A Situational Analysis Methodology to Inform Comprehensive HIV Prevention and Treatment Programming, Applied in Rural South Africa

November 2015 - Combination Prevention

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Treves-Kagan, S., Naidoo, E., Gilvydis, J.M., et al. Global Public Health (September 2015), e-publication ahead of print.

This paper described the methodology used for a situational analysis in 2012 in two districts in North West Province, South Africa, conducted to ensure that a planned comprehensive prevention program would respond to the local needs. The analysis focused on characterizing communities’ needs, existing resources, and cultural and structural barriers to health care. Specifically, the study sought to: (1) characterize the local epidemic profile (key populations, key drivers); (2) identify how sociocultural and service delivery contexts affected the epidemic; and (3) document opportunities for program partnerships and existing best practices. The authors described the analysis in terms of (1) laying the foundation (obtaining permission to conduct research); (2) preparing for field work (developing data collection tools and gathering existing data); (3) field work (interviews, focus groups, and service delivery assessments); (4) sampling (determining the sample size and ensuring inclusion of diverse conditions and populations); (5) data analysis (qualitative and quantitative analysis that includes coding transcripts and field notebooks). The report also described the method’s strengths: yielding acceptable data breadth and saturation; producing data that translated into actionable findings to inform comprehensive HIV programming; and building community partnerships, buy-in, and support for intervention strategies. The authors said that this methodology could be used to guide community engagement and develop locally appropriate combination HIV prevention programs.

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