HEPS-Uganda

COMMUNITY-LED MONITORING AND ENGAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR HIV/TB & SRHR SERVICES: TOWARDS “INCLUSION AND INVOLVEMENT”, “INPUT AND INFLUENCE” OF PLWH AND KPS IN NATIONAL HIV/TB AND SRHR POLICIES AND PROGRAMS.

As Uganda works to achieve HIV epidemic control, the scale-up of high-quality patient centered HIV/TB and SRH services for persons living with HIV and key populations is critical. Placing communities and patients at the center of the HIV response is critical to controlling the HIV epidemic. Community engagement has been identified as a key pillar to successful and sustainable HIV/TB and SRHR programs. The participation of people living with HIV, including recipients of care and their advocates,in the design, implementation,and evaluation of HIV/TB and SRH initiatives is critical to assure both demand from people living with HIV, key populations and supply of high-quality, contextually appropriate services. The WHO has defined community engagement as “a process of developing relationships that enable stakeholders to work together to address health-related issues and promote well-being to achieve positive health impact and outcomes.” Health systems in Uganda have embraced community engagements though in a more adhoc way through health unit management committees and village health teams. However, the gap with existing committees is the lack of a structured way of generating feedback and carrying on engagements within the structure of the health system from community-health facility-district-district to national level. This community engagement framework presents a latent opportunity to build and strengthen mechanisms through which persons living with HIV can play a critical role in shaping not only availability, accessibility, acceptability but as well quality of existing HIV/TB and SRHR services. This engagement framework provides a coherent process that links a focused HIV/TB and SRHR monitoring tool to meanignfully developing a constructive dialogue with duty bearers from local government to national-global levels and aligns them in a way that leads to changed conditions and systems for better and effective HIV/TB and SRHR services for PLWH. The community feedback will be used to initiate changes inside the health system and potentially optimize system performance, lead to better-quality, safer HIV/TB and SRHR services for persons living with HIV so as to achieve improved health outcomes at the individual, community and population level. As a practical resource it provides a clear definition of community engagement and importantly sets specific standards for community engagement that all Partners must adhere to. It identifies the first wave of priority actions that must be taken to improve community engagement in the city

Civil Society Guidebook to Community-Led Monitoring for HIV/TB Service Delivery:

This guidebook has been prepared to guide civil society actors and communities, including organizations of people living with HIV (PLHIV), young people and key populations (KPs), in monitoring the quality of the HIV and TB services at PEPFAR-supported sites in Uganda. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct community-led monitoring at the clinic and community levels. It contains basic information about HIV in Uganda and the role of the PEPFAR program; how to gather and capture data, analyze it, and use the findings to come up with solutions to engage duty bearers and advocate for change for the benefit of communities.

CLM Pilot Study Report

Communities and People Living with HIV/ AIDs have a central role to play in HIV response, especially regarding universal access to HIV care. Communities also play a vital role in ensuring accessibility, availability, and acceptability of health services. In particular, collaborating with community members to identify barriers and enablers of utilization of HIV services, as well as holding healthcare providers accountable is crucial to PEPFAR’s client-centered approach. Implementation of community-led monitoring mechanisms has shown to improve service delivery at facility-level, health system-wide infrastructure and health outcomes among recipients of care. The goal of the pilot was to test effectiveness of the tools (both questionnaires and data collection systems) to be used during the main phase Community Led Monitoring and assess for relevance of the questions as well the approaches to be used during the main phase of CLM project implementation.

PEPFAR CLM

HEPS is one of the three core leading Community Led Monitoring (CLM)
implementation in Uganda, HEPS also dubs as the fiscal agency for CLM in Uganda.
Community-Led Monitoring (CLM) also known as the “Iraka Ly’Abantu Project” is a