How is the Freeze on Global Fund Funding to China Affecting Grassroots Groups?

China Development Brief, no. 50 (Summer 2011)

中文 English

Introduction: This article sheds much-needed light on a very complex situation triggered by the Global Fund’s announcement in March of 2011 that it would freeze its HIV/AIDS funding in China1. It has been widely speculated that the Global Fund’s decision would cripple many of the grassroots groups that relied on Global Fund funding, but this report based on interviews with a number of the more established grassroots NGOs in this sector suggests that the situation is more complicated. What is clear is that grassroots HIV/AIDS groups will have to adapt to a very different landscape and different set of challenges in the next few years as the Global Fund withdraws from China. The last part of this article, in particular, raises a number of questions. In the absence of Global Fund money, will the Chinese government come through with funding for grassroots groups? How will that money be managed and disbursed, and what kind of groups will benefit from it?

On May 28, 2011 the media reported the Ministry of Health confirmed what had already become a hot topic within the philanthropic sector: China’s Global Fund payments had been frozen. According to the China Global Fund Watch 《中国全球基金观察》March newsletter, the China Global Fund Rolling Continuation Channel (RCC) Project included a total of 753 social organizations that had successfully applied for 8,442 projects. The funding used to support these projects was estimated at U.S.$3.2 million. What impact will the funding freeze have on grassroots organizations? For grassroots organizations working in the field of HIV/AIDS, how will they survive?

Background

Founded in 2002, the Global Fund, (short for the “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria”) is the only international financial organization established in cooperation with governments and non-governmental agencies. Since 2003 China has reportedly received $539 million in aid from this organization. The funds are used primarily for lowering the rate of tuberculosis transmission, preventing and treating HIV/AIDS and eradicating malaria. This article is concerned with the temporary freezing of the funds for the HIV/AIDS projects.

Applications for the Global Fund are made by individual states which form a National Coordinating Committee, referred to as the CCM. In accordance with the requirements of the Global Fund, the CCM acts as a mechanism which considers, approves and coordinates applications made to the Global Fund. In addition, the CCM monitors and guides the projects that have been granted approval by the Global Fund to be implemented within China. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in China was assigned as the Principal Recipient (PR) of the Global Fund aid. It is responsible for the formulation of the approved projects and their implementation. The CDC is supervised by the CCM and is responsible for regular reporting to the CCM on the project implementation2.

According to Chang Kun, the founder of AIBO Qingnian Huodong Zhongxin (AIBO青年活动中心) (“常坤的家”), in November 2010, the Global Fund’s secretariat signed a contract with Curatio International Consultancy Ltd and YozuMannion Ltd, requiring them to carry out an external assessment of the entire China HIV/AIDS RCC Project. The freezing of the Global Fund in China is related to this assessment, as well as to continued dissatisfaction expressed through letters sent by community organizations, individuals and other bodies. Prompted by non-governmental input, the Global Fund has in fact become increasingly transparent. However, more than a few problems have accumulated over the years. Among these problems, the greatest controversies are over the allocation of funds and the fraudulent use of funds.

The Impact on Grassroots Organizations

The Mangrove Support Group (红树林) is a web-based HIV/AIDS prevention organization and is unaffected by the freezing of the Global Fund. Its founder Li Xiang says “Mangrove is not representative of other grassroots organizations. In terms of funding, we have received assistance from the Global Fund, but it is less than five percent of our total funding. Also, since 2008 we haven’t applied for any Global Fund projects.” In the last 3 years, Mangrove’s main funding has reportedly come from an international foundation. They only do online projects and participate very little in other HIV/AIDS projects. Li said “I’m not really clear about the changes in the Global Fund over the last few years because I’ve participated very little in them.”

The China Women’s Network Against AIDS was formed from 21 smaller groups and is led by He Tiantian. Following the freezing of the Global Fund, this network looked into these smaller groups’ sources of funding. Out of their 21 members, there were 5-6 groups that had, in the past, used money from the Global Fund. Of these groups, half received almost all of their funding from the Global Fund, while the other half received other types of funding for their activities. Those groups that had relied solely upon the Global Fund have essentially stopped their work. However, on occasion, they still undertake activities, since networking activities between members don’t necessarily need monetary support.

