PEPFAR Transitions to Country Ownership Highlighted in GHSP Journal

As the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) shifts from direct funding for HIV and AIDS programming to increased country ownership, many countries are preparing to navigate this transition. An article by Abt Associates’ Abigail Vogus and Kylie Graff published in the June 2015 issue of Global Health: Science and Practice highlights lessons learned from other donor transitions. The article, “PEPFAR Transitions to Country Ownership: Review of Past Donor Transitions and Application of Lessons Learned to the Eastern Caribbean,” was funded by USAID through the HFG Project and the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Project. It draws from a similarly titled literature review that sought to answer the question “what lessons can be drawn from existing literature to help ensure an effective transition of HIV programs to country ownership, and what determinants can be used to assess the Caribbean’s readiness for such a transition?”

Using the Global Health Initiative’s definition of country ownership, the article identifies six key steps to ensure a successful transition and nine specific areas for assessing a country’s readiness for transition, noting that such an assessment is “challenging and must account for unique contextual factors across all facets of the health system.”Six key steps for effective transition: (1) develop a roadmap; (2) involve stakeholders; (3) communicate the plan; (4) support midterm evaluations; (5) strengthen financial, technical, and management capacity; and (6) support ongoing M&E. The Eastern Caribbean will need to identify HIV champions; strengthen leadership and management; improve policies to protect key populations; engage the private sector and civil society more; integrate HIV programs into primary care; improve supply chain capacity; and address health worker shortages.

The authors conclude that for the Eastern Caribbean, “ongoing donor support for targeted capacity-building technical assistance and long-term [monitoring and evaluation] (M&E) will be vital to ensuring that the countries of the Caribbean are able to take a leading role in their HIV responses while maintaining or improving upon the substantial gains made with PEPFAR support.”

Read the article online on Global Health: Science and Practice or download the PDF version.


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