HIV/AIDS Reporting Framework Released

Source: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), 5 March 2003

Key performance indicators for HIV/AIDS management were set out for public feedback today.

Standardised HIV/AIDS reporting is an essential element of the global response to the pandemic. To address this need, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, initiated a multi-stakeholder process based in South Africa to build a comprehensive and credible framework for HIV/AIDS reporting.
The resulting draft document, Reporting Guidance on HIV/AIDS: A GRI Resource Document, was released today in an effort to elicit extensive global feedback that will shape the final report. In parallel, a broad range of South African manufacturing, mining, banking, and government organisations have agreed to evaluate the HIV resource document. All public feedback should be submitted by 21 April 2003 to the South African contacts listed below.

The result of an intensive eight-month effort, the reporting resource is aimed at organisations that want to report on their HIV/AIDS performance—including policies and practices; and at stakeholders who require a reputable reporting benchmark to assess organisations HIV/AIDS performance. Business, labour, government departments, civil society, financial industry, accountants and others collaborated on the document.

"The GRI process of multi-stakeholder engagement has resulted in a high degree of credibility—an essential element for any reporting framework," said Professor Barney Pityana, Vice-Chancellor of UNISA, and a member of the GRI Board of Directors.

Investors, labour unions, civil society, and governments are increasingly pressing organisations, especially companies, to disclose their performance and policies on HIV/AIDS management. Current information regarding action on HIV/AIDS is inconsistent and incomplete. Case studies profile various business community interventions, but information is not yet comprehensive. Consequently, it is difficult to compare corporate performance on HIV/AIDS.

Amplifying the call for standardised HIV/AIDS reporting, the Institute of Directors (IOD) King 2 report states that the Board of Directors of every organisation should regularly monitor and measure performance using established indicators, and Report on all of these aspects to stakeholders on a regular basis.

Mervyn King of the IOD stated, "We are supportive of GRIs work to develop a reporting framework for HIV/AIDS. This is harmonious with recommendations in King 2. It is imperative that all organisations be aware of the risks facing them in terms of HIV/AIDS."

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange are also supportive of standardied HIV/AIDS reporting. Thingle Pather of SAICA said, "SAICA will use the results of GRIs work on HIV reporting guidance to inform our own process for developing key performance indicators. We have been working closely together to ensure this.

Pather added, The GRIs support of an incremental approach to reporting is extremely accommodating for those organisations reporting for the first time."

Widespread use and acceptance of this tool will lead to increased credibility of corporate HIV/AIDS reports; streamlined HIV/AIDS reporting worldwide; quick and reliable benchmarking for HIV/AIDS management performance; and a stronger relationship between sustainable HIV/AIDS alleviation and prevention practices and financial performance.