On his microblog, Meng Lin the leader of Beijing Ark of Love (北京爱之方舟) related the statistics from a rapid assessment report. Over 80 percent of NGOs in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment have felt the impact of the frozen funds. Meng said the freezing of the Global Fund’s assistance to China will undoubtedly be a great blow to grassroots organizations. Looking at the situation just six months after the freeze, cases of unemployment are already starting to appear.

Cai Lingping, the leader of the National AIDS Information Network (CHAIN) 全国艾滋病信息资源网络 says that if we are to assess the impact of the temporary freezing by the Global Fund on NGOs, we first have to differentiate between exactly what types of NGOs were carrying out Global Fund projects. Ping’s understanding is that aside from associations and institutes of learning, community organizations can also be divided into several types. The first is spontaneous organizations. These organizations already existed and were already undertaking community services and advocacy work before the Global Fund entered China. Thus it would be possible for them to continue without the Global Fund. The second type is the project-induced organization. This type of organization was conceived and born of the Global Fund, established for a specific target group. However, their main purpose is to complete work on the Global Fund projects. Those organizations that developed may continue their work even without the Global Fund. Those that have not developed will dissolve. The third type is the parasitic organization. The staff of this type of organization belong either to the CDC or are part of intervention teams for high risk groups, therefore, regardless of whether or not there is Global Fund aid, they will continue their original line of work. This type of organization is also what many in the community call “fake organizations3”. From the above, we can see the complicated composition of NGOs related to the Global Fund. The impact felt by different types of organizations will also differ.

AIBO’s Chang explained that, before the RCC program, different rounds of the Global Fund projects had different definitions for non-governmental and community organizations. This process is being continually redefined. However, the process of refinement is also one of increasing clarity, for example, in the beginning, GONGOs were also considered non-governmental organizations. Later, more detailed distinctions between community-based organizations (CBOs), social organizations (SOs or shetuan), and other types of organizations were made. Nonetheless, there are still huge disagreements, as parties with different interests have separate understandings of social organizations4.

Chang is a critic of the Global Fund. He manages China’s largest email group for HIV/AIDS, which once held a protest called “Get Lost Global Fund” (“全球基金滚蛋”) organized by people infected with HIV. (chinaaidsgroup@googlegroups.com). He says that among the various levels of organizations implementing Global Fund projects, there is a lot of “creation and fabrication of organizations” for the purpose of laundering money5.

Chang also believes that the current system for implementation of Global Fund projects has hurt the development of civil society: “Now, when community organizations have no money, they don’t get anything done. In the past, we were helping people to help themselves, we were taking on responsibility. Now if we make up a questionnaire for our research, if there’s no money, then no one fills in your questionnaire.” He believes that up until now, those most needing regulation were not government but grassroots organizations. The Global Fund has had some negative consequences. Doing a Global Fund project worth 20,000-30,000 RMB, you will often hear that half of the money made its way back to the leader of the organization. “The development of grassroots organizations needs to go through a process, that is understandable, but the key is, when there are people ‘doing wrong,’ we need to have a mechanism to redress this. But these organizations, in order to complete a Global Fund project, will cover up ‘wrongdoing’ and even assist in the falsifications.” He believes that the heart of solving this issue is in opening up the registration process of organizations.

Why Was Funding Blocked?

During a media interview, Jia Ping, the author of the China Global Fund Watch said that the RCC program consolidates all the HIV/AIDS prevention resources in the country. This includes the funds of the central government, provincial, municipal and county (district) levels, as well as the funds from other international cooperation programs. This comprehensive rolling program can be applied for through the Global Fund Rolling Continuation Channel (RCC). The entire sum includes about $2.2 billion (USD), of which $509 million is from the Global Fund. Beginning in 2010, this amount was to last for a period of 6 years. Beijing Ark of Love’s Meng said the RCC consolidation of resources should not represent a concentration of power, but in reality it is just that.

Funds are now not getting to real grassroots organizations. There are many reasons for this. In Meng’s view, the China and the West have different understandings of what a NGO is, as well as different social and cultural systems. The Global Fund requires that a part of the program funding be given to NGOs for implementation, but what exactly is a NGO? This is still being argued over, and now the time has come for the Global Fund in China to reform. It has come to the point where it must address this problem. The next step is to make clear what it means to be a civil society with no government backing and how to differentiate between these different types of organizations.

