On April 9 – 11, 2019, our Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS grantees and partners convened in Naivasha, Kenya. Individuals representing all five of our focus countries in East and Southern Africa attended the convening, which was co-hosted by the program’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning partner, Stellenbosch University.
Over these three days, partners were able to share learnings and discuss common challenges, as well as find opportunities to work more closely on improved service provision and joint advocacy within their respective countries. This included discussions on how to better integrate responsive caregiving and early learning into existing programs and services, such as health systems, parenting groups, community platforms and center-based programs; a discussion on learning to date from efforts to scale services at the county- and district-level; and thematic small group discussions including strengthening supportive supervision and messaging.
Key learnings included:
- Government and local leaders need to be consulted and actively engaged at the start in order to work within existing systems and secure political will and buy-in
- Multi-sectoral coordination and high-level leadership are needed to operationalize and institutionalize the Nurturing Care Framework
- Training and capacity-building for government decision-makers has been instrumental in securing greater political will and action to scale services which support young children and their caregivers
- Responsive caregiving can optimize existing programs and should not be seen as a new stand-alone intervention
- Equal emphasis needed on play and communication
- Don’t forget the needs of caregivers
- Involving men and boys is key, yet often overlooked
We deeply value these opportunities to connect with grantees and partners to share learnings and identify ways we can more effectively partner to support children in communities impacted by HIV and AIDS.
Convening Report 2019