How are we planning to achieve this?

The SRH-HIV Linkages project is run jointly by UNAIDS and UNFPA. The main focus is on service delivery and at policy level, the overall objective being to offer quality services to all people. The project work is based on the Theory of Change adapted from the work by the Inter-Agency Working Group on SRH and HIV Linkages. The IAWG has provided tools to support this change process.

The SRH-HIV Linkages project is run jointly by UNAIDS and UNFPA. The main focus is on service delivery and at policy level, the overall objective being to offer quality services to all people. The project work is based on the Theory of Change adapted from the work by the Inter-Agency Working Group on SRH and HIV Linkages. The IAWG has provided tools to support this change process.

In phase II, integration will focus on national health and broader development strategies, plans and budget, as well as catalytic action to strengthen the health systems. Community mobilization has been identified as central to the successful operation of the project and features in the project scope of in many of the countries.

More emphasis is placed on ‘institutionalizing’ integrated services and the closing of remaining gaps in accessibility and uptake. Efforts for the elimination of stigma and discrimination are up-scaled. Creation of enabling environments for the integration of gender-based violence (GBV) response in health services is the focus, as well as engaging more communities to promote and protect reproductive rights. Phase II also emphasizes the expansion of modalities and entry points for increased access to and uptake of integrated programmes, and increased efforts to demonstrate value for money.

The scope of the project differs from country to country, which shows the catalytic nature of the project. Work on national scale up has been initiated in Botswana and Swaziland, while Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe are preparing for district level scale up, and Lesotho and Zambia are working on strengthening their pilot sites. Kenya, South Africa and Uganda are to take part in the project, making it 10 countries overall. Additional ESA countries, such as Tanzania and Mozambique, are offered project resources and regional engagement (Regional Economic Communities or RECs, and the African Union) will be expanded in the scope of the project.

Lessons learnt from phase I are taken aboard in phase II. It was noted that the project is feasible: it strengthens health systems via SoPs, equipment and drug management, HMIS, and health-care worker (HCW) capacity building. A high level of political and technical buy-in ensure the project is accepted easily. Studies also show improved client satisfaction at the model sites. The SRH-HIV Linkages integrated model is effective and has increased access to and use of HIV-SRH services. The project improves efficiency in productivity as well as cost-benefits for clients. Partnerships on the project are strong in public and non-governmental sectors as well as in communities.

The project is managed by UNFPA’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) in close collaboration with UNAIDS RST, which leads on the strategic information component. Ministries of Health have spearheaded the project in the countries supported by UNAIDS, UNFPA and other relevant technical partners, including civil society organizations, some of which are implementing partners in the project.