CHAIN’s Cai Lingping analyzes the reasons for the blocking of funds from a structural point of view, by dividing the Global Fund’s work in China into three areas. The first is to supply medicine, for example to provide China with free medication. This “life money” has not been temporarily stopped. The second is to support the participation and development of China’s grassroots NGOs; however, the difference between the Global Fund and the Chinese government in “defining what constitutes a NGO” is one of the reasons that has brought about the temporary freezing of funds. The third area is to strengthen services for, and the capacity to build, health and disease-related prevention systems. Of course, in the process of implementation, many of the Global Fund’s principles have been influenced by the Chinese government. However, in the past, the Global Fund was mainly targeting specific regions, whereas the new round of the RCC Program, launched in 2010, emphasizes “integration,” including integration of management, planning, funding and targets. In reality, the Global Fund has been integrated into the overall state plan. These strategies, resources, targets and so on have been integrated into the state system and international resources have become part of the national budget. Due to policy and management limitations, grassroots organizations cannot be “integrated” into the state system6. These results demonstrate that the China Global Fund has not done what was agreed to: that is to ensure a certain amount of project funding would be allotted to grassroots organizations.

Cai says that what the RCC program enables us to see is “one country, two systems.” Although the project managers are the national and local level CDCs, part of the project implementation is done by NGOs. Yet, many NGOs are not part of the official system for resource allocation, management, training, assessment and so on. From the perspective of the system and government policies, “integrating” NGOs into this system would be extremely difficult. This structural element is the first reason why China is unable to reach the requirements of the Global Fund. The second issue is a problem with the awareness of government officials. In other words, it is far from clear that different levels of government are willing to support the development of NGOs, or whether or not they trust the development of NGOs. Finally, the third problem lies in the limited capacity of the community organizations themselves.

Continue “Sifting”

Among the people that work in HIV/AIDS prevention NGOs, Meng has an important role. As leader of the Beijing Ark of Love Support Organization for those Infected with HIV(北京爱之方舟感染者信息支持组织)he is a representative of the CBOs and NGOs at the China Global Fund Program’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM Representative). In email groups, he is often criticized by community organizations for his role in the CCM.

His basic understanding of the current situation of the China Global Fund HIV/AIDS Program is that: “First, the Global Fund can play an important role in China’s HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and in the building of China’s civil society. Second, the current mechanism for management is not conducive to the fair participation and sustainable development of grassroots NGOs, this is something that is patently obvious.” In an interview with the China Development Brief he said: “These two lines of thinking have gotten me into trouble since my work is a reflection of both of these views.”

While the government does hold responsibility for the creation of the present impasse, NGOs also have their own problems. Meng says that the Global Fund is not to be treated as a type of welfare to be handed out to grassroots NGOs, rather it must be given to NGOs that possess the capacity to implement projects. You can not think that just because you are a grassroots organization, or you are infected with HIV, or are homosexual, therefore you deserve to be given this money. This will lead to chaos in our way of thinking and in the allocation of resources.

The freezing of the Global Fund is just a turning point; in fact, this freezing is the appropriate response as the development of the community reaches this phase. Meng notes: “The next step is to assess and rate NGOs. For example, after A-level organizations reach given standards, they need not have a cap on their funding applications. If they have the capacity to execute projects worth 5 million RMB then they should be allowed to do so. New organizations should not push them aside. For example, C-rated organizations – those at the beginning stages of their development – can also be subject to certain standards and aid requirements.”

At the moment, outside observers view the competition between HIV/AIDS organizations as simply “dog eat dog”, but in reality it is very complicated. There are conflicts of interest but also of principle, as well as a lack of communication. Meng says that from the aspect of government implementation, the Global Fund has already clearly put forward its requirements for reform. The government has also clearly shown it will respond to these issues and has put forth various measures. From now on, if the community of NGOs doesn’t reflect upon itself, if it doesn’t strengthen its own internal functions, it is destined to be eliminated. How to honestly improve, how to begin cooperation, how to control infighting and internal conflict are all problems that await a solution7.

