Fulfilling reproductive rights for women affected by HIV
Trialling of the Monitoring Tool Fulfilling reproductive rights for women affected by HIV - a tool for monitoring achievement of Millennium Development Goals (prepared by Ipas, CHANGE, the Pacific Institute for Women's Health and ICW)
In 2004, Ipas, together with ICW, CHANGE and the Pacific Institute for Women's Health, developed a document called "Fulfilling reproductive rights for women affected by HIV: a tool for monitoring achievement of Millennium Development Goals". The tool provides some simple benchmarks and accompanying questions to contribute to assessments of whether progress is being made towards achieving two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in relation to reproductive health services for women affected by HIV/AIDS: MDG 5 on reducing maternal mortality and MDG 6 on combating HIV/AIDS.
In 2005 Ipas invited and supported a limited number of organisations to trial the tool locally in the countries in which they worked. ICW was able to take part in this project by combining the trial of the monitoring tool with a project to monitor the political commitments of governments of Lesotho and Swaziland in relation to factors affecting the lives of women living with HIV and AIDS. The benchmarks and accompanying questions developed in the tool were taken and adapted by ICW for use in this baseline survey, which was distributed to participants of the project in both the above-mentioned countries.
In November 2005 Ipas invited ICW to take part in a second round trial project. This time, Project Officers working in Botswana and Namibia took the lead on the development of the tools used for data collection, and on the data gathering itself, with support from Projects Monitoring Officer, Luisa Orza, based in the International Support Office in London. Both Project Officers are women living with HIV. Grace Sedio (Botswana) and Jeni Gatsi (Nambia) are ICW’s project leaders on the collaborative “Parliamentarians for Women’s Health” project to build the awareness, knowledge and capacity of parliamentarians to bring about policy change in women’s health issues, and building dialogue by linking the parliamentarians with positive women’s associations and civil society groups working on women’s health issues. The project also involves mapping existing health services and identifying gaps in services and women’s ability to access health services. In addition, in Namibia ICW is carrying out a separate treatment mapping project in collaboration with WHO and SIDACION. The trial of the monitoring tool, was easily able to be combined with these on-going projects, and the findings have been of benefit to those projects in terms of both procedural challenges / learning and outputs. The projects are mutually reinforcing and informing. The Ipas trial however is the only one to have a specifically reproductive rights focus, which will help to highlight issues around this area within the other two projects.
 This project was being carried out by a consortium of five organisations: The International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), The Centre for the Study of AIDS at Pretoria University (CSA), The International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW), the Ethical Global Initiative (EGI) and AWEPA. The project is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.