The HIV / AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) has been responsible for the coordination of multi-sectorial HIV / AIDS programming at the national and regional levels in Ethiopia since it's inception in 2000. To date, the HIV / AIDS response across ministries and their regional bureaus has been quite limited. This is due to a number of factors; the varying capacity of HAPCO across the regions and at the national level, the ambiguous role of HAPCO in terms of accountability and reporting (it is not a ministerial level body); limited human, financial and institutional capacity to implement multisectoral programs and a range of competing priorities.
On the other hand, the paper is abstruse and tortuous and therefore there is difficulty in realizing that this is its central point. I had to read the paper several times to work out what this central point was, and it was only by reference to the title that I was finally convinced that the central point indeed was the HIV / AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO).
It seems to me that part of the difficulty in realizing that this is the central point is that the brief precedes with a brief and unclear history of the institution but zigzags back and forth between history, goals of the institution, institution itself and back again to the history before it proceeds with mention of the goals.
Even then, as the paper proceeds it is less and less easy to see what the central point is. This is because the central point is not differentiated. If the central point is indeed HAPCO as the title claims it to be, then all subheadings should have flowed from that. The reverse is the case, with subheadings appearing to be disconnected and senseless.
Furthermore, the title claims to also talk about Programmatic Linkages within USAID and PEPFAR. Yet, these only appear far later in the paper -- towards the end and mentioned in an insignificant way. If these, too, are meant to be central points, they should have been covered in the beginning with abbreviations (of USAID and PEPFAR) spelt out.
2) How effective was the paper in providing background information needed to understand the subject or issue?
No background information was provided at all. Instead the paper launched straight into a discussion of the goals of the organization briefly intercepted by details of its history and budget that served only to confuse me.
Furthermore, the brief only mentions the history of HAPCO. We would have benefited from an introduction to USAID and PEPFAR that seem to be additional subjects of this paper.
Background information should have included details of the extent and intensity of this problem (HIV) that would have led us to understand why HAPCO and supplementary organizations decided to introduce themselves.
3) How detached and objective was the paper?
The paper was perfectly detached. It eschewed any subjective opinion, and instead presented the reader with a clear sampling of facts and figures that supported its case.
4) How useful were the recommendations or alternative courses of action provided?
The paper provides 5 recommendations:
• Policy to promote and enforce Professional Standards focusing on areas such as teachers' own personal behavior in reference to relationships with their students, responsibilities as teachers (or indeed many other professions) and gender-biased behavior.
• Alternative education programs that respond to the altered circumstances of the students, such as reduced family finances, the care-giving roles of family members, increased household labor burden for students etc.
• Assessment and advocacy for the removal of educational structures that may exclude
Orphans and vulnerable children from access to education, such as user fees, school uniform fees etcetera
• Provision of basic education and social and psychological support to vulnerable groups to keep orphans and vulnerable children in the school system.
• In 2006, PEPFAR supplemental funds have been secured to address the issues over access to education and staying in-school
• Working with the Global Fund Principal Recipient, HAPCO, to map and collaborate on HIV / AIDS Prevention Initiatives in the education sector to avoid duplication and maximize impact.
Whilst instructive, they fail to be useful since we are left with no clarity or understanding of the problems that the organization faces nor why they have decided to implement these specific policies.