The Leading Together Championing Committee

Terms of Reference

Preamble

Leading Together: Canada Takes Action on HIV/AIDS (2005-2010) is a blueprint for Canadaís response to HIV/AIDS. It describes a bold vision of where we want to be as a nation in the fight against HIV for the next five years.

Leading Togetherís Vision

The end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is in sight.

Canada is a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS at home and around the world. The rights and dignities of people living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are recognized, respected and promoted. People living with and vulnerable to HIV are partners in shaping the policies and programs that affect their lives. They have access to high-quality effective services that meet their needs, and their health and well-being is enhanced. The racism, discrimination, poverty, and homelessness that fuel the epidemic have been reduced or eliminated.

Leading Togetherís Mission

  • To champion the needs and rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and people at risk;
  • To work collaboratively to respond effectively and lead the fight against HIV/AIDS at home and abroad;
  • To act boldly and strategically to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Development of Leading Together

Leading Together originated at large scale consultative meetings of hundreds of representatives from many different sectors of Canadaís HIV/AIDS response, including federal and provincial government departments, community-based organizations, researchers, people living with HIV/AIDS and many others. At those meetings, participants called for the creation of a five-year multi-sectoral plan for the use of all Canada.

An initial draft was widely consulted throughout Canada in 2003-04, with participants from many different sectors of Canadaís response to HIV/AIDS, including government and non-government sectors, vulnerable populations and people living with HIV/AIDS.

The final document, entitled Leading Together: Canada Takes Action on HIV/AIDS (2005-2010) specifically identifies, for the first time in Canada, what needs to happen on multiple fronts if we are to eventually see an end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Given the multi-sectoral origin and development of Leading Together, a multi-sectoral group is needed to encourage and ensure its widespread dissemination and use throughout the country, and help design its next iteration for release in 2010.

Mandate of the Leading Together Championing Committee

To promote and champion the widespread use of Leading Together throughout Canada, so that the document influences and guides all sectors of Canada's response to get ahead of the epidemic and improve the lives of people at risk of and living with HIV/AIDS.

Roles and Responsibilities

The success of Leading Together will depend on voluntary nation-wide partnerships, thus the responsibility for steering and monitoring it must be shared among all the partners. The way we work together, monitor our progress, learn from our experience and refine our strategies will help determine our ability to achieve our vision and common goals.

I- Strengthening Engagement:

  • Develop processes and ways in which Leading Together can be used;
  • Identify strategies to link people to Leading Togetherís principles, outcomes and actions.
  • Identify the partners who should be part of the collective response, and seek from them a commitment to participate.
  • Encourage each partner to define its roles and responsibilities in implementing Leading Together, based on its mission, skills and resources (i.e., what can each organization bring to our collective effort?)
  • Ask each partner to identify the steps it will take over the next five years to implement Leading Together.
II- Promoting the Uptake and Use of Leading Together:
  • Develop and disseminate a communications plan and materials to promote Leading Together.
  • Release a statement on general progress each year for World AIDS day.
III- Ensuring the Continuing Relevance of Leading Together
  • Identify the measures we will use to assess the ongoing use of the document and its relevance to partners.
  • Use the monitoring information to develop reports, share effective strategies, identify the need for new outcomes or actions, and to feed into the next iteration of Leading Together so that it responds to changing needs and knowledge.
  • Champion a process to develop a new version for release in 2010.

Membership

I- Number of members:
The Championing Committee will consist of 8 to 10 members in total, including a representative from the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on AIDS and a representative from the federal government.

II- Membership criteria:
Members must be willing to champion Leading Togetherís approaches and values.

Membership must, as a whole, encompass a broad cross-section of expertise, experiences and perspectives on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and on Canadaís response, and include persons living with HIV/AIDS and at particular risk of infection.

III- Co-Chairs:
The Championing Committee will have two co-chairs.

IV- Ad Hoc Working Groups:
The Championing Committee may create ad hoc working groups, as required, which may meet on a more frequent basis to advance time-sensitive projects of the Championing Committee. Working groups may include external experts if needed.

V- Decision Making:
The Championing Committee makes decisions by consensus. If members are not fully in favour of a decision, they will be asked to indicate if they can live with it. Members are free to express their disagreement with a position taken by the LTCC and to opt out of specific initiatives of the LTCC after expressing their position in a clear respectful way in writing.

Length of Term

A full membership term is two years. The nomination process is normally launched every two years. Members may choose to participate for additional terms, but would then participate in the nomination process.

Each year, the committee reviews and confirms its membership to ensure it is meeting its mandate and to encourage diverse participation and committee renewal.

Nomination Process

The nomination process happens every two years. The Secretariat solicits expressions of interest from throughout the country. Interested individuals submit their expression of interest, along with two supporting letters and a current curriculum vitae. The Secretariat coordinates the selection of new members with an ad hoc peer review selection committee, according to specific selection criteria, including the principle of greater involvement of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Meetings

The Championing Committee will meet in person at least twice per year, with at least 3 teleconferences between face-to-face meetings. Other meetings may be called at the request of the Co-Chairs, and may occur face-to-face or by teleconference. Quorum consists of 50% of the membership plus one.

Secretariat Support

The HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division of the Public Health Agency of Canada will provide secretariat and coordination support and cover costs to enable members to participate in meetings of the Championing Committee (e.g. travel, accommodation, meals, meeting rooms, hospitality and teleconference costs). The Committee will explore opportunities for leveraging other sources of funding and in-kind contributions to support its activities.