Meng candidly stated: “I’m currently planning to invite my online critics to Beijing, and ask them, face to face, for their ideas. In addition, I will invite an international observer to this scene. This is the ideal first step in moving towards building cooperation. In the past, we haven’t had time for this, because we still had to consider the relationship between democracy and efficiency. They thought that we were the ones who do the resource allocation, when in fact we aren’t. They’ve got it completely wrong. It’s because of these misunderstandings that they criticize us. Of course because I’m at the grassroots, my field of vision is limited, the ability to communicate and to compromise have become huge obstacles. I’m also doing some reflecting and taking it slowly. None of us are the messiah.”

Mangrove’s Li Xiang believes that the constant bickering is a sifting process. He said: “in the past, Mangrove was on the inside, acting as a representative, but since the 2006 Wuhan Conference, I felt this “inner circle” lacked energy. In spite of this, I still think that if we take a step back, a messy argument is an inevitable process. It’s a process of waves sifting out the bad sand, and it also has a positive side, so we should let it have a voice. This process of sifting still hasn’t finished.”

A Way Out for Raising Funds

I asked AIBO’s Chang: “What will the future fundraising situation for grassroots organizations be like once the Global Fund has gone?” He explained that the real meaning of kicking out the Global Fund is kicking out the Global Fund’s implementing bodies in China. Structural reforms are needed, such as whether or not there can be a double Principal Recipient (PR) mechanism to create competition in the same way that the acquisition of China Unicom’s CDMA by China Telecom sparked competition between China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom8.

He Tiantian mentioned that at the moment everyone is in a state of confusion. After all, the assistance given by the Global Fund is not much, 20,000-30,000 RMB is not enough to sustain the normal operations of a grassroots organization. Furthermore, the Global Fund does not cover office costs or salaries for staff. Even the Women’s Anti-AIDS Network has never applied for Global Fund support. Almost all of its funding still comes from UNAIDS, with some coming from a French catering company in Shanghai called Kathleen’s 5. This network is currently seeking solutions to its funding issues, looking, for example, to enterprises to raise funds. But it is still in the initial stages and has not taken specific action.

In the search for domestic funds, Mangrove has made its first small step. Li Xiang says that now there is indeed funding to be found for HIV/AIDS from domestic foundations. However in terms of the area and direction of their funding, these donors are very narrow-sighted, whereas some international organizations support projects on a long-term basis and the impact they produce is also long-term. Mangrove’s main source of funding also only lasted until this year. For them, this year is a period of transformation and transition. At the moment, Mangrove is using internet projects to broaden its long-term cooperation with other organizations . Recently, they have participated as one of the parties undertaking a project sponsored by a public trust fund. Basically, the trust fund has assigned a certain amount of its donations to this project.

CHAIN’s Cai worries that if the Global Fund does leave China, this would be a challenge for both NGOs and the government. As part of the national spending on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, the funds provided by the Global Fund amount to less than 20%. However in the budgets for 2010 and 2011, all NGO funding was provided by the Global Fund. If the Global Fund leaves, will the government have to supplement its investment in the NGO sector? While the Global Fund has not yet left China, should NGOs be lobbying the government to “set aside part of its budget to purchase NGO services?”

The Growth and Contribution of HIV/AIDS Prevention Organizations

HIV/AIDS prevention organizations are an important part of the public welfare sector, yet for various reasons, this group is little known by outsiders. Even among those within public welfare circles, there is little cross-sector communication. Some outsiders might observe and be discouraged by the bickering among the email groups of HIV/AIDS organizations, using intense and aggressive language. However, Cai has high praise for the work done by HIV/AIDS-related NGOs. She believes that through the Global Fund, grassroots NGOs have done a lot of work. She even says: “I haven’t seen NGOs in any other field engage in direct dialogue at the national and international level with the government, and we have to remember that this is dialogue with a guarantee9. For a NGO representative and an HIV-positive patient to act as decision-making members of the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) is a really fantastic system. In reality, since the start of the RCC program, these two representatives have been influencing national strategy design and funding allocation, while the national NGO Advisory Group (NGO咨询小组) and local level NGO Advisory Group are also influencing project management and implementation. From a more positive perspective, the Global Fund is not simply a pot of money; more importantly, it provides a mechanism for NGO participation. NGOs working in other fields should increase their understanding of HIV/AIDS NGOs because, against similar struggles, HIV-positive individuals, homosexuals, sex workers, intravenous drug users and groups at the fringes of society, have used their intelligence and courage to undertake their work. This really isn’t easy.”


