BACKGROUND: The USAID-funded Building Resilience project, an OVC initiative in the Dominican Republic, focuses on Haitian Migrants and their descendants, targeting households with at least one member living with HIV. This family-centered community-based project operates across six provinces, implemented by four local sub-partners. It Offers tailored services in health, protection, education, and stability through a comprehensive case management. A community Led Monitoring (CLM) was designed to add the voices of the priority population and community case workers (CCW) to drive and influence service delivery priorities, quality and address services gaps relative to their needs.
DESCRIPTION: The pilot was implemented, from September to December 2023, and involved: Introduction and Planning of CLM activities, Formation of the Community Committee, Discussion Groups/Interviews, and Presentation of Results. During the Planning phase, key stakeholders and sub-partners staff convened to discuss program objectives and schedule, sign confidentiality agreements, and facilitate the selection of CLM committee participants. The Committee included: Caregivers, adolescents, CCW, Supervisors, M&E, and the project coordinator. The Discussion Groups/Interviews phase was organized into three groups: Caretakers, adolescents, and CCW.
LESSONS LEARNED: The CLM pilot underscore the value of inclusive participation, adaptability to local contexts, inter-partner collaboration and learning, Capacity building through CLM and Community-Centric Data Gathering, particularly when working with such a highly vulnerable population. The pilot´s 84% participation rate highlighted the importance of involving community members and CCW in the project´s monitoring activities and decision-making. Partners collaboration brough unique perspectives, enabling a better understanding of regional variations in challenges and needs, this fostered a more tailored and context-specific approach to addressing HIV/AIDS concerns. By involving beneficiaries and CCW, valuable skills were developed, enhancing their ability to contribute actively to future community-led initiatives and ensures that the information collected is closely tied to the priorities and concerns of the targeted population.
CONCLUSIONS: The application of CLM across all provinces is the next step to solidify these findings and refining the methodology for future implementations, a mixed communication method could be explored, including face-to-face, telephone and suggestion boxes. This initiative will reduce implementation costs, improve execution time, and maintain high-quality data with a minimal learning curve.