Community Program

African Alliance (AA) will play a leading and convening role for civil society and community groups across all Consortium countries, ensuring that engagement approaches are meaningful, grounded in local context, and will leave no one behind. The Community Program will consult and engage decision-makers, opinion-leaders, community gatekeepers, community advisory boards (CABs) and other stakeholders, including the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR), to map HIV vaccine advocacy approaches. The Community Program will scale up sustainable and replicable approaches to expand partnerships and synergies in countries where the Consortium exists, collaborating with BRILLIANT scientists to engage governments and political structures and stakeholders in the region through established relationships with Ministries of Health. Regulators in countries where we have established relationships, as well as institutional review boards and/or research ethics committees where the BRILLIANT Consortium will operate, will be actively engaged together with scientists with the overall goal of emphasizing the critical role of community leadership in advancing the work of the Consortium, civil society organisations, and advocacy groups that are critical for building trust in the community. In addition to execution of workplan activities, the Community Program will be integrated into all Consortium decision-making structures with community representation on the EXECO as well as the Scientific Governance Committee.

The community engagement strategy outlined for the HIV vaccine discovery work presents a proactive and multi-faceted approach that resonates strongly with scientific needs and aspirations. From establishing a robust governance structure to developing specific modules and ongoing capacity-building initiatives, the focus remains squarely on empowering community leaders and partners to meaningfully engage with the scientific intricacies of vaccine research. The Consortium's commitment to transparency, leadership representation, and regular public briefings ensure that the community engagement process is transparent and accountable, instilling confidence and trust in the broader community.

The strategy's emphasis on ongoing learning and adaptation through monitoring and evaluation demonstrates a dedication to continuous improvement. By integrating learning and impact documentation into the work plan and actively seeking feedback, the Consortium is positioning itself to effectively respond to emergent challenges and opportunities. The compelling addition of storytelling and media engagement modules to the existing Community Health Advocacy Master Toolkit further underscores the Consortium's effort to bridge communication gaps and create a shared understanding of the important work being undertaken.

Additionally, the innovative use of targeted communications, such as podcasts and radio drama series, reflects a keen awareness of the diverse audiences the Consortium seeks to engage. These mediums facilitate the dissemination of complex scientific information and help build awareness and support for vaccine research within culturally diverse communities. The narrative arc that unfolds across the five-year trajectory is perhaps best amplified by the plan to create a documentary spotlighting the impact of community engagement within the Consortium. Scheduled for release on World AIDS Day in 2028, the documentary is a testament to the enduring impact of the community's involvement in advancing HIV vaccine discovery.