Thursday, July 13, 2006

Monitoring and Evaluation of Philippine HIV/AIDS Response

HAIN manages and coordinates the project "Strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System of the Philippine HIV/AIDS Response.” The Project started in January 2006 and will be implemented for one year in partnership with Health Development Initiatives Institute (HDII)) and is supported by the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) and the UNAIDS. The Project supplements and complements earlier efforts undertaken to put in place a comprehensive national Monitoring and Evaluation System for HIV/AIDS. [Photo: M&E Workshop in Tagaytay, March 16-17, 2006]

The M&E Project aims to achieve the following objectives:

1. Produce an M&E Plan for NGOs and pilot the NGO M&E plan in three sites
2. Introduce and install Country Response Information System (CRIS) in 10 M&E centers at the local level, three subnational and two national pilot sites
3. Create a Monitoring & Evaluation Harmonization and Implementation Plan in 10 local level sites.
4. Prepare a Resource Monitoring Plan and incorporate the plan into the overall M&E System
5. Set-up an integrated Research Plan for STI/HIV/AIDS
6. Set-up Quality Control measures for M&E

Upcoming activities:
HAIN will be conducting an M&E capability building training entitled “Data Management Training” for NGOs working on HIV and AIDS. Four trainings are set in July, August, and September 2006. Please contact HAIN for details and application.

Friday, July 07, 2006

UNICEF Published HAIN Study on Youth and HIV/AIDS

In 2005, HAIN conducted a study on the “Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior and Practices on HIV/AIDS among Filipino Youth and Health Workers”. This was project supported and was published this year by UNICEF.

The project aims to look at how today’s young people’s knowledge, attitude and behavior on SRH is influenced by other factors such as family relations, social influences, media exposure and involvement in non-sexual risk behaviors. It also looks at the delivery of reproductive health services to the youth, the availability and accessibility of youth-friendly services in health centers.

The data in this report serves as a baseline data and guide for UNICEF in designing HIV/AIDS and ARH programs and interventions in their selected sites.

The study covered 4111 youth and 216 health workers. The study was conducted in the National Capital Region (Quezon City, Pasay and Manila), Camarines Norte, Iloilo, Guimaras, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Davao, Maguindanao, Sarangani and Zamboanga.

The survey of youth aged 12-20 in the 12 UNICEF project sites brought up some interesting findings on the level of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of young people regarding HIV/AIDS, condom, their sexual practice and utilization of reproductive health services.

Knowledge of HIV, AIDS and condom increases with age, and is high among those with high education and in school adolescents. Sixteen percent of youths in the survey are sexually active. More young people from the major urban cities have engaged in sex. The sexual activities include oral sex, anal sex, penetrative sex and same-sex sex. Condom use however is still low among sexually active youth. Results also show that younger youth are likely to use condom the first time, and this improved slightly with higher number of older youth using condom in their last sexual episode.

Similarly, the youth survey also found that there is greater confidence among young women to negotiate for condom use and decide on the timing and choice of their sexual partner, as well as discussing sexual issues with health service providers. This is a good indication that young people, especially the girls are becoming aware of their rights as regards information on sex related issues.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The 6th Religion, Gender & Sexuality Workshop

Twenty three Reproductive Health advocates attended the 6th Religion, Gender & Sexuality Workshop at the Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center in Antipolo City on July 21-24, 2006.

This training workshop dealt with religion and its effect and impact on the popular perceptions of gender and sexuality in the Philippines. In a predominantly Roman Catholic country such as the Philippines, the church poses as a major block in population and reproductive health work, particularly in developing programs and policies in support to these causes.

The workshop aimed to give participants tools for discernment so Catholics can make informed decisions about gender and sexuality-related issues, including family planning, abortion and homosexuality. At the same time, the workshop served as a venue for RH advocates to be able to reconcile their personal faith with their work.

Most of the workshops came from the National Capital Region aside from the four delegates from Bicol Region and two from CAR. The first five workshops were conducted by HAIN in 2005. This was the first time HAIN conducted RGS workshop with participants belonging from different religious denominations. The first five were exclusively for Catholic RH advocates only.


