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SAfAIDS Documentation of Best Practices

SAfAIDS Approach to Documenting Best Practices


As the leading HIV and AIDS information and communication organisation in the southern African region, SAfAIDS has developed a strategic approach to documenting best practices. This approach has been developed through research and experience in documenting best practices on HIV and AIDS in southern Africa. A description of past projects and publications is presented later in this document. SAfAIDS promotes a Participatory Documentation Process approach which means that an effort is made to maximise the participation of the key stakeholders (partner organisations, beneficiaries, communities, etc.) throughout the six step process. This includes ensuring that people living with HIV and AIDS, women and children are represented. The steps are illustrated in the diagram below:


Best Practices Model



SAfAIDS Documentation of Best Practices


Between 2007 and 2008 SAfAIDS documented a series of diverse best practices from across the region. Under a SADC project, national HIV and AIDS best practices were documented in four member states: Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A unique community best practice was documented by SAfAIDS in Zimbabwe, which outlined shared elements of Best Practice which had effectively addressed the "triple linkage" of culture, gender and HIV within a community setting. Meanwhile in 2008, under a USAID funded program, SAfAIDS is documenting best practices around antiretroviral treatment literacy initiative in Botswana, Lesotho and Malawi. And in partnership with Oxfam International, documentation of 6 best practices around gender and culture, and their nexus to the epidemic, is being done in Zimbabwe.


SAfAIDS has conducted several trainings around HIV and AIDS best practice documentation across the region, at both national and SADC levels. These have generated a series of lessons learnt, the key ones being:


- Capacity building of stakeholders within the community where documentation will take place, is a critical preliminary step to the actual documentation process. It enables buy-in to the documentation process, simultaneously expanding the pool of documenters in the community.

- Engagement of trainees (in best practice documentation) in a ‘dummy documentation' has proven significant in heightening the appreciation and understanding of establishing a systematic methodology for the documentation process


Through this program SAfAIDS seeks to contribute to the regional knowledge base of "What works and What doesn't, with specific focus on cultural constraints and circumstances", and "What will help shape current and future programmes", and enhance the wealth of ‘hands on' experience-sharing and effective programme replication among community-based HIV and AIDS programmes across southern Africa.


Detailed information is available in the following publications:


1. HIV and AIDS Documentation and Commnucation Skills: A Focus on Best Practices: A Course Guidebook, SAfAIDS and USAID, May 2008


2. Building Skills in HIV and AIDS Documentation and Communcation: A Reference Manual, SAfAIDS and USAID, January 2008