  1. In September of 2011, after this article was published, the Global Fund announced it would reverse the freeze, but indications are that GF funding to China will be scaled back this year and eventually ended 

  2. Editor’s Note: The CDC in China is part of the public health bureaucracy and is subordinate to the Ministry of Health at the national level. At the local level, CDCs and the Health bureau are essentially one and the same. 

  3. Editor’s Note: These parasitic organizations, in other words, are created by officials, or those with official connections, to mimic grassroots organizations in order to gain funding. 

  4. Editor’s Note: This paragraph shows how complex and ambiguous the public welfare, civil society sector is. CBOs are generally small groups or organizations working in urban or rural communities and are often not registered. SOs are registered with Civil Affairs, and many of them are GONGOs, yet they see themselves as the equivalent of NGOs or nonprofits. What constitutes a NGO or nonprofit is often in the eyes of the beholder. 

  5. Editor’s Note: This is a frequent complaint about HIV/AIDs groups in China where the sudden influx of Global Fund money has led to groups being created to tap into the funding without being held accountable for their work. 

  6. Editor’s Note: The policy and management limitations refer to the restrictive environment that makes it difficult for many grassroots organizations in China to register as legal “social organizations”. As a result, many of these organizations are not registered and technically not legal. 

  7. Editor’s Note: Here, Meng alludes to the problems and divisions that plague the HIV/AIDs community in China. 

  8. Editor’s Note: As explained earlier, the PR for the Global Fund in China is the CDC. The idea proposed here would be to create two PRs so that the CDC would face some competition in the management and disbursement of funds. 

  9. Editor’s Note: Here Cai is referring to the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating mechanism (CCM) which allows NGOs and others from the HIV/AIDS community a seat at the table with government and international organizations in making decisions about the allocation of Global Fund resources in China. 

