Co-organised by UNESCO’s regional team on HIV and AIDS based in Johannesburg and the Section on HIV and AIDS at UNESCO HQ, the workshop aimed to support new staff in implementing the UNAIDS initiative – EDUCAIDS – in their region. Representatives from the regional UNAIDS and UNICEF offices also participated and led certain sessions.
The workshop had a focus on support for planning and implementation of a 2-year programme funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for supporting comprehensive education sector responses to HIV and AIDS through EDUCAIDS in 17 countries in East and Southern Africa. It offered an opportunity for new UNESCO staff to fully understand their role in the areas of advocacy, coordination, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), planning and resource mobilisation for the education sector response to HIV and AIDS.
The workshop combined theory and practice in a highly participatory and interactive manner. The participants actively reflected on and internalised the new tools developed by UNESCO such as the Practical Guidelines for supporting EDUCAIDS Implementation; Strategic plan for promoting and supporting EDUCAIDS implementationM&E framework for EDUCAIDS – and used them to finalise their country workplans.
All the participants said that the workshop was useful for them because it provided practical information and support on areas relevant to their work: “It was very relevant and helpful to address effectively lots of the dimensions of our work”; “It provided useful information based on our everyday work”; “It makes the picture clearer. I see my role emerging in a much more meaningful way”. According to participants, the workshop methodology and the contents helped create a team spirit for staff in the region: “It was a critical workshop in working towards building a strong team striving towards attaining the same standards”.