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Measuring the Impact of HIV/AIDS Programs in Africa



You may recall a couple of our blogs that shed light on how our Africa Partnerships (AP) team measures our local African partners’ life-changing work:

Boring Data Can Be More Interesting Than You Think

Measuring Success of Water Projects in Africa

As an HIV/AIDS response organization, we love sharing inside looks into how AP works, because they explain so much about the effectiveness of local leaders in community-based work. So here’s another look into these data points and how they are counted in areas affected by HIV/AIDS.

Individuals Accessing Care, Treatment, & Support

doctor with patient

AP uses indicators that the national governments where our partners work and international HIV/AIDS policy-setting organizations consider the most important for program monitoring. The team collects this data from partners every quarter to track the progress of their work in their communities, to see how our support is reaching them, and to share all of this with the whole B:W team. We want to be able to really delve into what each number means, making sure there is no confusion about who is counted or how information is gathered.

For example, here are two different indicators of success we will look at:

  1. The number of adults who are HIV-positive enrolled in ongoing palliative care and support, by sex

  2. The number of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) due to HIV enrolled for ongoing care and support services, by sex

For more information on indicators in health on the African content used by the global community, check out


woman with hiv treatment medication

Understanding These Indicators

The term palliative care and support is commonly used within the HIV/AIDS sector to refer to HIV-related services that can be provided in the home or out in the community. Blood:Water goes an extra step to ensure quality services are reaching people by requiring that partners only report on these when they meet a “minimum package of need-based services.” This means that they include at least three kinds of services, and that these are chosen and provided based on the person’s specific situation at the time. There are seven categories that capture the full range of care and support that fit into this umbrella:

  1. Medicalhome-based care that improves the health of those living with HIV. Ex) treatment adherence support, managing side effects, providing home-based medical services to those who need it, treating other illnesses, distributing mosquito nets, providing transportation to clinics for appointments, etc.

  2. Psychosocial services improving the mental and social well-being of those living with HIV. Ex) individual or family counseling, support groups, spiritual support, disclosure counseling, etc. 

  3. Food and Nutrition services to improve nutrition. Ex) food distribution, nutritional monitoring and advice, household gardening, etc.

  4. Protection services to improve the safety and legal protection of those living with HIV. Ex) Help with responding to stigma and discrimination that challenges property ownership, child custody, unlawful eviction or job loss, and so on.

  5. Economic Opportunity – assistance for improving the economic livelihood of people living with HIV. Ex) vocational training, education, seed grants, savings and loan cooperatives etc.

  6. WASH – services to improve access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for the households of people with HIV. Ex) distributing household water filtration systems and constructing hygiene facilities. Our partners have reached over 30,000 people living with HIV directly with WASH interventions in their homes!

  7. Shelter – services to improve living conditions for people living with HIV. Ex) housing placement, rent subsidies, and renovations.

These Indicators in Real Life

woman involved with lwala community alliance

Since 2015, our partners have reached 12,205 adults with palliative care and support, 2,733 of whom were orphaned or vulnerable children. While this is an astounding number, it is important to remember that these are only people who are newly enrolled in a program as a result of our partnership. This does not count the many points of contact and needs that may be served throughout the relationship with the partner! Many people were aided by our partners before we started our relationship with them, which is why we chose to step into their work to help them touch even more lives than ever before!

To give an example, Lwala Community Alliance (LWALA), one of our most prolific HIV/AIDS response organizations, has enrolled  238 new adults and OVC to receive this care and support as a result of their current grant. However, last quarter, they continued to serve 5,007 different individuals with these same services. LWALA has made great strides in several areas, including a number of new services necessitated due to COVID-19.

So please join us as we continue to equip our partners to serve even more people affected by HIV/AIDS than ever before. We hope this has given you new insight into our partners’ inspiring work!


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