全球基金冻结抗艾资助草根组织影响几何
刘海英
中国发展简报2011夏季刊
2011 年5月28日,媒体报道了卫生部证实在业界早被热议的中国全球基金援助款项被冻结的消息。根据今年3月发布的《中国全球基金观察》(第14期)透露,中国 全球基金RCC 项目一共有753个社会组织申请到了8 442个项目,用于支持这些项目的资金预计是3 200 000 美元。一旦这笔资金冻结甚至退 出,对草根组织将带来什么影响?防艾领域的草根组织未来的生存之路在哪里?
背景
成立于2002年的全球基金全名为“全球抗击艾滋病、结核病和疟疾基金会”,是全球唯一一家政府与民间合作创办的国际金融机构。据称,2003年来,中国接 受了来自该组织的5.39亿美元援助,这些资金主要用于降低结核病发病率、预防和治疗艾滋病感染及消灭疟疾等项目。本文内容皆围绕该援助中的防艾项目被暂 时冻结展开。
全球基金是以国家为单位申请的,国家层面有一个国家协调委员会,简称CCM,是根据全球基金的有关要求,为审议、批准和协调申请全球基金项目,监督和指导经全球基金批准在中国境内实施的项目而建立的协调机制。 中国疾病预防控制中心(CDC)被指定为全球基金项目执行机构(PR),负责全球基金批准项目的计划制定和组织实施,定期向国家协调委员会汇报项目的执行情况,并接受国家协调委员会的监督。
据 AIBO青年活动中心(“常坤的家”)创办人常坤介绍,2010年11月全球基金秘书处与Curatio国际咨询有限公司和YozuMannion有限公司联合签订了一项合同,要求其对中国艾滋病滚动整合项目(RCC)开展外部评估。在国内层次上,全球基金被冻结是和这个评估,以及社区组织的人和机构不断表达抗议、发一些不满的信件有关。全球基金在民间的推动下的确越来越透明,但存在的问题经过多年累积之后也是不少的。其中最大的争议就是资金的分配,还有资金使用的腐败问题。
草根组织受影响
红树林是一个抗艾网络型组织,这次资金冻结对该组织没有影响。负责人李想说:“红树林不足以代表其他的草根组织。从资金上说,我们的确拿过全球基金的经费, 但是这在我们的总经费中所占比例不足5%。而且从2008年开始,就不再申请所有的全球基金项目了。”据悉,最近3年红树林主要由一家国际基金会资助,只做网络项目,防艾公益圈里的其他活动很少参加。李想说:“最近几年,全球基金的变化我不是很清楚,因为我很少参与其中了。”
中国女性抗艾网络目前由21家小组组成。何田田是中国女性抗艾网络的负责人。全球基金冻结以后,该网络对大家的资金来源做了简单的调访。小组成员中曾经使用过全球基金的资金的有5~6个小组。这几家小组中经费几乎全部来自全球基金的占到一半,另一半小组从别的地方获得活动经费。资金全部依赖全球基金的小组目前基本上停止了工作,但是她们有时候也开展活动,因为小组成员联络等活动并不一定要有资金支持。
北京爱之方舟负责人孟林在微博转述了一份快速评估报告里的数据,资金冻结对防艾领域的NGO的影响达到80%多。孟林说,全球基金冻结在中国的资助,肯定会给草根组织带来非常大的冲击,从冻结以来这半年的情况来看,已经有失业出现了。
全国艾滋病信息资源网络(CHAIN)经理蔡凌萍说,要评估全球基金暂停对NGO的影响,首先要区分执行全球基金的NGO到底有哪几种。在蔡凌萍看来,除了协会学会这样的组织之外,社区组织也可以分为以下几类:一类是自发型组织。这类组织在全球基金没有进入中国的时候,就已存在并开展社区服务和倡导工作,因此没有全球基金的支持也有可能继续发展;另外一种是催生型组织。这类组织是由全球基金项目催生出来的,而且也是由目标人群成立的,但是主要的工作是为完成全球基金的项目。这类组织中发展得好的即使没有全球基金项目也可能继续做下去,发展得不好的会因为没有了资源就会解散;第三种是寄生型组织。这类组织的人员本身就是疾控中心的工作人员或者高危人群干预队,不管有没有全球基金都会继续工作,因为疾病控制本来就是他们的本职工作。这类组织也是很多社区人士口中的“假组织”。由此可见,执行全球基金项目的NGO构成复杂,所以不同组织所受到的影响也是不一样的。
常坤介绍,在RCC项目之前,不同轮次的全球基金项目中,对民间组织、社区组织等定义是不同的,这也是一个不断细化的过程。这个细化的过程也是一个越来越清晰的过程,比如最早将官方的群众型组织也作为民间组织,而后细分了社区组织、社团等不同的种类。但是,利益各方依然以对社会组织不同的理解而造成巨大的利 益纷争。
