The Civil Society Platform on the ESA Commitment 2013 – ongoing



UNESCO and UNAIDS in collaboration with UN and development partners, RECs and CSOs, religious and youth leaders led an initiative aimed at securing commitment from Education and Health ministers from 20 Eastern and Southern African countries to accelerate access to comprehensive sexuality education and health services for young people in the region. The initiative is a strategic tool that brings together Ministries of Education and Health to strengthen HIV prevention efforts and foster positive health outcomes by advocating for access to quality, comprehensive sexuality education as well as sexual and reproductive health services for young people in the ESA region. 

The historic ESA commitment was endorsed at the 2013 ICASA Conference and has time-bound actions and targets that were agreed upon by member states. The ESA Ministerial Commitment is expected to pave the way for actions which scale up delivery of sexuality education and related health services, support joint action around developing programmes, sharing information, strengthening linkages and referrals between schools and health services and an overall approach which facilitates access and equity and strengthens national responses to HIV and SRH.

Click here to see the project website.

AAI Involvement & Timeline


In 2012, AIDS Accountability International provided Guidelines for the United Nations on What Makes for a Better Commitment? for their Technical Working Group. Click here to read the Guidelines for the United Nations on What Makes for a Better Commitment?

In 2013, AIDS Accountability International has played a leadership role in determining civil society's role in holding leader's acountable to this new commitment, and determining how this should occur. Click to read about our event at ICASA.

Post ICASA 2013, AAI participated as a member of the Technical Working Group on the structure and content of the Accountability Framework. Read more about the Accountability Framework.

In 2015, the CSO Steering Committee was set up. The CSO Steering Committee is a network of various Eastern and Southern African based civil society organisations who are actively involved in the promotion of a successful implementation process of the ESA Commitment on supporting sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people. AIDS Accountability International (AAI) was previously a co-ordination partner for the network until 2017, but since early 2017 has played a member role. More info here: About the Civil Society Platform on the ESA Commitment

In 2015, AAI also supported the development of a civil society engagement strategy. 

Relevant docuemnts here: The civil society engagement strategy September 2015

The civil society engaement strategy and results framework and action plan October 2015 

In July 2016, at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, UNFPA launched a report presenting the progress made after two years of implementation (2013-2015), and proves that with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources, and political will, the ESA Commitment targets are attainable. The data presented was obtained and validated through a multi-sectoral country reporting process as stipulated by the respective coordination mechanisms of the ESA Commitment.

Read the full report: Fulfilling our promise to young people today (2013-2015) Progress Review


Read the Civil Society Durban IAC Side Event Report July 2016

In November 2016 a meeting was held to develop a strategy for CSOs to engage on the ESA Commitment.

The ESA Commitment and the Role of CSOs

Regional Civil Society Engagement Strategy on ESA

Nov 2016 Engagement Strategy Operationalisation Meeting Report



2017 Activities


A Technical Coordinating Group (TCG) meeting was convened on 17-19 May 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the expanded TCG meeting was to reflect on the ESA Commitment implementation across the ESA countries, discuss progress, challenges and priority areas for the required technical support. The meeting sought to highlight the role of civil society in the implementation, coordination and accountability at all levels. Represented at the meeting were participants from the 21 ESA countries, drawn from government, civil society, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and development partners. Attached are the concept note for the TCG meeting and the presentations made by Civil Society Steering Committee. 

Relevant Documents



Contact details


Bob Mwiinga Munyati at