The resulting tool, -Reporting Guidance on HIV/AIDS: A GRI Resource Document”, was released today in an effort to harness the power of information in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The result of an intensive year-long effort, the reporting resource is aimed at organisations that need 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 creation of 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 Lindiwe Mokate, Chief Executive of the South African Commission on Human Rights, and an incoming member of the GRI Board of Directors.
The reporting framework is meant to bolster the numerous HIV/AIDS management systems and strategies developed in South Africa – such as those produced by the King Committee, the South African Department of Labour and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) Sustainability Index, in particular the section pertaining to HIV/Aids; and internationally – such as those produced by the ILO, Family Health International and Save the Children. All call for monitoring and reporting on progress, but none provide detailed guidance on specific indicators that should be used. The GRI document addresses this gap.
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.
Amplifying the call for standardised HIV/AIDS reporting, the King II 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, Chairman of Brait and Chairman of the King Committee stated, “I am supportive of GRI’s work to develop a reporting framework for HIV/AIDS. This is harmonious with recommendations in King II. It is imperative that all organisations be aware of the risks facing them in terms of HIV/AIDS, and communicate these to their stakeholders.”
Organisations which are planning to release reports on their HIV/AIDS performance in the coming months have found GRI’s 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.