The wide international agreement reached around three core principles to improve coordination of national responses to HIV/AIDS, known as the “Three Ones,” exemplifies a successful effort towards harmonization of donor policies, in the spirit of the Rome Declaration on Harmonization, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Monterrey Consensus.

Agreed in April 2004 by donor and developing countries, the “Three Ones” amounted to: one agreed HIV/AIDS action framework, which provides the basis for coordinating the work of all partners; one national AIDS coordinating authority, with a broad–based, multisectoral mandate; and one agreed country-level system for monitoring and evaluation. They emerged through a preparatory process initiated by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), working in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The “Three Ones” will help enable donor and recipient countries to work together more effectively; they will also help to increase country-level coordination and to enhance efficiency in the use of resources devoted to HIV/AIDS responses.

Many partners at the country, regional and global levels have enthusiastically embraced the “Three Ones.” In 2004, the UNAIDS Secretariat found that, out of 66 countries examined, 81 percent had up-to-date national AIDS frameworks, 95 percent had national AIDS coordinating authorities and 77 percent had working groups to develop national monitoring and evaluation systems.