Walking the Talk: Standards for Technical Excellence to Improve HIV Services in Nigeria
The Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), aims to sustain HIV and TB care and treatment services in five states in Nigeria. In October 2017, the CaTSS team found themselves tasked with achieving ambitious results in a short period of time with limited resources. The lack of a simple and systematic approach to adaptive management kept them from critically reflecting on their performance and making necessary course corrections. CaTSS therefore implemented MSH’s Standards of Technical Excellence for Project Implementation (STE), which establishes and reinforces best practices in project management on the basis of a dynamic process of continuous learning and improvement. CaTSS teams assessed their performance across seven categories and outlined priority actions to address gaps and strengthen the project’s performance. Under the category of “learning and adapting,” the CaTSS team implemented MSH's Lessons Learned Practical Application (LLPA) approach, which identified the importance of facility staff being able to access real-time and up-to-date information on patients to support clinical profiling. As a result, CaTSS has been intensely implementing electronic medical records systems at all comprehensive care and treatment sites that it supports, contributing to improved data accuracy and data for decision making throughout the country. By applying the STE and LLPA approaches, CaTSS is “walking the talk” of adaptive management to enhance its technical work and fulfill the project's potential for excellence.