CHAA Eastern Caribbean Community Action Project II
March 2011, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entered into a co-operative agreement with the Caribbean HIV&AIDS Alliance to expand a dynamic and innovative project within the Eastern Caribbean. The Eastern Caribbean Community Action Project was first launched in 2006 by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, implemented by CHAA and funded by the USAID. The first phase of the project was rolled out in four countries: Antigua, Barbados, St Kitts and St Vincent, based on a behaviour change intervention model aimed at increasing access to HIV prevention services for marginalised communities.
The new award will enable strengthening and expansion of the project's benefits to three additional countries: Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia. Through this expansion, CHAA will integrate lessons learnt from phase one and incorporate cross cutting themes such as gender, stigma and discrimination, use of strategic information and capacity building. The project aims to meet the needs of people living with HIV and those most at risk of infection using a country specific response. To ensure cohesion the project is designed to augment the region's HIV response and supports the:
- Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework - Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP);
- U.S.-Caribbean Regional HIV/AIDS Partnership Framework - US President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR);
- Strategic policies and plans - National AIDS Programmes (NAPS) within each country.
A key success component of the project is its design which is built on a foundation of true peer outreach and bringing service to the people. The strategy involves applying non-traditional approaches targeted at persons who are not reached by mainstream HIV prevention and other sexual health services.
The frontline of the intervention delivery involved a team of local community outreach workers and community based groups; and a culturally appropriate package of interventions which included information on risk and vulnerability, promotion and provision condoms, and counselling and testing referrals at peer-delivered "hot-spots". The project is expected to increase access to HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment services for most at risk populations and this will be achieved through
they are: § Reduce vulnerabilities to HIV through access to comprehensive prevention services; § Increase access to stigma free prevention, treatment and care services for most at risk populations and persons living with HIV; § Strengthen capacity and capability of national partners and CSO's to ensure quality service and improve delivery; Several key indicators will be used to determine the success of the project. These indicators revolve around the project's target populations - most at risk populations and persons living with HIV. The indicators for the target populations are:
- Improved knowledge of HIV and ways of preventing sexually transmitted infections;
- Increased correct and consistent condom use;
- Behaviour change interventions delivered through peer-based network among;
- Wider access to "sensitive" services and counselling and testing at community sites;
- Improved quality of life through access to care, referrals, peer psychosocial support and counselling;
- Increased meaningful involvement of the target populations in the national and regional response;
- Improved data reporting on the target populations at the national and regional level;
- Expanded capacity among civil society to manage and deliver sensitive HIV services and programmes.
In implementing this project CHAA will partner with Population Services International PSI/C, who will assist in meeting key strategies of the project including social marketing/media, along with the Caribbean Regional Network of Positives (CRN+) who will ensure access to services for persons living with HIV.