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A community of practice for facilitating response to critical health and development issues
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What we offer

The following questions about AFFIRM are answered below:

Who might want help from AFFIRM?

Any person or organisation aiming to strengthen their work with HIV, AIDS, Ebola or other critical issues.

AFFIRM has long experience of working with communities. We can assist organisations that have programmatic aims such as:

Those organisations include international, national and local NGOs, other international bodies, religious groups, government departments etc. AFFIRM has a particular interest in working with faith organisations and interfaith initiatives. AFFIRM facilitators are especially experienced in working with responses to HIV and AIDS.

Why would an organisation want AFFIRM to work with them?

AFFIRM facilitators have significant experience of facilitating a human capacity for response approach (HCR) in relation to HIV and other issues critical to communities. Many organisations understand the importance of community leadership and want to work actively with the communities they serve, but this can be daunting. Communities may seem hard to reach, or it may seem impossible to get beyond barriers such as stigma or fear which seem to block the way to working together. Developing human capacity for response creates an environment in which the community and the organisation can learn together to make change happen and to sustain and build on existing community strengths. Experience of this process has shown that it is more sustainable and effective than straightforward community consultation, or community participation in a pre-determined strategy and programme.

What does AFFIRM do?

A team of AFFIRM facilitators works closely with the organisation/person to plan an appropriate HCR approach. The AFFIRM team facilitates a process over time to enable the organisation and the community to work together to sustain action and change. The exact process depends on the specific situation but includes:

How long would it take?

AFFIRM would normally expect to be involved over some time: building a community partnership and facilitation teams involves more than a one-off meeting. A period of around two years would be planned, which would include a workshop and several visits during which the AFFIRM team would accompany local team members as they develop their own responses and actions. After this initial period, AFFIRM facilitators would be available for follow-up support visits. A sustained and supported process means that learning is accumulated and absorbed by both individuals and organisations.

What effect would this have?

When an organisation rediscovers the strength and potential capacity of the communities it serves or works with, this realisation can transform the way in which the organisation works. By engaging actively in a shared learning experience, the organisation triggers a sustained process of learning and renewal. People who come to this kind of work often find a renewed enthusiasm; and they discover the advantages of working within teams and being accountable to close team mates. The positive approach of facilitators reinforces a sense of joint achievement with participants from organisations and communities.

AFFIRM facilitators working with HIV have identified some specific effects:

Some of these effects are clearly applicable to other critical issues in communities, such as endemic drug and alcohol abuse, natural disasters and conflict.

What would it entail for the organisation or person requesting AFFIRM’s involvement?

What would it cost?

Costs depend on specific situations, but we estimate that implementing this approach in a district setting of 100,000 people over two years would cost approximately $200,000. The aim would be to stimulate a response from every neighbourhood in the district, and create a sustained partnership between organisations and neighbourhood communities.

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