常坤是全球基金的批判者。在他管理的中国最大的艾滋病邮件组(chinaaidsgroup@googlegroups.com)中,曾有HIV感染者发出 “全球基金滚蛋”的抗议。他说,中国全球基金项目的各级执行机构大量存在着以洗钱和腐败为目的而“制造组织、捏造组织”和分化独立的社区组织的现象。
常坤还认为全球基金当下的执行体制破坏了公民社会的发展:“现在的社区组织没有钱不办事,以前我们做的是助人自助,要承担责任。现在我们搞个调查问卷,没有钱都没有人给你填卷了。”他认为,到目前最没有规则的还不是政府,而是草根组织。全球基金培养了不少不好的东西。做一个2~3万的全球基金项目,经常能听到说结余了一半的钱归负责人了。“草根组织的发展是需要一个过程,这点我们也能理解。但是关键在于,在有人‘作恶’的时候,要有纠正机制。但是全球基金在华执行机构为了完成他们的指标,在包庇‘作恶’,甚至协助造假。”他认为,开放组织注册是解决问题的关键。
资金发生梗阻的原因
中国全球基金观察执笔人贾平在接受媒体访谈时说,RCC项目是国家在统合所有抗艾资源,包括中央转移支付经费、省、市和县(区)级投入,以及其他国际合作项目的资金,通过全球基金滚动资金渠道申请到的整合滚动项目。整个盘子约有22亿美元,其中来自全球基金的资金为5.09亿美元,自2010年开始为期6 年。孟林说,RCC整合不该是一个简单的集权,但是现实却是如此。
资金没有达到真正的草根组织,梗阻的原因肯定是多方面的。在孟林看来,有东、西方文化对非政府组织的不同理解,还有社会制度和文化差异。全球基金要求一部分项目资金给非政府组织执行,但是到底什么叫非政府组织?争论到现在,全球基金在中国是到了该变革的时候了,是到了必须捋顺关系的时候了。下一步要明确什么是没有政府背景的公民社会组织?怎么去区分这些不同组织?
蔡凌萍从结构上分析了梗阻的原因:全球基金项目在中国有三个工作内容:一是药品供应,比如给中国提供免费的药物,这部分“生命钱”并没有暂停;二是支持中国草根NGO的参与和发展,全球基金和中国政府对“社会组织定义理解的差异”也是导致此次经费暂停的因素之一;三是加强卫生疾控系统的服务和能力建设。 当 然,全球基金的很多理念在中国贯彻的过程中一直受到中国政府的影响。但是以往的全球基金项目主要是在一些特定地区开展,而2010年启动的新一轮的RCC 项目强调的是“整合”,包括管理的整合、计划的整合、经费的整合和指标的整合。全球基金项目实际上被纳入了国家的整体规划,这些策略、资源、指标等都纳入国家体系里,国际资源变成了国家经费预算的一部分。而由于政策和管理的限制,草根组织是没有办法“被整合”到国家体系中的。其具体表现出来的结果就是中国全球基金项目并未如约定那样,将规定的项目资金分配到草根组织。这是一个结构性矛盾的具体体现。
蔡凌萍说,RCC的项目让我们看到的是“一国两制”。虽然项目管理方是在国家和地方的疾控部门,但是一部分项目执行方是NGO,但NGO不在这个资源分配、 管理、培训考核等工作的系统里,从体制和政策上来说,将NGO“整合”到这个体系里,还是非常困难的。这个结构性的因素才是中国无法达成全球基金要求的首要因素。第二个问题是管理者的意识问题,即各级政府是不是愿意支持NGO的发展,或者是否信任NGO的发展。第三个问题才是社区组织的能力问题。
继续淘沙
在防艾NGO人中,孟林是一个重要的角色。作为北京爱之方舟感染者信息支持组织的负责人,他是中国全球基金项目国家协调委员会以社区为基础组织或其他非政府组织类别组代表(CCM代表)。在邮件组里,他经常被一些社区组织骂到。
他对中国全球基金艾滋病项目现状的基本认识:“第一,全球基金对于中国的艾滋病防治以及对于中国公民社会的建设是可以发挥重要作用的。第二,目前的管理机制不利于草根组织的公平参与及可持续性发展,这也是有目共睹的事实。”他在接受中国发展简报的访谈时说:“这两个想法一致纠结着我,从技术层面我去推动、操 作,也是基于这两点考虑。”
造成目前这个僵局,有政府的责任,NGO也有问题。孟林说,全球基金的资金不是作为福利发给草根组织的,而是要给具有执行能力的NGO。不能因为你是草根组织,你是艾滋病患者,你是同性恋,就必须给你钱。这会导致思想上、资源分配上的混乱。
全球基金冻结只是个契机,事实上这是社区发展到这个阶段上应当做出的回应。 孟林说:“下一步要做一个NGO的评估和评级工作。比如A级组织达到标准后,对申请的资金可以上不封顶,有能力的做500万的项目都可以。新生的组织也不能将其排挤出来,比如C级组织可以是最初级的组织,对这类组织也有一定的标准和 资助要求。”
