INCORPORATING HIV/AIDS CONSIDERATIONS INTO THE PROJECT CYCLE
The impact that HIV/AIDS is having on livelihoods deserves the full attention of project managers. It is not unusual for projects to fail to anticipate - or to ignore altogether - the specific needs and constraints generated by the epidemic. Development projects are thus rendered ineffective or even become irrelevant when the full impact of the epidemic surfaces. It is therefore crucial that HIV/AIDS considerations are systematically incorporated into project cycle management.
The process of project development and implementation more or less follows a standard sequence of steps. It is most effective to consider HIV/AIDS-related issues at the start of the project cycle. The identification of HIV/AIDS as an existing and/or future constraint to achieving nutrition and food security during project identification ensures that HIV/AIDS will be incorporated in project interventions. In practice, however, the impacts of the epidemic are not usually considered until the appraisal stage. Here, the sustainability of interventions is assessed, and it is often found - particularly in areas where prevalence rates are already high or rising - that HIV/AIDS-related sickness and death will play a major role in reducing human resource capacity and the ability to implement future activities. Regardless of whether a project has been designed to address the impacts of the epidemic, the mid-term review provides the opportunity to evaluate whether the consequences of HIV/AIDS are inhibiting the project from achieving its objectives. In turn, an assessment can be made of how successful the project has been in supporting HIV/AIDS-affected households.
The following tool sheets are designed to help project managers and staff reflect upon HIV/AIDS issues within the context of their work. They provide a list of key questions to ask during each stage of the project cycle, and practical suggestions and tools for incorporating HIV/AIDS-related concerns. Some of the key questions may also be adapted for use as simple indicators during monitoring and evaluation.