During the March Country Operation Plan (COP) 20 Regional Planning Meeting (RPM) in Johannesburg, civil society representatives made a formal request to PEPFAR to fund a community-led monitoring (CLM) initiative to ensure that people living with HIV (PLWHIV) have unfettered access to quality HIV care and treatment services. Community- based organizations and other civil society groups including networks of PLWHIV will gather quantitative and qualitative data on HIV services, with the primary objective to improve service delivery models and health care outcomes for recipients of care.
The U.S Embassy in Lilongwe, approved a $25,000 grant for the Civil Society Advocacy Forum (CSAF) through Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organizations (MANASO) for the development of community-led monitoring data collection tools. The tools development process will set a foundation for the larger CLM project which is expected to begin in October 2020.
Development of CLM tools will be done in consultation with the Department of HIV/AIDS, National AIDS Commission, USG Agencies, UNAIDS, and PEPFAR implementing partners. At the district level, stakeholders will include district health management teams, recipients of care, community representatives and implementing partners. The grant will support reviews and adaptation of existing monitoring tools (i.e. COMPASS grant and community treatment observatory (CTO) tools developed by Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/AIDS (MANERELA+) and from other countries i.e. Uganda and South Africa. Stakeholders will be consulted to identify relevant indicators for different target populations including adolescent girls and young women, key population (men who have sex with men, transgender, and female sex workers), PLWHIV, and TB. Developed tools will be pre-tested and revised based on feedback and validated by the wider stakeholders. Once the tools have been finalized, CSO’s will also develop a CLM manual to guide the monitoring process for those involved in data collection exercise.
In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, implementation will observe all COVID-19 preventive measures, with most meetings being facilitated virtually. The tools development process will be completed September, 2020.