Learning from the Community
What Community-Based Organizations Say About Factors that Affect HIV Prevention Programs
Forums for NetworkingThe CBO representatives sought opportunities to share their knowledge and experiences with other directly funded CBOs. Participants wished to gather together to share resources and problem solve, learning from other CBOs that face similar challenges. The CBO representatives suggested CDC provide more opportunities for funded CBOs to network and share strategies.
Relationship with CDCStaff explained a need for more consistency in the CDC program management staff, to enable more productive interactions. CBO staff also suggested implementing longer funding periods to allow for start up time and revisions to the intervention implementation. CBOs suggested changing the mechanism of payment to an electronic draw down system, as the current method is cumbersome and causes delays. CBOs asked for clear reporting requirements and expectations to facilitate a better dialogue with the CDC. Finally, CDC was encouraged to create systematic ways that CBOs could give anonymous feedback about the directly funded cooperative agreement program.
InterventionsMany of the CBO staff identified structural factors that affect their ability to implement their HIV interventions in their communities. CBOs have varied levels of understanding about how CDC can assist them in counteracting structural factors. The CBO staff requested more support to combat structural factors.
"If someone's homeless or a substance abuser or they're hungry, they're not going to think about risk reduction. That's not their top priority."
Productive CollaborationsCBOs suggested that the following characteristics of collaborations be supported by the CDC: formed voluntarily and include natural relationships; clearly defined responsibilities of each of the partners; CBOs involved have similar target populations; and ways to monitor and evaluate the collaboration are in place.
Technical AssistanceParticipants suggested that CDC create a user-friendly guide for CBOs to explain the various technical assistance resources available and how to access those resources. Common TA requests included how CBOs can collect and use evaluation data and assistance with referral tracking systems. A focus on qualitative rather than primarily quantitative data collection was requested. Furthermore, CDC was encouraged to allocate more funds for CBOs to provide TA to their own peer organizations.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.