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MannionDaniels has been contracted by Mott MacDonald to undertake two critical reviews for the DFID-funded Evidence for HIV Prevention in Southern Africa Programme.

The reviews focus on HIV prevention for adolescents with the aim of producing two discussion papers that will contribute to and broaden regional debates on issues affecting policy and programming on HIV prevention for adolescents in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region.

The topics of the discussion papers are:

  • The future of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) in an era of combination prevention; and
  • The impact and value of a more nuanced and disaggregated definition of ‘adolescents’ for HIV prevention programming

The two discussion papers are in the final stages of development. The preliminary findings have been presented at a Technical Forum, hosted by EHPSA in Cape Town in September, with Alex le May present. Participants included researchers, multilaterals, donors, civil society organisations and representatives of national ministries of health and education, national AIDS commissions, and regional bodies.

Further information on the event can be found here on the EHPSA website.


Deciding on policy is not usually a straightforward or linear process.  Many actors and stakeholders are involved in shaping, influencing and making policy.  Whilst furnishing evidence to make a case is necessary, it may not always be sufficient.  NGOs advocating to influence policy need to understand the various processes, people and stakeholders involved in order to effectively bring about desired change.  This demands informed and sustained engagement, and an in-depth knowledge of the context.  Good knowledge of the policy process is needed, as well as of the political realities that face decision-makers at all levels.

MannionDaniels completed a lesson learning assignment for Equipop, looking at the experience of how to leverage additional resources and attention for reproductive health with UNITAID.  Equipop was founded in 1993 prior to the Cairo conference (ICPD) and since then has become widely recognised for its advocacy work within France and in French-speaking Africa in the field of SRHR.  During a 5-year advocacy project funded by the Hewlett Foundation, Equipop sought to influence UNITAID, a relatively recent global health financing partnership, to explore the potential for inclusion of an increased focus on preventive methods.  In particular, Equipop focused on integrating the SRHR and HIV prevention method of the female condom.  Equipop was well placed to do this, with the French being one of the founding members and donors of UNITAID.

The lesson learning piece was led by MannionDaniels consultant John Worley , with support from and Catherine Ainsworth and Rolla Khadduri.  The MannionDaniels team conducted a review of key project documentation, relevant publications and personal interviews with key stakeholders in the field of sexual and reproductive health advocacy, including senior UNITAID and Equipop staff.  Some of the more general lessons it revealed about RH advocacy can be seen in the two-pager (available in both French and English), with the main points being:

  • Undertake stakeholder mapping to help identify key entry points to pursue advocacy activities.
  • Focus on building (proportionate) relationships with all potential key stakeholders.  Avoid having too much reliance on a single entry point / person.
  • Consider the advocate’s capacity to implement – including existing staff and resources, and systems to manage and monitor the project.
  • Establish clarity internally on advocacy aims, and implementer’s added value / unique position as an advocate.
  • Develop a theory of change at the project’s inception with a wide support base.
  • Identify key alliances to build networks/consortia in support of project advocacy aims to maximise prospects for impact.