1 MARCH, 2021
INPUD’s Monthly Digest is intended to keep our members and supporters informed about INPUD’s activities month to month, as well as updates from national/regional networks and relevant news in drug policy. The following updates cover February 2021.
Before getting into the digest, we would like to thank everyone who has already taken the time to fill out INPUD’s Membership Survey. We have more than doubled our responses from last year, and there is still time to fill it out before the 5th March deadline if you have not already. Please find the survey here and fill it out today!
Download the Monthly Digest as a PDF by clicking here.
GLOBAL ADVOCACY AND EVENTS
Global AIDS Strategy 2021 – 2026
INPUD continues to monitor progress on the adoption of the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021 – 2026. The joint letter we submitted last month with EuroNPUD, Harm Reduction International and YouthRise raising concerns we had about revisions to the strategy was well received by the UNAIDS strategy team, and the latest draft has incorporated many of the points we raised regarding meaningful community involvement, funding for key populations, decriminalisation and removing age barriers for young people who use drugs.
The Strategy now moves to a final vote among member states in March. There is expected to be pushback by some states on the inclusion of key populations within the strategy, in addition to pushback on civil society involvement at the High-level Meeting on Ending AIDS planned for June which will be heavily informed by this strategy. INPUD will continue to engage in advocacy with friendly member states and urge them to stand against these efforts.
6th Global Fund Partnership Forums
The Partnership Forums are well underway this month and will continue into March. Regional forums have been conducted in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa with Asia-Pacific still to come. This is an important window of opportunity to advocate for maintaining and increasing focus and investment on protecting the health and rights of people who use drugs, as well as better aligning the Global Fund with the needs of communities. Last month we shared a joint community and civil society statement signed by INPUD which details three building blocks for the new Global Fund strategy:
- Tackle barriers to getting services to people who need them.
- Invest more in community-led responses, including in mobilisation, monitoring and advocacy.
- Keep the main focus on HIV, TB and Malaria.
To assist peers participating in the Partnership Forums, we have produced a Crib Sheet highlighting key discussion points to be used by advocates. Communities and civil society organisations in the Asia-Pacific region have also made their own statement expressing what they want to see in the new strategy.
On February 18th INPUD hosted a webinar along with the South African Network of People who Use Drugs (SANDPUD), Harm Reduction Kyrgyzstan, Asociacion Costarricense Para El Estudio e Intervencion en Drogas (ACEID), and Advance Access & Delivery discussing the importance of communities engaging in research. The success of a recent community-led, multi-country values and preferences study on Hepatitis C Self-Testing was presented. The full webinar can now be viewed on YouTube here.
Research often overlooks the specific operations and contexts for peer-involved programming. Furthermore, there is a gap in research pertaining to the impacts of peer involvement in low- and middle-income settings. This rapid review written for the Harm Reduction Journal, conceived and written by INPUD’s Executive Director Judy Chang, Andy Guise and Shaun Shelly along with community and civil society leaders examines available literature with the goal of critically assessing the evidence in support of increasing peer involvement in low and middle income settings.
PROGRAMMATIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE UPDATES
INPUD Welcomes Gennady Roshchupkin
We are excited to add Gennady Roshchupkin to the INPUD secretariat as our new Technical Consultant. Gennady began as an HIV activist in 1991 in Russia and by 2007 has worked in a couple of Russian NGOs, and represented people living with HIV in the Russian CCM. In 2007, he joined the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association. He started to work in the area of TA for national community organizations, community engagement in the Global Fund processes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and community-led monitoring, the themes he continues to work on. In 2010, Gennady was one of the co-founders of the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health.
New INPUD Board Roles
Congratulations to our three Board members who have been given the following appointments:
Geoff Ward (PasifikaNPUD) – Chair
Louise Beale-Vincent (Urban Survivor’s Union) – Vice Chair
Hassan Turaif (MENANPUD) – Treasurer
NEWS AND OTHER UPDATES
February marks Black History Month in the United States. For INPUD it is an opportunity to celebrate the enormous contributions of Black peers and communities while also acknowledging the work still to be done to address systemic and societal racism. The criminalisation of drugs has always been rooted in anti-Blackness, anti-Otherism and xenophobia, which is why racial justice is deeply tied to INPUD’s work. Read our full Black History Month statement and consider taking time to educate yourself on how we can incorporate the leadership of Black-led community organisations into our advocacy.
INPUD Strategic Plan 2021 – 2024
Next month the INPUD Board, with support from the Secretariat, will hold a three-day workshop to facilitate the development of INPUD’s Strategic Plan for 2021 through 2024. During this workshop we will review the previous strategy to determine what is still relevant and what needs to be included as we move forward in a rapidly changing global environment. The results of a SWOT analysis on INPUD will also be shared. We will keep the INPUD membership informed about all stages of the new strategy development.