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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 94 / 103

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E.5.Coordination for the HIV/AIDS response at national level: learning from the field

by Chilongozi R.  Aldridge S.  Sanje D.   POLICY Project Malawi;   National AIDS Commission

Background and Scope:

In order to strengthen coordination of the national HIV/AIDS response, NAC convened a task force to spearhead the process. The team recommended assessment of the existing coordination mechanisms and structures to inform the way forward. USAID through POLICY Project Malawi conducted and financed this assessment between September and November 2004 and brought recommendation to the task force for implementation. National level coordination structures and mechanisms were targeted for with specific focus on streamlining their membership, coordination roles, responsibilities, processes and areas of operation of the each of the structures/mechanisms including set up; primary function/ownership and the type; level of coordination and involvement of stakeholders.

Methodology: Two consultants were engaged and conducted interviews with fourteen (14) national coordination bodies.  Information obtained was triangulated with TORs   Findings and recommendations were presented back to task force for further action.

Results:  Gaps, overlaps exists between and among the bodies and most of them have unclear. No clear links exist between and among bodies making it challenging for information to flow through to decision making bodies. Other organisations have no structures catering for them.

Conclusion: The assessment made several recommendations to the task force and NAC in general. These include support to development of clear mandates; refining some of the existing structures; and streamlining the linkages for effective coordination. NAC is already  pursuing these recommendations.

Recommendations: Though highly pitched at National level, these recommendations provide springboard for re looking all level coordination systems and is crucial in the operationalisation of NAF

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