By Lucy Slater, Director, NASTAD Global Program
NASTAD is working with the Botswana Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG) and the CDC Sustainable Management Development Program (SMDP) to develop the Applied Leadership Development Program for HIV and AIDS Coordination for District AIDS Coordinators (DACs). As we discussed in a previous blog post, in Botswana, DACs are critical to the management and coordination of the district-level response to HIV. This program is designed to develop the capacity of the Botswana government to equip AIDS Coordinators with the essential public health management competencies and confidence needed to effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their communities.
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The Impact of Capacity Building in Botswana
To date, NASTAD and the government of Botswana have developed a curriculum framework and training modules, trained ten expert trainers selected from the public sector, and has piloted the training with eight AIDS Coordinators. The government of Botswana and NASTAD look forward to training all AIDS coordinators in the next year, and establishing the training program within the Botswana MLG as a permanent component of its Department of Primary Health Care Services (DPHCS).
The Official Launch will be performed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Ten Years of Partnerships in Botswana
At the same occasion, NASTAD will commemorate ten years of successful partnerships in building the HIV/AIDS response capacity in Botswana (2003-2013) by recognizing and honoring the contribution of its key partners including:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), represented by the Botswana CDC Director, Dr. Kathleen Toomey
- The National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) represented by the NACA coordinator, Mr. Richard Matlhare
- The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG) represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Boipelo Khumomatlhare
- Family Health International represented by the Director, Dr. Alison Cooke
NASTAD has had a presence in Botswana since 2003, establishing strong relationships with the Botswana MLG and its Department of Primary Health Care Services (DPHCS), which provides oversight and strategic direction for the district level HIV/AIDS response. During the course of this relationship, NASTAD has worked to promote evidence-based planning (EBP) by districts, developing revised governance structures for District Multi-Sectoral AIDS Committees (DMSACs) and standardized national guidelines for evidence-based planning, and providing ongoing, one-on-one, on-site technical assistance and training to all districts.
In 2008, NASTAD expanded its support to districts by assisting them in implementing high priority HIV prevention activities identified in their comprehensive plans. NASTAD supported this through the provision of organizational, financial and technical assistance to district-level HIV prevention implementing partners in five districts.
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NASTAD’s support for districts further expanded in 2010, when we began providing technical assistance to Ministry of Local Government and National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) for strengthening the application of the Community Capacity Enhancement Program (CCEP), which is designed to build the capacity of Botswana Government Institutions, including Civil Society Organizations, to use Community Capacity Enhancement Strategies to enhance HIV prevention planning and interventions.
In 2011, NASTAD partnered with Family Health International (FHI 360) for the implementation of the Botswana Civil Society Strengthening Program (Maatla Project). With FHI’s team, NASTAD seeks to develop and implement a model to strengthen district level systems to provide and coordinate HIV/AIDS services in hard-to-reach areas.
To learn more about NASTAD’s work around the world, please visit www.NASTAD.org/global.