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Sharing Knowledge Globally to Fight HIV/AIDS Locally

Assistance

John Snow, Inc. and its sub-partner, Initiatives Inc. have been contracted by CDC Atlanta to support the organizations awarded funds by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Rounds 2 and 3 of the New Partners Initiative (NPI). The support is provided through TA-NPI, which is based in Kampala, Uganda and works closely with the Boston headquarters and JSI staff at projects throughout Africa and worldwide. The assistance spans the three-year life of the NPI award to the grantees and additional time to close-out the grant. It is hoped that by then some of the grantees will have secured new PEPFAR grants to continue their work.

TA-NPI – Dates, Funding, Oversight

TA-NPI was launched on World AIDS Day 2005 as “competitive grants process for new partners, including faith-based (FBO) and community-based organizations (CBO), with the desire and ability to help implement PEPFAR, but who have little or no experience in working with the United States government.” (President George Bush, www.pepfar.gov)

"To help achieve PEPFAR’s aggressive set of goals, President Bush announced NPI in 2005. NPI is directed by the Department of State’s Global AIDS Coordinator, who appointed a New Partnerships director to manage the initiative. NPI offers approximately $200 million through a series of cooperative agreements to new partner organizations to provide HIV/AIDS services in the 15 focus countries." (2007 NPI Audit Report)

Round 1 awards, declared on December 1, 2006, were mostly USAID-managed, with two HHS/HRSA-managed recipients. Rounds 2 and 3 have been shared between HHS/CDC, HHS/HRSA and USAID in terms of release of funds, specific U.S. Government management rules, and in-country oversight process.

Strategic Purpose of the New Partners Initiative

In the World AIDS Day 2005 speech, President Bush said: “By identifying and supporting the organizations that provide much of the health care in the developing world, PEPFAR resources will reach more people, more effectively.” Many of these potential partner organizations already provide HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services but have little or no experience working with the U.S. government.

“Under PEPFAR, NPI was created to build the capacity of organizations at the community level to achieve local ownership and enhance the long-term support and viability of HIV/AIDS responses. Specifically, NPI’s goals are to (1) increase PEPFAR’s ability to reach people with needed services by identifying potential new PEPFAR partner organizations, (2) increase the total number of partner organizations and their capacity to provide prevention and care services, and (3) build capacity in host nations by developing indigenous capacity to address HIV/AIDS to promote the sustainability of host nations’ efforts.” [Per USAID audit report of NPI, December 2007]

Timing of Awards

World AIDS Day 2006 – PEPFAR announced 23 awards in 13 countries with total potential grant value of $72 Million.

World AIDS Day 2007 – Awards 14 organisations with mid-2008 start dates.

World AIDS Day 2008 – Awards to 19 organisations with early 2009 release of funds.

Profile of Target Recipients

The USAID audit report of NPI, December 2007, focused on the role of in-country U.S. Mission staff in managing the awards and the support the new partners might require. The first external ‘technical assistance provider’ was identified in 2007 and began work with the Round 1 awardees only after they had been implementing for 12 months.

Round 2 signified a program of technical assistance that would span the entire NPI award period including a post-award close-out period. Two contracts were awarded: TA-NPI for the 8 HHS-funded implementers and NuPITA for the 6 USAID-funded grantees.

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Link to Technical Assistance

The technical assistance to the organisations funded through NPI was similar and focused on three broad areas:

  • Organizational Development – to strengthen the capacity of NPI grantees as prime partners to administer PEPFAR agreements.
  • Technical Assistance – to improve the quality of interventions provided in the areas of prevention, behavior change, PMTCT, counseling and testing, care for OVC, and care and support at the home and in a facility.
  • Facilitation of Networking – to help integrate partners into PEPFAR programs in the focal countries, including referral mechanisms, collaboration with in-country U.S. government teams, and liaising with other partners in HIV and related services.

2011 Position of NPI within OGAC – Lessons Learned

NPI was launched in 2005 as part of 'PEPFAR I' and the original goals of working with FBOs and CBOs. With the development of revised goals under PEPFAR II and the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), the lessons learned from technical assistance to NPI grantees are under review. This takes place as part of renewed efforts for local capacity development and working with community level indigenous organisations that are common among GHI, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund, to achieve greater country ownership by the recipient government and communities.

To contribute to the review of technical assistance to the organisations funded by NPI, OGAC’s program team invited current technical assistance providers to present ‘lessons learned’ at their Washington offices in March 2011. TA-NPI also presented at the annual meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program in Atlanta, also in March 2011. The possibility of future technical assistance in non-PEPFAR countries and to support fever-management and maternal services sites new to donor funding was debated at length.

Relationship of TA to NPI to Community Systems Strengthening

The Global Fund’s Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) Framework was published in June 2010, building on greater involvement of community structures in Rounds 8 and 9. With UNAIDS and other support documents, the CSS has been a distinct component of the Round 10 applications.

An overlap exists between the Global Fund’s (and WHO and UNAIDS) interest in a greater role for non-government, non-nationwide implementers for service delivery and NPI. On the ground, the overlap exists with a Principal Recipient in Ethiopia as a PEPFAR NPI Round 2 recipient, and in South Africa, the NACOSA organisation implementing Round 9 GF CSS funds to support home-based care with a PEPFAR Round 2 NPI faith-based organisation.

At the Vienna International AIDS Society (IAS) 2010 conference, providers of technical assistance to the organisations funded by NPI presented abstracts and gave poster presentations, and through attending forum discussions and skills-building sessions, met senior members of the Civil Society & Private Sector Partnerships Team and held short meetings with staff working with the CSS Framework.

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