Africa: New Toolkit Helps Countries Strengthen HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response

Geneva — A world-first online resource has been launched to help strengthen the ability of healthcare systems in developing countries respond to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have produced a comprehensive web-based toolkit that enables countries such as South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Haiti to set up and bolster their own response mechanisms to these major global diseases.

Inspired by a successful capacity development assessment and planning approach in Zambia in 2010 for a Global Fund program, UNDP worked over two years to build and field-test a comprehensive toolkit containing practical advice that would empower government and non-government partners to manage the capacity development process.

The toolkit provides guidance on how to implement Global Fund grants --- achieving the results while at the same time managing the risks --- by training local staff and building the systems necessary to adequately respond to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

Supported by the UNDP-Global Fund partnership, the ultimate goal is to lead to a transformation in the health sector that is generated, guided and achieved by those it is meant to benefit, ensuring ownership and sustainability.

The toolkit is available at - www.UNDP-GlobalFund-CapacityDevelopment.org - and comprises:

the guidelines, which consist of the narrative describing the process of all stages of the capacity development cycle;

the toolbox, which contains templates, tools, links and other practical resources;

the rapid assessment tool template, which is aligned to the capacities and indicators in the guidelines and can be adapted to carry out the capacity assessment and planning.

In Zimbabwe, local stakeholders are using the toolkit to implement a US$204.8 million grant and have been producing encouraging results.

Zimbabwe has achieved one of the sharpest declines in HIV prevalence in Southern Africa, from 23.7% in 2001 to just over 13% in 2011 according to the latest UNAIDS progress report.

In Tajikistan, UNDP has enhanced Global Fund grants by funding ongoing capacity development activities. At the request of the Ministry of Health, the capacity development toolkit is currently being used to identify the priorities to strengthen national implementation of the country's HIV, TB and Malaria programmes.

UNDP introduced the toolkit also as an application for smart phones making it easy for anyone with a mobile phone to get straightforward and practical information on how to set up and strengthen response mechanisms to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark has today addressed the global fight against HIV/AIDS during a speech about health as a gateway to global development at Harvard's School of Public Health.

Access the mobile version of the UNDP-Global Fund Capacity Development toolkit here: http://www.undp-globalfund-capacitydevelopment.org/mhome

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