SADC Secretariat in collaboration with United National Development Fund (UNDP) East and Southern Africa developed HIV mainstreaming indicators for five sectors, namely, Justice, Finance, Local Government, Infrastructure and Works and Planning & Economic Development.
These were developed during a training workshop that took place at Burger Park Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa from June 03 to 07, 2013 where SADC Secretariat Mainstreaming Focal persons and Monitoring & Evaluation officers from 14 SADC Member States were trained as trainer of Trainers.
The workshop agreed on indicators to be utilised at the regional and ones to be utilised at national level respectively.The meeting also developed the reporting modalities including time schedules at each level.
This makes SADC as a region, the first on the African Continent if not the whole world where a set of indicators have been developed to measure mainstreaming in a number of sectors.
The concept of mainstreaming HIV was introduced as early 1992 by the then GTZ (Duetscher Geselschaft fuer technisher Zusamenarbeit: German Agency for Technical Cooperation) and United Nations (UNAIDS). It was adopted by many sectors and countries including the SADC Region after the 2003 Maseru Declaration. Despite the introduction of the mainstreaming approach, there has been no evidence to clearly show the impact of this approach. There has been no measuring tool on monitoring and evaluating mainstreaming until recently.
One of the positive outcomes of the training workshop was the development of joint proposals by the two disciplines, HIV Mainstreaming and Monitoring and Evaluation to enable Member States to access the SADC HIV Funds. This also was a first time in that the training took advantage of the countries being together to develop proposals for the funds. It promoted networking and regional integration from a practical perspective; Member State share ideas and work for a common future.
With funding and Technical support from UNDP, the training organised by the SADC Secretariat. It was a milestone in the SADC Region, because it was the first meeting ever where Mainstreaming Focal Persons and Monitoring and Evaluation Officers worked on the same issue. It proved that there is need to break the silos that exist between disciplines at both the regional and national levels.
The SADC Region should be proud to be the pioneer of the mainstreaming indicators. It is hoped that more sectors will develop indicators on mainstreaming not only HIV but others issues, which, at the Secretariat should include environment, disaster risk reduction, climate change and many other cross-cutting issues. These also need development of monitoring and evaluation tools.