Policy and Strategic Framework
The development of national policy and programme frameworks are key instruments for achieving a unified approach to HIV/AIDS across the higher education sector and attaining greater equity among institutions.
As per the mandate to align the Policy Framework on HIV and AIDS for Higher Education in South Africa with the new 2012-2016 National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB (NSP), HEAIDS has developed the “Policy and Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS for Higher Education”.
There is a dynamic relationship between the national response and the higher education sector response, each of significance to the other. Given the age demographic of the higher education sector, its strategic place in society, as well as its vulnerability towards the pandemic, HEAIDS is positioned as a critical contributor to the NSP.
In addition to the need to align the Policy and Strategic Framework with the NSP, the Policy and Strategic Framework needs to account for the HEAIDS impact studies of 2009/2010 and, to provide a more practical guide to actual implementation.
The Framework has been developed on the basis of intensive consultations with an expert Reference Group, HEIs, stakeholder representatives and the Strategy Group.
The M&E Framework seeks to provide an understanding of the importance of M&E in assisting HEAIDS and HEIs in monitoring and evaluating performance Provide guidance on the utilization of M&E data across the different Higher Education stakeholders Develop clear M&E processes that will enable systematic collection, collation, processing, analysis and interpretation of data Describe the key data sources to be used to gather the necessary M&E data Provide a basis for decision-making on amendments and improvements to the Policy and Strategic Framework for HIV Promote accountability for resource use against strategic objectives by the different HEIs.
Core to the M&E Framework is the use of sector and institutional indicators that have been developed to enable measurement of the performance in the most critical areas of the Policy and Strategic Framework. The M&E Framework will firstly enable the ongoing monitoring and periodic evaluation of individual institutional HIV and AIDS programmes to ensure that it achieves its purpose as well as remaining updated, sustainable and relevant. Secondly, it will enable the HEI to report at a sector level against basic national sector level indicators on a regular basis.
The role of HEIs is crucial to developing and supporting this M&E Framework and the subsequent strengthening of the M&E systems. HEIs will be expected to provide substantive technical and financial support to ensure that the systems are functional. Whilst HEIs are expected to ensure that their reporting requirements and formats are aligned with the indicators outlined in the M&E framework, they are not required to duplicate reporting requirements but rather to synchronize efforts across the sector. HEIs are encouraged to utilize the harmonized data collection and reporting tools. This will assist in establishing the sector’s response.
A logic model provides the basic framework for M&E. In this regard a log frame has been drafted for institutional use. The rigorous implementation of this harmonised and standardised M&E system will enable HEAIDS and HEIs to translate the mandate of the Policy and Strategy Framework into tangible results to support ongoing planning, results monitoring and measurement.