Using Data for Adaptive Management to Successfully Transition Programs
In 2021, USAID/Uganda issued guidance for the Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in Eastern Uganda (RHITES-E) Activity to transition program implementation to three local partners (locally registered nongovernmental organizations with current funding from USAID to implement PEPFAR programs) and Moroto Regional Referral Hospital, a government hospital receiving direct funding from USAID. RHITES-E’s transition from directly supporting service delivery to an above-site capacity building and technical assistance role in 30 districts has been challenging because of the significant adaptations necessary for a successful transition. A smooth transition was particularly important for HIV services, which already faced challenges related to low uptake of services. During transition activities, RHITES-E recognized that local partners were struggling to understand and report on key new PEPFAR indicators. To address this situation, RHITES-E’s leadership and management team used several collaborating, learning & adapting (CLA) components such as strategic collaboration, pause and reflect, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for learning to track progress of HIV program implementation, identify best practices, improve accountability, prompt problem identification, and put in place improvement actions to achieve a smoother transition. Through this process, RHITES-E intentionally collaborated with local partners, the USAID team, and district health representatives to learn through data-to-action pause and reflect sessions on PEPFAR implementation. Teams adapted proven technical practices to improve HIV services. The progress seen through this collaborative approach is a testament to the intentional use of CLA to register impact in a short time and navigate adaptive management to rapidly transition PEPFAR program implementation to local partners.
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