JAPAN International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Resident Representative Mr Shumon Yoshiara says the Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity for HIV/AIDS response programs were a resounding success and has manged to compile data that will go a long way in answering HIV related question in Zimbabwe.
By Michael Gwarisa In Kadoma
Speaking during the Final Workshop where data experts were presenti9ng their findings from the project, Mr Yoshiara said the project which was birthed by bilateral relations between the government of Zimbabwe and Japan had gone a long way in building capacity amongst health experts to help improve the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) side of doing business.
“Phase 2 of the project started in 2013 and an expert Mr Daisoku Kosugi would come frequently to facilitate the M&E training, workshops, supportive supervision and mentorship visits. This technical cooperation project was inititated upon the request by the government of Zimbabwe for bilateral assistance from the government of Japan, through JICA which is the implementing partner,” said Mr Yoshiara.
The capacity building collaboration’s aim is to help improve M&E across the country thereby improving the generation, dissemination and use of strategic information. The project was implemented in three phases with the first phase having commenced in 2008 up to 2011 in collaboration with other development partners supported initiative called the “HIV Monitoring, Evaluation and Strategic Information Curriculum for countries and Hyper-endemic HIV Epidemics in the Eastern and Southern African Region.”
“Phase 2 (2013-2015) saw the dispatch of an Expert Mr Kosugi, to facilitate and support implementation of regional capacity building training on common issues among six participating countries in the regional and specific or unique in country issues. Zimbabwe joined from this phase.
“Phase 3 was structured around enhancing outcomes of phase 1 and 2 by improving data quality, analysis and utilisation,” he said.
He added that the ministry of health managed to also train and appoint HIV.AIDS focal persons and M&E mentors from all provinces and districts. The data analysis and utilisation capacity at provincial and district pevel were for improving service delivery.
“For JICA, its mission completed all outcomes of the project were met but for ministry, the journey to demonstrate effectiveness and deliver results continues,” said Mr Yoshiara.
Meanwhile, the phase one of the project started with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. When Zimbabwe joined in the second phase, 14 National and Provincial officers participated in regional trainings in South Africa and were trained on advanced M&E course with participants from five countries.
233 people from all provinces and districts are also trained in-country training between 2013 and 2015. In phase three, the project was extended to Zimbabwe and Swaziland for two years. Focus of the phase three is on improving data quality analysis, demand and utilization at provincial and district levels.
All the country’s 10 provinces and 28 districts were reached in phase 3. 268 managers and officers from head office (8), provinces (74) and districts (186) were trained through training and mentorship visits and on-site trainings.