Government HIV and AIDS policies
To assess progress in the development and implementation of national-level HIV and AIDS policies, strategies and laws. In relation to the education sector: assess whether its response to HIV is guided and enabled by policy, strategy and resources within the context of a national HIV response.
The NCPI is considered a powerful means of assessing progress of national-level HIV and AIDS policies, strategies and laws that are part of a national response to HIV and AIDS. The education sector is a critical partner with a specific role to play in that multi-sectoral response. The sector is in a strong position to deliver and support HIV prevention programmes, as programmes delivered in educational settings can reach teachers, the young people who attend schools or tertiary institutions and their parents/guardians.
The education sector is also an employer of a large proportion of the public sector workforce, which is directly affected by the HIV epidemic especially in countries with a generalized HIV epidemic. As such, the education sector should adopt legislation and implement programmes in support of HIV prevention and impact mitigation for its personnel as well as for students. It is important to monitor and gauge the policy environment and legislative framework, as well as the structured response of the education sector at regular intervals.
The NCPI is administered in two parts: the first is administered to government officials and the second part is administered to representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs), bilateral agencies and UN organizations. Some questions occur in both Part A and Part B to ensure that the views of both the national government and non-government respondents are obtained, whether they agree with each other or not.
The following areas are covered in each part of the NCPI (see Table 5.1).
Table 5.1: Topic areas covered in NCPI
Part A (to be administered to government officials)
i. Strategic plan
ii. Political support and leadership
iii. Human rights
v. Treatment, care and support
vi. Monitoring and evaluation
Part B (to be administered to representatives from civil society organizations, bilateral agencies and UN organizations)
i. Civil society involvement15
ii. Political support and leadership
iii. Human rights
v. Treatment, care and support
Each section should be completed by (a) conducting a desk review of relevant documents and (b) interviewing key people who are most knowledgeable about the topic. It is important to submit a fully completed NCPI:
check the relevant standardized responses, as well as providing further information in the open text boxes where requested. This will facilitate a better understanding of the current country situation, provide examples of good practice for others to learn from, and pinpoint some issues for further improvement. NCPI responses reflect the overall policy, strategy, legal and programme implementation environment of the HIV response. The open text boxes provide an opportunity to comment on issues that are perceived as important but insufficiently captured in the questions as asked (e.g. important sub-national variations; the level of implementation of strategies, policies, laws or regulations; explanatory notes; comments on the data sources etc.). In general, draft strategies, policies, or laws are not considered ‘in existence’ (i.e. there is no opportunity yet to expect their influence on programme implementation). Questions about whether such a document exists should be answered with ‘no’. However, it would be useful to state that such documents are in draft form in the relevant open text box.
While the responsibility for submitting the consolidated NCPI data lies with the national government, the assistance of technical coordinators for data gathering, data consolidation and data validation is strongly advised. Accurate completion of the NCPI requires the involvement of a range of stakeholders, which should include representatives of CSOs. It is strongly recommended to:
(a) organize an initial workshop with key stakeholders to agree on the NCPI data gathering process (including relevant documents for desk review, organizational representatives to be interviewed, process to be used for determining final responses, timeline); and to
(b) organize a final workshop with key stakeholders to present, discuss and validate the NCPI findings before official submission as part of the UNGASS/GARP Report.
Agreement on the final NCPI data does not require that any discrepancies between overlapping questions in Part A and Part B should be reconciled; it simply means that, when there are different perspectives, Part A respondents should agree on their responses, Part B respondents should agree on their responses, and that both are submitted. If not already the case, it is useful to collate all key documents (i.e. policies, strategies, laws, guidelines, reports etc.) related to the HIV response in one place, such as a website, to allow easy access by all stakeholders. This will not only facilitate validation of NCPI responses but, even more importantly, it will increase awareness about and encourage use of these important documents in the implementation of the national HIV response going forward. Box 5.1 includes all questions related to the education sector response in Part A, which is to be administered to government officials. This listing aims to guide officials from the ministry/ministries of education who should be involved in the completion of the questionnaire during interviews and workshops organized at national level.
National Commitments and Policy Instruments
The NCPI is the most comprehensive standardized questionnaire available to assess the policy, strategy, legal and programme implementation environment for the HIV response. Although the NCPI is generally referred to as an ‘indicator’ or an ‘index’, it is not used in that sense. While it is possible to calculate an overall score by assigning a value to each response, the importance of the index lies in the process of data collection and data reconciliation between different stakeholders, detailed analysis of the responses, and its use in strengthening the national HIV response. The completion of the NCPI processes provides a unique opportunity for the variety of stakeholders to take stock of progress made and to discuss what still needs to be done to support an effective and efficient HIV response. When completed in a truly collaborative manner, inviting appropriate representation and respecting different views, the NCPI processes can play an important role in strengthening in-country collaboration and increasing shared ownership of the HIV response.
For ministries of education and other education stakeholders, it is particularly important to analyse the NCPI results at national level for the questions relevant to the education sector listed above. It is important that the education sector is viewed as a contributor to the national response, but this contribution also needs to be reviewed separately. Table 5.2 provides some guidance for the interpretation of the data collected in relation to the education sector.
■The completion of the instruments relies heavily on the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders.
■The instruments are extremely comprehensive and rely on consultation, a review of documents and cooperation between various role players.
■The construction of the composite index is rather complex and difficult to explain to others.
■The success of the completion of the questionnaire is dependent on teamwork and the relationship between a range of stakeholders.
■It is difficult for ministries of education and other stakeholders to analyse the data on the education sector response that comes from the NCPI as this data is ‘lost’ among the rest of the data on all the policies that comprisethe national response.
■It does not allow measurement of the education sector’s readiness to respond to the impact of HIV and AIDS and to improve the measure of school safety and security issues.
■Global AIDS Response Progress Reporting 2012 Guidelines: Construction of Core Indicators for Monitoring the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS(http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/document/2...)
■Education Sector Global HIV & AIDS Readiness Survey 2004 (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001446/144625e.pdf)