Strengthening the Capacity of Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations in HIV/AIDS Prevention in Karamoja (SCALAP-K)

Figure 1: SCALAP staff in front of their office premises

BACKGROUND

SCALAP Kis an Irish Aid funded project, borne following the Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey (UAIS) report by the Ministry of Health in 2011, which showed the increasing HIV prevalence in the North Eastern region from about 3.5% in 2006 to about 5.3% by 2011. This prompted Irish Aid to sanction a situational analysis by AMICAALL to establish the factors responsible for the increasing prevalence. Among other factors, the study identified issues related to institutional challenges of both Local Governments and limited capacity of local civil society Organization, influence of socio-cultural practices on HIV, challenges in coordination among the existing service providers and stakeholders as well as limited commitment by the local leadership.

Based on this study, Irish Aid supported AMICAALL, ULGA and TASO Uganda to design a joint project for Strengthening the Capacity of Local Governments and Civil Society in HIV Prevention in Karamoja (SCALAP-K). Whereas AMICAALL and ULGA are focusing on building the capacity of the local governments, TASO is focusing on building the capacity of civil society organizations in HIV prevention.

The project is implemented in five out of seven district local governments in Karamoja; Kotido, Abim, Napak, Moroto and Nakapiripirit.

SCALAP-K (TASO)

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

  • Training CSO staff in strategic planning leadership and management
  • Supporting CSOs to develop strategic plans that are context specific to Karamoja
  • Dissemination of National HIV and AIDS and OVC plans, policies and guidelines to 48 CSOs
  • Attachment of CSO staff to TASO sites for experiential learning
  • Mobilize and support 48 CSOs and 05 district council to undertake joint planning to address the HIV and AIDS issues in Karamoja
  • Train CSO staff on comprehensive HIV and AIDS service delivery
  • Train CSOs staff in data management in project monitoring and evaluation
  • Train CSO staff in resource mobilization and support them to develop fundable proposals
  • Conduct support supervision to 48 CSOs covering leadership, planning and management
  • Map the CSOs to constitute a network of partners
  • Support quarterly coordination meetings for HIV and AIDS stakeholders
  • Share reports among CSOs and between CSOs and local governments
  • Support the development, management and regular review of referral system amongst CSOs
  • Support HIV and AIDS implementing partners forum for Karamoja sub-region
  • Conduct mentorship and coaching in coordination and partnership for 48 CSOs
  • Provide seed grants as incentives for self mobilized grass root groups for women, girls and boys
  • Train peer educators to support peers on HIV and AIDS issues at kraal level
  • Conduct champion initiative for recognizing role models in addressing socio-cultural drivers of HIV and AIDS
  • Integrate HCT and other HIV and AIDS activities in the key ceremonies and rituals for girls, boys and women

ACHEIVEMENTS

  • Dissemination of National HV&AIDS and OVC plans, policies and guidelines to CSOs has contributed to improved quality of service delivery and encouraged continuous professional development.
  • Attachment of CSO staff to TASO sites for experiential learning has led to new innovations and enabled CSOs to strengthen systems.
  • Quarterly coordination meetings with HIV&AIDS stakeholders has enabled partners build strong alliance with clear objectives for development and contributed to networks of referral linkages amongst implementing partners for better service delivery.
  • Provision of seed grants to CSOs as incentives and support to self-mobilized grassroots groups of women, girls and boys focusing on socio-economic strengthening has empowered the CSOs to reach out to a wider community with services.
  • The integration of HCT and other HIV&AIDS activities in the key ceremonies and rituals for girls, boys, women, men and elders in Karamoja has enhanced positive behavior change and increased demand for services
  • Kraal peer educators trained on HIV&AIDS issues have contributed to a hub of community resource persons and behavior change agents of community social mobilization for services.
  • Increased access to and utilization of HIV and AIDS information and prevention services
  • Improved planning and coordination by stakeholders and TASO supported CSOs
  • Improved monitoring and evaluation of HIV and AIDS interventions by all the stakeholders
  • Facilitation of advocacy days that has contributed to reduction in stigma
  • Increased demand for IEC materials on HIV and AIDS in the Karamoja context

GOING FORWARD

These are some of the additional activities to be introduced in the project continuation 2015

  • Train 600 service providers on referrals and linkages in the 05 districts.
  • Train 96 CSO staff in provision of Reproductive Health & Hygiene information
  • Develop/adopt and disseminate up-to-date referral tools at all points of referrals (CSOs, Health facilities and Community).
  • Conduct support supervision/follow up on referrals and linkages at community, facility and CSO levels
  • Hold 120 community review meetings on referrals and Linkages in the 05 districts
  • Conduct performance reviews with all the CSOs

PARTNERS

AMICAALL, Baylor, CUAMM, Save the children, ACDI VOCA, CSOs, Marie Stopes, WFP, UNICEF, Sustain, CHC, RPMT, Straight talk foundation, Sight savers, Red cross, Local government, NUDIPU, Matany hospital, MRRH, IRC.

Figure 2: A PHA telling his personal testimony in the recent visit of the Irish Aid Ambassador to Moroto

11 years today with the virus, Lotukoi John Bosco of Rupa Sub-county, Moroto district says he has jumped out of death to life living now as an example and he appeals to those In fear to go to him for courage adding that the answer for good quality life is in disclosure. He thanked SCALAP-K for the empowerment of knowledge and skills he received which has now enabled him to stand before people and proudly speak as a PHA representative in the SAC committee.