2020 PEPFAR Country Operational Plans: Get Involved!


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With 2020 around the corner comes the beginning of the new PEPFAR Country Operational Plan (COP) and Regional Operational Plan (ROP) processes.

Early in January 2020, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) will publish the final version of the 2020 PEPFAR COP Guidance. It is crucial that civil society advocates and key population groups

  • Understand the key directives of the 2020 COP Guidance
  • Remind PEPFAR teams of their responsibilities to key populations
  • Be prepared to report to OGAC and to their local, regional, and global civil society peers when and if PEPFAR teams fall short.
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Key Dates for Civil Society in the 2020 PEPFAR COP Process

  • December 2019: PEPFAR teams should be able to provide local civil society organizations (CSOs) with country-level data (“POART data”) from Quarter 4 of PEFPAR’s 2019 programming
  • January 2020: The formal PEPFAR process begins – this is the time to identify your priorities for change with other key populations organizations
  • The last week of January: PEPFAR teams are scheduled to hold a “strategic retreat” that includes local CSO representatives to discuss the 2020 COP process
  • January / February 2020: Preparation for in-person planning meetings
  • February/March:  PEPFAR country and Washington DC teams, country and global civil society, government, UNAIDS and Global Fund gather in Johannesburg for five-day meetings where they will lay out the priorities for COP 20.
    • Feb 17-21, Johannesburg (Group 1: Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ukraine, DRC, West Africa Region)
    • Feb 24-28, Johannesburg (Group 2: South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Haiti/Dominican Republic)
    • March 2-6, Johannesburg (Group 3: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Malawi, Vietnam)
    • March 9, Bangkok (Asia Region)
    • March 23, Washington DC (W. Hemisphere region)
  • March: COPs due to the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR’s Headquarters) in Washington, D.C
    • March 9-13, 2020(Group 1)/ March 16-20, 2020 (Group 2)/ March 23-27, 2020(Group 3)
  • March 30 – April 10, 2020 (all groups): In country COP approval

A series of webinars will be held by the PEPFAR Watch Group in the new year starting on 15 January covering topics such as retention, AGYW, testing strategies, TB, pediatric HIV, PrEP, key populations and review on how to complete the checklist. A complete list will be shared in early January for you to sign up.

You can also look at the set of “People’s COPs” for reference, these countries have simply taken the checklist a step further by incorporating community collected data and launching their recommendations at community meeting with decision makers as an advocacy tactic: MalawiUgandaKenyaSouth Africa 2018.

Soon HealthGAP will be sending around the updated 2020 Rough Guide to Influencing and Monitoring PEPFAR Programs for your reference and to assist you in the COP process. For now you can access the presentation from the webinar here to look at what you can start doing.

Start meeting as civil society and communities to review last year’s COP and begin building a list of recommendations and demands you can submit to PEPFAR by the end of January 2020.

Don’t forget to take a look at the PEPFAR data for 2019 as a tool for advocacy—it tells an important story of what is working and what is not. All PEPFAR data is now online on the amfAR website here: http://mer.amfar.org

It is also time to build a written priority list. You can use the checklist template here.

As always, we greatly value receiving your thoughts and feedback, which help reinforce our advocacy efforts at local, regional, and global levels. We thank you for your much-appreciated engagement with this critical process.

Additional resources to help you take action to influence PEPFAR plans in your country or region can be found online at: healthgap.org/pepfarresources 

Yours in global solidarity,
MPact, and the PEPFAR watch coalition