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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Global Development - How Close to Home?

OK - hope everyone saw our latest newsletter -- The Bark! -- it will be posted on our resource page.

In the meantime, one of the things that catches my attention is how quickly the debates on "global development" are changing. [Spoiler alert: this is going to lead to a cool video about some of our ICF colleagues working in Community Development.] Our entire field was born out of a "us and them" vision: developed versus "third world" (remember?), former colonial powers versus former colonies, high growth high GDP versus low growth low GDP countries, industrialized versus non-industrialized.  I know it was a while back, but that's what we've inherited and built upon.

Now we're moving into a globalized, post-colonial and post-modern world. (Maybe colonization was the worst of the hubris of modernization -- but that's a philosophical discussion for another day.) And the us versus them doesn't really make sense anymore. (Thank God for small favors!) Development and sustainability in development are going to remain big questions for a little while, but it's just that we're going to have to look at it differently. If we're going to make good on the MDGs for example, I remember an excellent paper by Davidson Gwatkins back in 2002, basically saying that the poverty and "development" differentials within countries were to a large extent greater now than the between-country differences. And the case is clearly made when you look at the wealth and social protection differentials observed in today's United States. Horror stories about people losing their jobs, homes, and having no access to care in this country can quickly take on the seriousness and hopelessness of a"developing world" story.

I think personally that development has always been a global human and social issue, and it's just becoming more apparent now. Of course, we're still dealing with very substantial resources' differentials, even between Prince George County in the US (where I sit) and many towns and districts in Sub-Saharan Africa. I'm not saying there are no differences, just that they are shades of grey, rather than black and white.

In this context, it's been interesting to hear from and exchange with some of our colleagues in different corners of ICF, both the Public Health group (working on domestic/US health issues) and our Community Development division, which works primarily on domestic issues. The players change, but the variables at hand for building sustainable positive social change?... often not that different really.

So, read more and have a look at this marketing video about the good work of our colleagues (go to "View" on the right side), or click on 'go to video' link below:

Go to Video: Community Development Work of our ICF Colleagues

Cheers all,


Eric

Monday, March 12, 2012

EGPAF's Experience with Transitioning HIV Care and Treatment Programs to Local Partners, By Stephanie Cálves of EGPAF

For eight years, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has supported HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to women, children, and families through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded initiative Project HEART in Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. Through its groundbreaking, lifesaving work in these five countries, Project HEART has enabled 1 million people to lead healthier lives. In addition to scaling up access to care and treatment services, two additional focuses of Project HEART were strengthening government health systems and the empowerment of local partners to provide quality health services. As part of this effort, in 2008, EGPAF began a process to transition Project HEART’s programmatic work to local, independent partners, including local NGOs and host country government agencies.

Through Project HEART, EGPAF has helped launch and strengthen three new independent NGOs in Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, and Tanzania:

• Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte Contre le SIDA Pediatrique – Côte d’Ivoire
• Fundação Ariel Glaser contra o SIDA Pediátrico – Mozambique
• Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Healthcare Initiative – Tanzania

In the organizational development process, local staff and stakeholders identified a need for a long-term partnership between EGPAF and the new NGOs in order to promote accountability to international standards; provide access to technical resources and shared management systems; facilitate capacity building; and provide brand credibility to enhance organizational viability. To address these challenges, EGPAF and the new NGOs have developed a model for long-term affiliation, which has resulted in the emergence of a network of organizations that has a shared investment in supporting HIV programming in each country.

Given the nature of the transition process, effective organizational change management was a key factor for success. The establishment of the new NGOs meant that new communication structures, coordination mechanisms, and supervisory roles for staff would be developed. Some of the staff responsible for implementing Project HEART for EGPAF would be starting to work for the new local organizations, thus requiring that human resources systems be harmonized and staff be capacitated to take on new levels of leadership within the new organizations. The transition also meant that new finance, administrative, human resources, and program management systems needed to be established. To ease the impact of these types of changes on staff, at both the global and country levels, EGPAF established working groups at both levels to lead the transition process and established regular forums for communication across the organization.

With the transition also came risks. These risks included the potential for interruption of the continuity of programs, mismanagement of funding, and reputational risks if the process did not proceed smoothly. To address these risks, the transition process included a strong monitoring component. An accreditation structure was established for the new organizations, which facilitates ongoing organizational strengthening, allows for early detection of problems, and facilitates capacity building to address weaknesses.

As the eight-year Project HEART initiative came to a close in February 2012, EGPAF is excited that these organizations are able to move forward independently through new projects funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through these projects, they will be able to continue to support HIV care and treatment programs, strengthen their organizational capacity, and expand their impact. In addition, EGPAF and these new local partners will continue to partner with host country governments to strengthen health systems at the national, provincial, and district levels to assume greater ownership, leadership, and management of HIV/AIDS programs. The success of these future efforts will require both EGPAF and its local partners to maintain strong partnerships with host country governments, innovative mechanisms for measuring capacity building activities, and a strong focus on strengthening operations, leadership, and management systems.

EGPAF has developed a number of important tools through the process of launching Affiliates and transitioning programs to these new organizations. We view these as important resources for other organizations also engaged in HIV/AIDS programming. EGPAF has brought these tools and resources together in the toolkit Sustainability Focused Organizational Development: Tools and Resources for Foundation Affiliates. This toolkit includes an overview of the EGPAF’s affiliation model and accreditation system, a checklist organizational start-up, and the EGPAF’s accreditation review tool. It also includes the Organizational Capacity and Viability Assessment Tool, which is a product of EGPAF’s collaboration with ICF International.

For more information on Project HEART or EGPAF, contact Stephanie Cálves at scalves@pedaids.org.