Addressing obstacles to producing high quality data for GFATM programs targeting DU, SW and MSM in Zanzibar
Centre for Advocacy, Development & Empowerment, Administration, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of
Issues: ZAC is the Principle Recipient for the HIV&AIDS component of the GFATM Round 6 program named “Joint Accelerated Access to HIV&AIDS Initiatives for Most at Risk Populations in Zanzibar” (JAHAZI). JAHAZI focuses HIV interventions among DU, SW and MSM who are often hard to reach mainly due to social stigma and legal framework. This negatively affects the quality of HIV data collected by community outreach workers.
Description: In 2009 ZAC undertook an M&E assessment of GFATM programs targeting DU, SW and MSM using the 12 components organizing framework and MESS tool. The assessment reported social stigma, legal environment, mobility of MARPs and their reluctance to provide or verify data as the main obstacles to data quality. Inadequate tools, approaches, knowledge and skills among community outreach workers was also noted as affecting accuracy, completeness, confidentiality, integrity, precision, reliability and timeliness of data collected.
Lessons learned: Organizational and human capacity strengthening in M&E for DU, SW and MSM is crucial for generating high quality data from the M&E system. If social stigma and discrimination is rampant then MARPs will be reluctant to provide and verify data. Whereby DU, SW and MSM are illegalized, it is critical to uphold privacy and confidentiality in managing data including during collection, transfer and storage so as to avoid unintended legal ramifications.
Next steps: ZAC will continue to address these obstacles to data quality by: Implementing a framework for data quality assurance and confidentiality; Undertaking advocacy to eliminate social stigma against MARPs; Implementing the recommendations of the legal audit of the national AIDS response; Planning and implementing outreach programmes for MARPs in communities, hotels, lodges and entertainment places, and; Mobilizing more outreach workers among SW, DU and MSM.