Capacity building for integrating HIV and violence against women (VAW) policies and programmes
Development Connections, Director, Washington, United States
Issues: With the increased interest in addressing the links between HIV and VAW, developing capacity to create evidence, to strengthen workforce and organizational competencies, and to promote inter-sectoral coordination, is crucial. Since 2007, Development Connections has been developing a capacity building strategy using a constructivism approach that focuses on learning for performance based on the specific needs and characteristics of participants' local environment and work context.
Description: The strategy has three components:
a) Training course on “Empowerment, HIV and VAW” to develop competencies for integrating HIV and VAW in prevention, treatment, care and support. Five editions (on-site and virtual) have been implemented with 217 participants from 51 countries worldwide.
b) Community of Practices (CoP) to facilitate the creation and use of knowledge through forums, document repository and essay contests, and sharing novel ideas, information, tips, feedback, resources and promising practices.
c) Production and dissemination of information: Manual for Integrating HIV and VAW Policies and Programmes, The Multiple Faces of HIV and VAW (article compilation), and Needs Assessment in the Dominican Republic, and a bi-monthly e-bulletin.Activities are implemented in English and Spanish.
Lessons learned: Approaches emphasizing contextual and performance-related needs can be effective for building competencies to integrate HIV and VAW interventions. On average, participants have given the course 8.9 out of 10 points. 36 learning resources have been produced and new initiatives at country level are being planned. Impact evaluation is needed.
Next steps: In 2010 an evaluation of the course will take place to identify needs for a capacity-building strategy at the global level and determine how the course and CoP can address those needs. Also, a course on violence against women living with HIV will be carried out.
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