Online Program

Certification strategy improves coordination of district HIV/AIDS response – the zambian experience

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stanslaus Chilekwa, MA, SHARe II, Initiatives Inc., Boston, MA
Anya Guyer, MSc, Initiatives Inc., Boston, MA
Purpose: The Republic of Zambia is committed to a multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response. To strengthen this response, the USAID-funded Support to the HIV/AIDS Response in Zambia (SHARe) II project partnered with the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) to pilot a management certification program with District AIDS Task Forces (DATFs) to see if certification can improve their ability to effectively coordinate and manage district-level work.

Methods: In 2011, SHARe II, NAC, and DATF representatives created 28 management standards in eight categories: governance/leadership; response coordination; administrative, financial, human resource, and performance management; mainstreaming cross-cutting issues; and, monitoring and evaluation. Fifteen of Zambia's 72 DATFs were selected to participate in the pilot. They were oriented in March, 2012; initial assessments were then conducted and improvement plans developed. SHARe II and NAC provided technical support and peer review platforms to the pilot DATFs to address identified performance gaps. In February, 2013, independent assessors will conduct a final assessment for each DATF to determine eligibility for certification.

Results: At baseline, only three DATFs met even 25% of performance standards. By August, 2012, eight DATFs had reached that level. Given the technical assistance provided subsequently, at least 75% of the DATFs are expected to demonstrate improved capacity. To achieve certification, a DATF must meet at least 70% of the standards.

Recommendations: Management certification is a standardized mechanism that measures, incentivizes and supports DATFs to improve coordination and management of the HIV/AIDS response. Certification could be adopted by other decentralized structures to improve performance.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of developing a management certification program Assess the impact of a pilot project to create a management certification program for district-level coordinating bodies

Keyword(s): Coordination, Certification

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been leading and supervising the implementation of the activities being reported on. I have been involved in coordination of the HIV/AIDS response at the district, provincial and national levels in Zambia for over 5 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.