STRIVE meets in Dar-es-Salaam

20 April 2017
Annie Holmes

For the consortium’s annual gathering, Tanzanian partners NIMR and MITU arranged the venue, hosted the group and invited national stakeholders for a helpful exchange on shared priorities. This year’s was a generative meeting, bringing together the leads of STRIVE working groups for a collective synthesis of knowledge and of the implications for policy and practice.

Synthesis

The consortium was commissioned to advance research on structural factors, with relevance to the HIV field overall. To achieve its intended impact, STRIVE must synthesise evidence at a multi-sectoral level, beyond individual studies, partner institutions or even cross-partner themes such as alcohol, stigma or partner violence. To deepen this synthesis, STRIVE’s 2017 annual meeting took the form of a workshop, focused on two angles.

1. Biomedical HIV prevention and treatment

Researchers synthesised the evidence on structural factors as either barriers or enablers to effective prevention and treatment. From this analysis STRIVE can recommend funding and programming that integrates structural measures with biomedical and behavioural approaches. Along with the model of the treatment cascade, the more recent framework of the prevention cascade provides a useful way to integrate previously silo-ed approaches.

2. Development synergies

The structural factors that impede or facilitate HIV risk can be addressed effectively by sectors other than HIV alone: multi-sectoral ‘upstream’ programming yields multiple benefits across health and development sectors in addition to HIV. Taking the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together with the consortium’s co-financing approach, STRIVE researchers synthesised evidence on achieving HIV outcomes from multi-sectoral investments. Research points to a range of synergistic opportunities to implement and pay for effective structural interventions within wider health, development and human rights agendas.

STRIVE’s resource section includes some new references on the synergies between HIV, the SDGs and rights-based approaches:

  • A paper on mapping the interactions between SDGs
  • An article by a UNDP colleague on the importance for health and well-being of ending GBV
  • A recent STRIVE Learning Lab on systematic reviews of stigma interventions and rights-based HIV prevention

Engagement

The location provided opportunities to meet partners and stakeholders, both before the full gathering and at an evening event. Here, the STRIVE team and guests from DFID, UNICEF, UNDP and the national headquarters of NIMR introduced themselves and their work over a meal. Through brief presentations, many opportunities emerged for mutual support and action.

How, practically, can new learning from research findings be translated into practice and findings? UNICEF-Tanzania’s HIV lead, in particular, called for more information to inform adaptation and scale up of evaluated interventions. For STRIVE’s latest contributions in this vein, see:

  • Samvedana Plus intervention briefs (preventing intimate partner violence (IPV) against sex-workers)
  • Samata intervention briefs (keeping girls in school)
  • A Learning Lab about adaptation, on an IPV-prevention study from the What Works consortium