In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the Guideline on When to Start Antiretroviral Therapy and on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV. The new guidelines, known as “Test and START,” recommend that all people diagnosed with HIV start antiretroviral therapy (ART) as soon as possible and maintain treatment throughout their lives. USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC) hopes to accelerate the scale up of Test and START across the Caribbean with PEPFAR funding. To that end, USAID/ESC engaged the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project to strengthen knowledge management capacity of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) to improve regional collaboration, sharing, and learning with the aim of scaling up Test and START over a two-year period.
PANCAP serves as a knowledge hub to support its members to improve the regional and national HIV response. In an environment of reduced international funding for HIV, calls for country ownership, the inclusion of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the global vision of an AIDS-Free Generation, it is critical for PANCAP to continue to provide strong coordination and foster collaboration to maintain the gains partners have achieved around common priorities and goals.
- Improve PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU) capacity to demonstrate PANCAP's relevance and value in contributing to a regional HIV response by supporting better collaboration among PANCAP members around Test and START guidelines and implementation
- Enhance knowledge generation, sharing, and learning among PANCAP members around the implementation of Test and START
Understanding Knowledge Management Needs
At the onset of the project, K4Health conducted scoping missions aimed at understanding PANCAP’s mandate and the knowledge and information flows between PANCAP members and external audiences. Based on the findings, K4Health developed a concept note in collaboration with PANCAP and USAID/ESC, which prioritized three key areas of support: 1.) knowledge capture and synthesis; 2.) knowledge exchange events; and 3.) capacity strengthening. These three areas of support informed the key objectives mentioned above.
Knowledge Capture and Synthesis
PANCAP Member Information Assessment Online Survey
The K4Health-PANCAP Project conducted an online assessment to understand the type of information used and needed among PANCAP members in order to improve the use of the new WHO guidelines known as “Test and START.” The findings will help inform the content that needs to be developed to support the PANCAP members in their programs in the Caribbean region. The content will focus on the gaps in the 90-90-90 cascade and be generated from regional successes and best practices.
Knowledge Exchange Events
Knowledge Synthesis Training & Best Practices Workshop
In November 2016, the K4Health-PANCAP Project led a three-day workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and National AIDS Program (NAP) Managers in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The event focused on:
- Demonstrate how the use of Knowledge Management (KM) techniques can enhance program activities aimed at achieving 90-90-90 and moving toward and test and start.
- Improve the skills of Civil Society Organization (CSOs) representatives and National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers in capturing and synthesizing knowledge as it relates to 90-90-90 and test and start.
- Share examples of successful interventions being applied by CSOs and NAPs in achieving 90-90-90, moving toward test and start and contributing to sustainability and how these interventions can be more widely used across the Region.
- Foster exchange of experiences, collaboration and learning by strengthening relationships between CSOs and NAP managers
The event was well attended by representatives from 20 Caribbean countries and showcased several knowledge management approaches including knowledge cafés, storytelling, and peer assists.
The K4Health-PANCAP Project hired two team members, based in Guyana, to work with the PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU). The project staff assists the PCU staff in integrating knowledge management practices into their day-to-day activities.