The empowerment of marginalised communities to lead local responses to HIV/AIDS is a key strategy of funding agencies’ globalised HIV/AIDS policies, given evidence that disempowerment is a root source of vulnerability to HIV. The authors report on two multi-level ethnographies at the interface between HIV prevention projects for sex workers in India and their funding environment, examining the extent to which the funding environment itself promotes or undermines sex worker empowerment. They show how the ‘new managerialism’ characteristic of the funding system undermines sex worker leadership of HIV interventions. By requiring local projects to conform to global management standards, funding agencies risk undermining the very localism and empowerment that their intervention policies espouse.
Cornish, F.; Campbell, C.; Shukla, A.; Banerji, R. From brothel to boardroom: Prospects for community leadership of HIV interventions in the context of global funding practices. Health and Place (2012) 18 (3) 468-474. [DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.018]