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Civil Society Letter to PEPFAR and Reply from Ambassador Birx

Click here to read the letter from civil society.

Dear Civil Society Activists and Colleagues:

I want to thank you for your feedback about the new approach that PEPFAR is seeking to implement as part of the COP 2015 process. Your concerns are being taken very seriously by PEPFAR staff in each of our 36 country and regional programs, USG agencies, and at PEPFAR headquarters. I recognize that the difficulties you are facing in realizing the vision of PEPFAR’s commitment to transparency, accountability, impact and partnership, with civil society.

To this end, I wanted to let you know that I’ve re-issued an information sharing directive that reinforces the COP guidance on the importance that PEPFAR share civil society as much information and non-procurement sensitive data as possible related to COP 2014 and COP 2015. This includes:

  1. COP 2014 - Programmatic substance of approved COP 14 (e.g., program area budget and target reports, epidemiologic and geographic focus data, analysis that supported the program pivot and list of PEPFAR-supported site, and APR data.)
  2. COP 2015 - data being used for geographic prioritization based on disease burden; data being used to determine site level and above site investments – this could include the site yield data and volume data. Given the volume and complexity of the information, country teams are encouraged to have a dialogue around the data that promotes mutual understanding of the data and its intended use. Regarding the SDS, it is expected that country teams will discuss the strategic direction and impact of COP 2015, including with civil society. In addition, country teams will want to share the COP guidance, trade-offs that the team is considering and findings related to core-, near-, non-core activities. All of the tables in the SDS can be shared with external partners (including civil society) as well as narratives in the SDS, which can be helpful in describing those tables. However, procurement sensitive information should not be shared.

The goal is for non-procurement sensitive information to be shared iteratively with civil society so that you can meaningfully engage with you in COP development and as you work through your decision-making process.

Finally, I want to update you on S/GAC’s progress in posting important COP 2014 information on

  • Redacted COP 2014 Approval Memos are posted
  • Redacted COP 2014 Executive Summary Memos will be posted by April 3.
  • Redacted COP 2014 Budget and Targets Report will be posted by April 3.

The process and timeline for posting redacted COP14 Narratives is under development and will be shared at a later date. In closing, I look forward to your ongoing engagement and perspectives in the upcoming COP 2015 reviews and subsequently the periodic review processes during COP 2015 implementation.

I want to thank you for your incredible work and commitment to accelerating the pace towards reaching epidemic control.

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, MD
Ambassador-at-Large and Special Rep. for Global Health Diplomacy
Coordinator of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Global HIV/AIDS
U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief