Twenty years ago, Rwanda suffered through a genocidal civil war that crippled its economy and social systems, including healthcare. Since then, it has made a remarkable recovery and stands among those in Africa where access to health care is close to universal. Life expectancy at birth has increased from 48 years to 58 over the past decade. Deaths of children under 5 have dropped by half in five years and malaria deaths have dropped by roughly two-thirds.
MEASURE Evaluation has maintained a country office in Rwanda since 2006. The HIV prevalence rate among adults is just under three percent and MEASURE Evaluation has conducted activities that have informed the country’s response. MEASURE Evaluation helped Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission conduct the country’s first-ever study of HIV risk among men who have sex with men. Rwanda’s National Strategic Plan incorporated the study’s results by prioritizing men who have sex with men as a target group, which helped Rwanda’s government get funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis to develop programs tailored specifically for them. Additionally the Civil Society Coalition on Lesbian and Gay Rights drafted a position paper based on the study, which it submitted to the Rwandan Parliament in support of a law (since enacted) ending the criminalization of homosexuality in the country.
MEASURE Evaluation’s focus in Rwanda includes:
- Working with stakeholders to develop and document a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for programs aimed at orphans and vulnerable children.
- Working with the National AIDS Control Commission to assess the national HIV M&E system.
- Collaborating with the same commission to work with district-level AIDS control committees to develop action plans to improve data quality in their respective districts.