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PANCAP Enhancing Capacity of National AIDS Programme Managers Through ‘Data For Decision Making’ WorkshopEmphasis placed on the importance of using data for programmes related to key populations

March 16, 2017

The Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) hosted a one-day workshop on ‘Data for Decision Making’ on Friday, March 10 in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for fifteen (15) National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers from Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.

The PANCAP workshop aimed to enhance the capabilities of NAP Managers to effectively interpret, analyse and present data to inform strategic HIV and AIDS programme implementation as well as to efficiently report on findings at every level.

According to Knowledge Coordinator, PANCAP Knowledge for Health Project, Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony, collecting and effectively analysing data on key populations is critical at this time of the HIV and AIDS response in the Caribbean. ‘With the reduction of donor funding, NAP managers have less resources but more to achieve’, stated Dr Singh-Anthony, ‘this calls for a targeted approach to key populations and having the right data to inform these approaches has never been more integral to the goal of ending AIDS by 2030’.

The Knowledge Coordinator echoed the sentiments of Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, during his opening remarks at the Fifth NAP Managers and Key Partners Meeting on Monday, March 6, in which he called for a recalibration of the HIV and AIDS message to focus on behaviour change.

‘If we are going to effectively create behaviour change, we need accurate data on key populations,’ stated Dr Singh-Anthony, ‘retooled strategies require data on their sexual behaviour, preferred means of communication, degree of exposure to health messages and other critical aspects of their behaviour in order to strategically create public education initiatives which accurately target key populations and effectively alter their sexual behaviour to more responsible and safe habits’.

Dr Singh-Anthony further emphasized that NAP managers should advocate for more data collection and analysis within their programme implementation since a lack of data can result in inadequate resource allocation, ineffective public education strategies and an overall failure to reach key populations with the right tools and messages.

The workshop exposed NAP Managers to a series of activities on data analysis and interpretation using a range of software applications. The focus was on identifying key relationships revealed in data in order to inform policy implementation and strategy. Participants were also exposed to critical aspects of data visualization to build their capacity in effectively presenting data to a range of audiences including key populations, donor partners and policymakers.

The workshop forms part of the PANCAP Knowledge for Health Project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Timothy Austin
Communications Specialist
PANCAP Coordinating Unit | Knowledge for Health (K4Health)
CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Extension 3409
Fax: (592) 222-0203