Multi-Country Research on Community Care-Givers
CAN is excited to share progress on the Multi-Country Research Community Caregivers - The backbone for accessible care and support (Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia). This Research Proposal
is a Caregivers Action Network (CAN) initiative, facilitated by one of the CAN co-facilitators (Cordaid) and funded by Cordaid
The multi-country study will focus on the historic development of caregiving, its evolution, extent of integration into existing health system(s) and potential role in expanded HIV and PHC programmes.
The objectives are to:
I. Explore the adaptations and changes in caregiving at the community level since the rapid-scale up of ART with a particular focus on the tasks of caregivers and the needs of their clientele
II. Assess how and to what extent caregiving by informal caregivers at community level has been integrated in the health system and is being recognised as part of primary health care structures and policies
III. Investigate the contributions, potential role of and benefits for caregivers in the expansion of HIV prevention, treatment and primary health care programmes
IV. Assess the potential means for formal and informal community health worker programmes to complement each other in the context of decentralisation of HIV treatment programmes, taking into account current initiatives and arrangements.
A wide range of stakeholders will work on advocating around the study results at the International Aids Conference 2012 (Washington DC) and beyond:
- The research project was initiated and will be guided by the Caregivers Action Network International AIDS Conference Research Group (CAN IAC RG), facilitated by Cordaid. The CAN IAC RG is composed of 20 members from INGO, UN orgs and research institutes, which have been supporting the development of the research proposal and are monitoring developments.
- The Country Teams are composed of Research Teams from the universities of Jimma (Ethiopia), Chancellor College (Malawi), Cape Town (South Africa) and a consultant research company in Zambia. Advisory Boards with representatives of community, home-based care, public health and HIV/AIDS programs advise on, monitor and verify research outcomes.
- The core research teamthat will oversee and coordinate all activities will consist of ETC Crystal (the Netherlands) and the Athena Institute of the Free University (the Netherlands) under the supervision of the CAN IAC RG (facilitated by Cordaid). The project is being funded by Cordaid and the UNAIDS.
During the 2010 International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Vienna, it became obvious that in order to bring care and support and the importance of community caregivers higher on the agenda in general, and specifically for the 2012 IAC, additional data would be needed. Various desk reviews, mappings and research pieces done in the last two years around care and support by various organisations, have revealed that the attention to research in care and support as opposed to other thematic areas in the HIV response has been rather limited. Further discussions with likeminded organisations and key actors in care and support at the 2010 IAC Caregivers Action Network (CAN) Networking Zone in Vienna and at the Care and Support Conference in London (organised by UK Consortium for Care and Support Working Group), led to the increased agreement that joining forces would be essential for bringing care and support and the importance of community caregivers higher on the agenda at the 2012 IAC. On behalf of the CAN, Cordaid invited interested networks and organisations who were involved around care and support in Vienna and London, to come together in an “IAC Research” group to start a dialogue around care, support and caregivers’ research plans and priorities for the 2012 IAC in Washington DC.