Media Advocacy and March/Rally in Nairobi

In October 2010, governments from around the world will meet to make their pledges to support the replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which requires a minimum of US$ 20 billion over the next three years.
Advocacy groups around the African region have mobilized around several major events including the AU summit, the International AIDS Conference, the World Cup and the World Economic Forum. In May 2010, an African civil society advocacy forum mapped out next steps on advocacy in the region, and emphasised the need for wave of activism in the lead-up to the replenishment meeting on 4-5 October.
Following conversations with partners in different countries, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa identified Kenya as an optimal focal point to partner with Kenyan CSOs on activism in late September that will reverberate regionally and internationally.
The advocacy campaign in Nairobi will be built around three key messages that have already received advocacy attention over the past year, and will be aligned with other government dialogue and advocacy actions that will be taking place during this period:

– HIV is not over-funded, health is under-funded (focusing on need for sustained scale-up to Universal Access, GF replenishment and general expenditure on health)
– Health is Wealth (focusing on the need for increased investment in health as a pre-requisite for sustainable socio-economic development); and
– Show Us The Money for Health (focusing on better prioritisation of African governments with regards to expenditure, calling for governments to meet the Abuja target)

The campaign will involve the following components:

– Evidenced-based research documents that map out the demands around these three messages;
– A week-long media advocacy campaign in print, radio and TV; which will make use of ARASA’s creative campaigning tools (music, video, dollar bills, Pambazuka special edition) and would culminate in a march/rally for health on a date to be confirmed.
– The march/rally aims to be visually and symbolically striking, thus attracting a lot of public and media attention. It would build on previous imagery used in demonstrations such as the “we are watching” eyeball, as well as dozens of wheelbarrows filled with parody dollar bills that highlight extravagant government expenditure in comparison to the quantity of health services that could have been purchased, which would be wheeled along with the procession and offloaded at key pre-identified sites (Ministry of Finance, donor embassies).

We invite collaboration to advance any of these components. Ultimately this campaign, while taking advantage of the momentum around the replenishment meeting in October, aims to trigger a broader movement advocating for health as a matter of social justice and government accountability; as opposed to an issue in isolation.

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