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Systemic Advocacy: Systemic advocacy seeks to influence or secure positive long-term changes that remove barriers and address discriminatory practices to ensure the collective rights and interests of people with and affected by HIV are upheld. Systemic advocacy pursues positive changes to legislation, policy and service practices in partnership with groups of people with and affected by HIV, advocacy agencies and other relevant organisations; and seeks to address barriers and discriminatory practices to produce long-term positive changes.
Over a 20-year period, Positive Life NSW has built powerful coalitions and effective partnerships between community sector agencies, government, researchers and clinicians. These partnerships collect and harness evidence. They also work to create supportive environments, enabling people with HIV to enhance their own health and quality of life, and the quality of life of their partners and communities.
The Systemic Advocacy project plans to build on these relationships with NSW Health, ACON, the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Area Health Services, mainstream services, the clinical and research sector, NAPWA, AFAO and people with HIV – to reinvigorate and enhance our advocacy and achieve the following objectives:
- Work with the HIV sector and relevant mainstream organisations and people with HIV, to identify barriers and improve access to health and support services across NSW by: annually consulting with all relevant stakeholders to identify and act upon two priority areas/issues.
- Develop and implement joint approaches that improve and ensure ongoing access to services for people with HIV: by working with key HIV and other stakeholders to identify and cooperatively progress access objectives and strategies.
- Increase recognition and understanding of the diverse needs of people with HIV: remaining informed about the current and emerging issues affecting people with HIV across metropolitan and regional NSW.
- Contribute to measures to identify and address the impact of stigma and discrimination on the quality of life and opportunities of people with HIV by: implementing inclusive consultation strategies that seek input from the full range of people living with HIV throughout NSW.
- Establishing effective processes to measure and communicate the impact of our systemic advocacy work, to people with HIV, partners, stakeholders and relevant decision makers.
In the 2008-2009 financial years, we will include the following priority issues in our systemic advocacy work:
Our Systemic Advocacy Goal
Positive Life NSW is an effective advocacy organisation that builds powerful coalitions, harnesses evidence and creates supportive environments that improve life for people with HIV, their partners and communities.
How we will do it:
Positive Life NSW uses a range of advocacy tools to improve access to services for people with HIV in New South Wales.
The operating principles below describe how we will work with people, including people with HIV, organisations and government, to achieve our advocacy goals.
The principles also describe how we will measure if we have made a difference to the quality of life of people with HIV in NSW.
Systemic Advocacy Operating Principles:
1.0 Public Policy Environment
- Keep abreast of relevant state and federal policy initiatives.
- Seek to positively influence public policy development and implementation by actively promoting the needs of people with HIV in NSW and, where appropriate, within Australia.
- Utilise meetings and forums with government, non-government and community sector stakeholders to build and strengthen our relationships, indentify issues, and profile our advocacy work.
- Frame our work within the targets and objectives of the NSW HIV Strategy 2006-2010, the National Strategy and other relevant state and National health strategies, as appropriate.
- Actively participate in reviews of relevant NSW policy.
2.0 Credible Evidence
- Use clinical and social research study findings to identify and inform population issues and need.
- Request specific data analyses from clinical and social researchers, as required, to focus emerging issues.
- Ensure our work is informed by experience of people with HIV (gathered from Positive Life NSW and HIV sector projects) and ensure that those sector projects (in turn) have access to clinical and social research findings.
Consult with the broadest range of people with HIV in NSW government and non- government, clinical service and community services to:
- Encourage participation
- Inform our advocacy work
- Provide opportunity for feedback and discussion
- Obtain endorsement
- Enable community mobilisation
- Encourage partnerships where appropriate
- Collaborate and work closely with sector agencies and service providers – both government and non-government – in pursuit of agreed and shared advocacy and policy goals including: NSW Health AIDB, ACON, BGF, PozHets, MHAHS, Area Health Services, HARP Sector, HIV clinical and social research centres, human rights and related agencies, AHMRC, ASHM and other clinicians, HIV positive support organisations across NSW, NAPWA, AFAO and people with HIV.
- Develop and maintain strong, respectful and collegiate relationships with sector agencies and service providers.
- Provide ongoing feedback about our advocacy priorities and work to update our partners and constituents about our advocacy work.
- Advocate for evaluation and ongoing improvement of state-wide HIV programs and services by area health services and community sector partners.
- Work with response partners and health providers to ensure greater access to mainstream services by people with HIV, where appropriate.
- Assist the evaluation of services by conducting or supporting user satisfaction surveys to support service evaluation.
- Profile the advocacy projects work by strategically using a range of communication formats including: E-news, Talkabout, SSO, Positive Life NSW website and other relevant community and mainstream media. Build strong networks and coalitions with people with HIV and community sector organisations.
- Use public forums to identify issues, increase participation, mobilise public opinion and disseminate information.
- Provide timely feedback to consultation, discussion and focus group participants about the impact of their contribution and the progress of advocacy projects generally.
- Develop and implement a website-based capacity to provide ongoing interactive opportunity for people with HIV to ‘have their say’ about the work of the advocacy project.
- Based upon data and case studies collected from consultation with people with HIV, researches, and relevant community sector partners, develop public position papers that articulate policy options and provide opportunity for feedback and discussion by stakeholders.
- Consult with people with HIV, researches, and relevant community sector partners to develop (or jointly develop) public submissions that advocate for people with HIV in NSW.
7.0 Measuring outcomes
- Monitor the quality and quantity of published submissions and policy responses.
- Develop a process to prioritise existing and emerging advocacy issues, manage workload and annually incorporate priorities into our advocacy work plan.
- Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of our relationships with people with HIV and sector partners including feedback mechanisms.
- Develop and implement an evaluation process that regularly measures the impact of our advocacy activities for people with HIV.
For more information, please contact Lance Feeney on 02 9206 2177 or email@example.com