Our 20 years of community-based work has provided us with a rich resource of local knowledge. We work hard to make sure that it doesn’t just stay local but is shared, adapted and put to use across the Alliance.
The integration of HIV and sexual and reproductive health is a key priority for the Alliance. Here are some of the significant ways that expertise and learning in this area has been shared in 2012.
Family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, and gender and sexuality were the focus of a regional workshop for francophone Africa.
Participants were surveyed ahead of the week-long event to determine their priorities and the workshop was tailored accordingly. Hosted by the West and North Africa Technical Support Hub, the 17 participants included programming staff from French speaking Linking Organisations and potential Hub consultants.
“By bringing the Linking Organisations together with the Hub we create a technical support ‘web’ that helps us expand and support HIV-SRH integration across the region,” says Abdoulaye Ki, Hub manager. “It will have ongoing benefits as the participants plan to continue to exchange ideas and best practice.”
The training for francophone Africa was informed by the Good Practice Guide on the Integration of HIV and SRH and Rights, which has also been made into an interactive e-learning course (follow the links and registration instructions to access).
The course is aimed at programme staff who have some experience delivering HIV programmes but want to know more about integrating sexual and reproductive health. It is also for Hub consultants who need to have a common understanding of the Alliance’s standards so we can provide consistent, high quality technical support.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP
Our partnership with Marie Stopes International (MSI) is also indicative of the increasing emphasis on integration. We have developed a bespoke tool to help MSI integrate HIV services into its sexual and reproductive health clinics.The clinics use the tool to self-assess their readiness for integrating HIV.
“The assessments to date have found that MSI programmes are enthusiastic and willing to offer HIV services with family planning and sexual and reproductive health services. The findings also enable us to identify where funding and training is required to make HIV and sexual and reproductive health integration possible,” says Heidi Quinn, senior technical advisor for MSI’s Supporting International Family Planning Organisations project.
We presented the tool at the Impact for Integration Conference in Kenya in September 2012. The conference brought together key stakeholders to share best practice and progress made in sub-Saharan Africa. Many countries in the region have a high burden of HIV, high maternal mortality rates, and a lack of family planning services.
Also in 2012, the East and Southern Africa Hub in Kenya visited the South Asia Hub in India to learn from its sexual and reproductive health project with most affected populations. Alliance India has extensive experience improving transgender and hijra communities’ access to services.
At the core of the Alliance, the secretariat has a key role to play in identifying synergies and opportunities for knowledge sharing. In the year ahead we will continue to find opportunities to share both challenges and successes across the Alliance to improve our effectiveness.
This case study is an example of how we create a learning Alliance, which is response 4 of our 2010-12 strategy, HIV and Healthy Communities. Find out more about our impact in our 2012 Annual Review: Ambition and Acceleration.
More info: View a photo gallery on activities that contribute to creating a learning Alliance here.