Most LGU officials do not or can not do their job of keeping our food safe

By Likha Cuevas
The Manila Times, July 2, 2006

National laws exist to promote food safety and penalize violations of food-safety regulations. Cabinet departments have large budgets and laddered layers of bureaucrats and personnel assigned to do their food-safety tasks in regional, provincial and municipal offices all over the archipelago.

Ultimately, however, the job of ensuring the safety of foods bought and eaten by the people is not only that of the national government but of city, town and barangay officials.

Sadly, few of them are able to do this job thoroughly and well.

Some LGU officials claim that they have food-safety measures in place to protect their constituents. Under Sanitation Code, LGUs require health and sanitation certificates—issued by the local health service—before giving food handlers and vendors permits to operate. They require handlers and vendors to give urinary and sputum samples, undergo drug tests and medical checkup.

Dr. Raquel Sosayo, Caloocan City health officer, said the city government also requires vendors and food handlers to attend the training sessions it gives before releasing the sanitary permits.

“We also go around the school canteens and inspect ambulant vendors around schools to ensure they do not serve the children unsanitary food,” she said. “We really cannot eliminate street vendors, because the act would have economic repercussions on them and the whole city.”

Quezon City also inspects the premises of applicants for permits. Dr. Antoineta Inumerable, head of the city health department, said her office also conducts food safety seminars for managers and workers of food establishments and factories but “only once.”

HAIN held Strategic Communications Workshop

The Strategic Communication workshop aims to build RH organizations’ capacity to plan for and use strategic communications to advance their program goals. This workshop adopts the Spitfire Strategies (

HAIN is offering this interactive training workshop as part of our ongoing commitment to promote effective education and advocacy on population and reproductive health issues in the Philippines. Over the two-day workshop, participants learn how to use the "Smart Chart" to enrich their communications approach.

The first workshop was held at the Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center (Meralco Foundation) in Antipolo City on May 19-20, 2006. This first workshop was facilitated by Kristen Grimm and Gwyn Hicks of the Spitfire Communications, a communications consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Twenty three participants attended the workshop, 10 of whom were from Metro Manila, two from Luzon, 10 from the Visayas and one from Mindanao. The participants were all involved in RH issues and advocacy activities.

A Train-the-Trainer workshop was also held on April 21 among 10 selected participants to further build the collective capacity of Smart Chart trainors in the Philippines. This session helped strengthened the training skills of the participants.

A series of echo workshops will be held in other parts of the country to enhance strategic communications of other RH advocates. For more information and inquiries, please contact HAIN.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Issue of HA-AP: Communicating for Advocacy: An Agent for Social Change

This issue of Health Alert Asia Pacific showcases the achievements of the Communicating for Advocacy Project (CFA) as summarized in the declaration of unity which all the partners agreed during the CFA Plenary held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September 2005. This issue also talks about testaments of four advocates that illustrate what an empowered population can do to effect meaningful changes in their communities. Their stories put a human dimension to the seemingly abstract achievement of CFA.

The CFA project started in 2002 by four non-governmental organizations – Healthlink Worldwide, UK, Health Action Information Network, Philippines, Cambodia Health Education Median Services, and the Social Assistance and Rehabilitation of the Physically Vulnerable, Bangladesh.

The project aims to provide a venue where community groups and individuals can develop their capacity to influence practice and policy change. It also aims to develop capacity for information exchange and skills transfer by health and development agencies.

As the first phase of the CFA project drew to a close, it is important to look back at the gains that have been achieved in the past three years. The key and core partners demonstrated diverse learning experiences in advocacy. At the same time, all the partners carried out their own advocacy works that resulted in actual changes.

The success of the CFA may be attributed to its framework – that advocacy must be people-centered and rights-based. This empowered the people, allowing them to speak for themselves and make a difference.

The project itself may be over, but its relevance remains. The next challenge therefore is to set the direction of advocacy; to put it in its proper context. After all, where the project ends, the real work begins.

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