Leadership Development Program Yields Results in Cote d'Ivoire
Collaboration is a key element in the successful collection, dissemination and use of HIV/AIDS data in almost any situation. It is easy to imagine, however, a situation where multiple ministries are responsible for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tasks and yet national indicators are not established, harmonized and validated because of a lack of coordination and collaboration. Such was the case in Cote d’Ivoire.
MEASURE Evaluation began providing M&E strengthening support as well as health information system (HIS) development and improvement to the Ministry of Health in 2004. Since then MEASURE Evaluation has expanded the scope of its activities to include M&E technical support to the Ministry of HIV/AIDS in 2006, the Ministry of Women, Family and Social Affairs in 2007, and the Ministry of Education in 2008. In addition, MEASURE Evaluation supports the work of the Strategic Information Working Group composed of representatives from a wide variety of organizations (donors, NGO partners, ministries and agencies), including the four ministries.
Last year,, MEASURE Evaluation Chief of Party, and her team identified leadership as the key challenge impeding the ministries’ success. This was evidenced by difficulties bringing the teams together and by a lack of coordination among the ministries to produce national data. She attributed this to a lack of trust and commitment, and the desire of the different teams to “protect” their data and perceived national M&E positions and roles. For that reason, MEASURE Evaluation offered a team-focused Leadership Development Program (LDP) bringing together the M&E teams from all four ministries as an ideal way to address these issues.
The LDP was launched in February 2010 with a workshop attended by cabinet level and other senior officials to ensure their alignment with the course objectives and to enlist their support for the teams. Over the course of the next 8 months, the facilitators held 4 additional workshops and worked directly with the representatives of the 4 ministries to clarify their desired measurable result and prepare and implement an action plan to achieve it.
The overwhelming consensus of the groups participating in the program was that collaboration was critical and in the interest of all of the stakeholders if Cote d’Ivoire were ever to have reliable and accessible national data for HIV/AIDS. Working together as a single team, the representatives from all 4 ministries developed the following specific desired measurable result:
“A compendium of all the national HIV/AIDS indicators fully harmonized and validated by all of the actors in the fight against AIDS within 6 months.”
The participants believed that if they could accomplish this task, they would have overcome significant political and organizational obstacles, and that they would be well on their way to attaining their vision to create a high quality, timely and accessible national data base used by all of the actors in the national response to HIV/AIDS.
The results presentation held on October 6, 2010 highlighted the publication of the compendium of the harmonized and validated indicators representing the fulfillment of the desired measurable result.
The compendium was developed with input and collaboration from all the major stakeholders engaged in collecting HIV/AIDS information, including donors, NGO partners, ministries and other government agencies. It comprises 49 national and community health indicators for prevention, mother-to-child transmission, and coverage as well as harmonized age ranges.
As a result of the LDP and the team’s success in publishing the compendium, Cote d’Ivoire now has a pathway to move toward the vision shared by the four ministries. The next steps are to complete and publish a compendium of harmonized tools and to develop a strategic information plan. The collaboration among the ministries demonstrated in the LDP and the momentum created by the program form the basis upon which these additional steps can be realized.
For more information, read "Leadership Development Program Yields Collaboration and Results in Cote d’Ivoire", a fact sheet summarizing the four Cote d'Ivoire ministries' experiences during and after the LDP.