From March 12 – 14, 2018, our Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS Strategic Initiative team traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to convene 55 partners, including their new monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) partner, Stellenbosch University. Convenings provide an opportunity for all of our partners to come together in an effort to strengthen programs for our beneficiaries.

“There’s a real magic that happens when people are all in the room together and have a chance to share strategies and challenges,” Senior Program Officer at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Lisa Bohmer said. “They find they don’t have to recreate the wheel; often, the solution and wisdom is in the room.”

Participants of the 2018 Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS Convening discuss the value of bringing together partners to improve outcomes for our shared beneficiaries.

At the convening, partners were introduced to the overall MEL plan for the strategy, discussed the new program guidance document, and reviewed the collaborative development of plans to improve program quality and metrics.

“The [Hilton Foundation] convening is a platform where science and practice meet,” said Saeed Wame, executive director of the Namwera AIDS Coordination Committee.

Panel topics ranged from community-level caregiving practices to linkages between the HIV and early childhood development fields to current advocacy efforts. As part of the convening, partners shared knowledge from the field, connected with peers to advance the strategic initiative’s goals, and collaborated as members of the Hilton Foundation community.