Lane, J., Verani, A., Hijazi, M., et al. PLOS ONE (February 2016), 11(2):e0146720, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146720.
In fall 2012, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded workshops in the Africa and Americas regions to strengthen stakeholders' capacity to monitor and implement HIV-related policy reforms in PEPFAR-supported countries. Participants (33 in the Africa region and 31 in the Americas region) received training on PEPFAR's Road Map for Monitoring and Implementing Policy Reforms (Road Map). This article described the results of a three-month follow-up evaluation of participants' experiences. The majority of respondents considered the workshops useful; 85 percent of respondents from the Africa workshop and 100 percent of respondents from the Americas workshop said they felt they were better prepared to monitor policy reforms after the workshops. While some countries made quick progress in implementing elements of the action plans developed during the workshops, other countries struggled to gain traction. Reasons included inability to meet or lack of time, personnel, or governmental support. Additionally, participants requested more follow-up, real examples of policy monitoring indicators and best practices, country-specific training in monitoring and evaluation, and development of a participant listserv. The authors concluded that the Road Map was a useful tool for strengthening policy development, monitoring capacity, and moving closer to an AIDS-free generation.