The U.S. President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, more commonly refereed to as PEPFAR, released its new Guidance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programming on its website on Wednesday, July 26, 2012.
PEPFAR hosted a session entitled PEPFAR’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program: Taking Programming to the Next Level for an AIDS-Free Generationat the International AIDS Conference on Wednesday, July 25th. An array of policy makers and representatives from USAID, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and other groups spoke at this session about PEPFAR and OVC programming.
PEPFAR highlights a number of self-identified “key points” amongst the new guidelines:
- “There is no ‘minimum package of services.’ Program planners and implementers should ensure prioritized and focused interventions that address children’s most critical care needs through family strengthening. While programs must continue to improve child outcomes, the primary strategy for achieving this is strengthening parents and caregivers so they can provide for their children’s basic needs. The seven core areas have been reinterpreted to better reflect this shift.
- Child‐focused, family‐centered interventions at the household level take precedence over handing out materials only to children identified as ‘OVC.’
- Sustainability through capacity building and transfer of program responsibility to promote country ownership are imperative and must be balanced with careful planning and monitoring to ensure children’s immediate needs are also met.
- A young person who turns 18 while receiving OVC services should not automatically be terminated from receiving assistance. Programs should plan for appropriate transition strategies and be prepared to cover a buffer period for a seamless transition to adulthood.
- There is a growing evidence base for OVC programming reflected in this document . Programs should build interventions on evidence‐based practice. This guidance includes summaries of the evidence for the efficacy of a range of child and family support interventions.
- Programs should allocate at least 10 percent of project funding to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to ensure that the evidence base continues to grow and to inform better practice.
- Experienced and specialized technical expertise is required for many types of interventions included in this guidance. Country teams and implementing partners should call upon individuals and resources with this expertise when designing programs and country strategies.”