现在公益圈之外的人光看到了艾滋病圈里的“狗咬狗”,但实际上里面有很复杂的东西,有利益、也有理念的冲突,还有沟通上的不足。孟林说,全球基金在中国的政府执行层面已经明确提出了改革的要求,政府也明确表态回应了这个问题,提出了措施。接下来如果社区不去反思,不去加强自己的内功,注定还是要被淘汰出局 的。诚信怎么提高,合作怎么开展,内耗、内斗都等着去解决。
孟林坦诚地说:“我正在打算将过去在网上骂我的、反感我的,请到北京来,面对面的给我提意见,我会请国际组织观察员到现场。这是理性建设、开始走向合作的第一步。过去我们没有时间,因为还要考虑民主与效率的关系。他们以为我们是资源的分配者,其实不是,他们完全理解错了。在这个情况下骂我们。当然,因为我是 草根,我的能力视野都有不足,沟通能力、妥协能力都成了很大的障碍,我也在反思。慢慢来吧,谁也不是救世主。”
李想认为不断的争吵也是一个大浪淘沙的过程。他说:“以前我们红树林的确是在里面做代表,但是从2006年武汉大会开始,我觉得这里面挺没劲的。尽管这样, 我还是认为,这个在外面看来一团糟的争论是一个必然的过程,这个大浪淘沙的过程也是有积极意义的,应该让其发声。不过,淘沙的状况还没有结束。”
筹款出路
当笔者问常坤:“一旦全球基金撤出,未来的草根的筹款局面将会如何?”他解释到,让全球基金滚蛋的真实意思是,让全球基金在中国的执行机构滚蛋。在机制上做 出改革举措,比如能不能有双PR机制而形成竞争,犹如中国电信收购了联通的CDMA,形成中国移动、联通和中国电信的三家竞争。
何田田谈到,现在大家也在困惑中,毕竟全球基金给的资助并不多,2~3万元不足以维持草根组织的正常运转,而且全球基金不负担办公费用和人员工资。女性抗艾网络没有向全球基金申请过资金,几乎所有资金还是来自联合国艾滋病规划署的资助,此外,有一家位于上海的法国餐饮企业Kathleen's 5向她们提供 过资助。该网络目前在寻求解决办法,比如向企业筹款。但还在动议阶段,没有具体的行动。
在寻求国内资金方面,红树林先走了一小步。李想说,现在国内这些基金会对艾滋病领域资助的确是存在的,但国内资助方从资助方向和地域上看都是很狭小的,而有的国际组织长期支持一些项目,产生的影响也会是长期的。红树林主要资助方的资助也只到今年为止,今年处在一个转型和过渡的时期。现在红树林在网络项目方面拓展与其他机构长期合作,目前已经作为合作方之一参与到某公募信托基金资助的项目中。简单地说,信托基金从收益里拿出一定比例捐赠到这个项目中。
蔡凌萍担心,假如全球基金撤出中国,这不仅是对NGO的挑战,也是对政府的挑战。在国家的艾滋病防治经费中,全球基金提供的经费不到20%,但是2010 年、2011年的预算中,所有NGO的经费都是由全球基金项目提供的。一旦撤出,国家是否要填补其在NGO领域的投入?对NGO来讲,在全球基金还没有离 开中国之前,我们是否要倡导政府“拿出预算购买NGO的服务”?
防艾组织的成长和贡献
防艾组织是公益领域里一个重要组成部分,但是由于各种原因,这个圈子更少为外人所知,即使在公益圈内部也少有跨领域的交流。外人看到的可能是防艾组织邮件组里的争吵,而且言语激烈,火药味重,让人避之不及。蔡凌萍对防艾NGO的工作却予以高度评价。她认为,通过全球基金草根NGO做了很多的工作。她甚至说: “我没有看到任何一个领域的NGO能够做到在国家和国际层面上与政府直接对话,而且是有机制保障的对话。NGO代表和感染者代表作为全球基金国家协调委员会(CCM)成员进入决策层是一个非常了不起的机制。两个代表实际上在RCC项目以来,正在影响着国家艾滋病防治策略制定和经费分配,而国家NGO咨询小组和各地的NGO咨询小组也正在各个层面影响着项目的管理和执行。 从一个更积极的角度看,全球基金不仅仅是一大笔资金,它更重要的是在促成一种NGO参与的机制。其他领域的NGO应该加强对艾滋病领域NGO的了解,因为在同样困难的背景下,艾滋病感染者和病人、同性恋、性工作者、静脉吸毒者等等这些‘社会边缘群体’,以他们的智慧和勇气开展工作,实在是非常不易。”

CDB Senior Staff Writer

Translated by Bruce Zheng

Reviewed by Jeremy Balch

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