to monitor the progress of complaints after submitting them to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

At World AIDS Day observations in Wa, Ghana on December 2nd, His Excellency Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur presided over the launch of the new system.

“This new system will strengthen access to justice for marginalized populations,” said HPP’s Taylor Williamson, health governance specialist at RTI International and the reporting project’s manager. “By building on the existing strengths of government and non-governmental institutions, we are working together to improve the effectiveness of institutions to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination in Ghana.”

By improving reporting and tracking of discrimination, the new system is designed to enhance governance and accountability; helping to uphold the rights of people living with HIV and other key populations.

The project worked closely with both commissions and civil society organizations to outline system requirements, strengthen the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice capacity to manage HIV-related discrimination cases, and train staff members on the impact of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

As part of the program, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice strengthened its capacities to manage cases of HIV-related discrimination, including improving policies and procedures on confidentiality and providing trainings to staff members. The commission officers from Greater Accra were trained on how to use the system, as well as on HIV-related stigma and discrimination and interviewing techniques. These officers form the core of staff providing legal services to people living with HIV and key populations.

The system was built with support from the Health Policy Project, funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Health Policy Project, led by the Washington, DC-based Futures Group, aims to strengthening policy, advocacy, finance, and governance for strategic, equitable, and sustainable health programming in developing countries.

 

Graffiti advocating AIDS tolerance

Highlights

  • The launch of a new web-based system for handling cases of HIV-related discrimination is designed to improve access to justice for people living with HIV
  • Individuals and organizations will use the system to report cases of HIV-related discrimination by completing a short questionnaire