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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3426

Title: African Universities Responding to HIV/AIDS
Authors: Inkoom, Daniel K. B.
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Sida Evaluation 2008:09 Commissioned by Sida, Department for Africa
Citation: Sida Evaluation 2008:09, Department for Africa
Abstract: In May 2007, the Association of African Universities in consultation with the UNAIDS Technical Support Facility for West and Central Africa based in Burkina Faso commissioned a Mid-Term Evaluation of the AAU’s three year Programme dubbed ‘African Universities Responding to HIV/AIDS’. This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida. With the project implementation coming to an end in December 2007, the objective of the evaluation was to review the implementation of the project so far and to make recommendations based on fi ndings to improve project implementation. In line with the main objectives, the evaluation sought to answer the following questions, namely: i) To what extent were the planned activities actually realized? ii) Do the project expenditures fall in line with budgets? iii) How well were projects implemented, and what were the constraints, if any? iv) What impacts/outcomes were observed, if any and what do they mean? And v) Does the programme make a difference in environments where they are being implemented? In answering these questions, various tools or instruments were used, including documentary reviews, individual interviews, Focus Group Discussions, expenditure analysis, among others, to gather the relevant data upon which analysis, inferences and recommendations were made. Field evidence was collected from some forty three (50) individuals in four countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana) selected on the basis of sub-regional groupings, language, and the specifi c activities undertaken under the project. Documentary evidence was also gathered from some twenty (21) documents including project reports from AAU and participating institutions, university policy documents, publications, course profi les, and outlines, as well as accounting procedures, which facilitated the validation of the reports on implementation of activities and the evaluation in general. On the whole, the evaluation documents that the project is on course to achieve the targets set in the six key result areas, though progress is different in each of these areas. The evaluation also stresses the relevance of the project, as the AAU is implementing a project in a domain where it has comparative advantage and is thus able to infl uence a large array of stakeholders continent-wide, including academic and non-academic staff, students, and communities around the institutions with whom they collaborate. An added advantage of the project is that it has also had several intended and unintended benefi ts in the countries where implementation is taking place. Again, the AAU’s approach of facilitating institutions to implement their own projects, coupled selective choice of activities to undertake means that project activities are institution-led and stand the good chance of being sustained over the long term. The specifi c interventions selected for implementation with this grant, including training on the AAU Toolkit, integration of HIV/AIDS into the curriculum, and the award of grants for theses research have the potential to generate a multi-faceted approach and response to the HIV pandemic continentwide on a sustainable basis. Though a slow process, the integration of HIV/AIDS into the curriculum of the Universities, for example, has the tendency to impact higher education responses to the disease and infl uence the large number of students in the Universities who fall into the category of most-at-risk people.There appears, however to be a mixed response to some of the programmes. While the student grants are oversubscribed, requests for grants available for development of institutional policies, and the services of the Mobile Task Team have been slow in coming from the institutions. There are indications that this may be due to the quantum of funds involved, or the means used to advertise these grants and the processes involved. Again, there appears to be administrative issues in the institutions that could prevent the full amount of grants awarded to students from reaching them. These include charges and commissions payable on grants received by these institutions. The AAU would have to respond to these situations so that the grants will have the intended effect. Funding restrictions also can hinder the ability to reach all its members continent-wide. This particular funding, for example could not be applied to the member institutions in the Northern African zone due to Sida guidelines. This situation places a responsibility on the AAU to fund members in this particular zone from other sources, if it is to be seen by member institutions not to be favouring some sub-regions over others. On progress towards the achievement of the six key result areas, the evaluation found the following: Result 1: African Higher Education leaders mobilized to promote a message of awareness and the need for action against the threat of HIV/AIDS Through the AAU meetings, General Conference, COREVIP and Executive Board meetings, AAU has had the opportunity to sensitize a large proportion of the Vice Chancellors and Chief Executives of higher institutions. However, as is the case of HIV/AIDS awareness, there is the need for concrete actions by the Universities to fi ght the HIV pandemic. Field visits indicated strong commitment of Chief Executives to support the implementation of programmes to fi ght the menace. There is the need to commit resources from the University budget and other sources to ensure that there is coordinated and sustained action on the various campuses against HIV/AIDS. Result 2: Essential human and physical capacity development to prevent, manage, and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS at institutional levels With training programmes on the HIV/AIDS toolkit carried out in 2 out of the 4 sub-regions of the continent, there appears to be a large capacity built within higher education institutions to fi ght the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With the remaining time for the implementation of project activities, however, this appears to be lagging behind and actions have to be expedited to complete the trainings for the Western and Southern African sub-regions. Result 3: Majority of African Higher education institutions have developed policies and programmes and are responding to the threat of HIV/AIDS and are paying attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS on women in particular. HIV/AIDS integrated in curricula and higher education institutions are graduating ‘AIDS-competent graduates’ The development of HIV/AIDS policies is progressing and is on course. There is the likelihood that the other institutions to be supported can develop their HIV/AIDS policies quickly as a result of the availability of other policies to serve as yardsticks. It is important, however, to ensure that the policies are prepared in a participatory way to ensure that all stakeholders-students, academic and non-academic, support staff and communities living around institutions are involved in the policy development process. Result 4: A number of good practice are visible, documented, and are being shared With the contract for this result signed, and a draft report produced by the consultant, the Project is well on its way of achieving the result. Effective dissemination strategies should be put in place by the AAU to ensure that the results are available for use by the HEIs and the public at large.Result 5: Coordinated regional networks of Institutions fighting HIV/AIDS exists across the AAU’s membership and beyond Two networks have been operational but evidence from the fi eld indicates that there is the need to defi ne what specifi c activities are to be undertaken by the networks so they become more effective. This could be spelt out in Terms of Reference for the networks for them to be more effective. The networks should be supported to provide services to her members and report progress on a regular basis to the AAU. Result 6: Partnerships with National and international agencies are established to mobilize resources in support of the institutions and the secretariat The AAU is at the moment coordinating her activities with a number of international agencies, including the UNDP, UNICEF, the ADEA/WGHE, among others. These networks need to be strengthened so that AAU can leverage resources for the implementation of activities in member institutions. AAU would also have to partner National Institutions (National Aids Control Commissions, for example) as they provide the framework within which the Universities work. There are potential advantages in this. Among many others, the AAU through these partnerships will facilitate the fl ow of resources to the Universities for specifi c HIV/AIDS programmes. On the whole, the evaluation documented sound fi nancial management practices within the AAU and the recipient institutions visited in the course of the fi eld studies. To a large extent, the AAU has ensured effi cient allocation of resources by facilitating institutions to implement specifi c project activities and ensuring the institutions account for funds received. The challenge is to maintain these practices and to ensure delays in the release of funds to recipient institutions and individuals are reduced to the barest minimum. The AAU may require further funding to meet the demand for the services provided, especially for student grants which is in high demand. For this phase of the project, the there is also the need to expedite action on the rest of the activities outlined in the Programme of work, and consolidate the good practices. A further possible extension could then look into new areas that might come out of the good practices report. The AAU in this respect has to respond to some internal personnel challenges in order to be more effective and efficient.
Description: This report is part of Sida Evaluations, a series comprising evaluations of Swedish development assistance. Sida’s other series concerned with evaluations, Sida Studies in Evaluation, concerns methodologically oriented studies commissioned by Sida.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3426
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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