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    HIV/AIDS Learning Workshop for Senior Staff of UN Agencies Toward AIDS Competency

    (Intercontinental Hotel, Asmara,

    28-29 May 2004)

    Workshop Report

    June 2004


     1The UNAIDS office in Eritrea conducted at the end of 2003 a case study to document the experience

    and lessons learned from the Eritrea United Nations HIV/AIDS “Caring for Us” Program, established in late 2000. Several of the recommendations included in the case study aimed at strengthening the commitment and support from Management of UN agencies for HIV/AIDS workplace activities, including through appropriate training targeted at senior staff.

    Hence, the HIV/AIDS Learning Team (HALT) during its meeting of 28 January 2004 proposed the following Workplan for 2004, subsequently approved by the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS during its special meeting of 29 January 2004:

    ; Disseminate the case study “United Nations HIV/AIDS Caring for Us Program: The Case of


    ; Organize and conduct an HIV/AIDS and Development Workshop for Senior Staff of UN


    ; Finalize and disseminate the Guidelines for Access to ARV Treatment for UN Staff and their

    Families in Eritrea.

    ; Organize and conduct a Refresher one-week Training Course for UN HIV/AIDS Learning

    Facilitators (Peer Leaders trained in 2003).

    ; Translate into Tigrigna, print and disseminate the revised UN Booklet on “AIDS and HIV 2Infection, Information for United Nations Employees and Their Families”.

    ; Organize an HIV/AIDS Learning Fair for staff and dependents of UN agencies and other

    interested organizations members of the HALT team.

    Agreement to hold the workshop on 28-29 May 2004 was reached during the Monthly Meeting of Heads of Agencies held on 3 March 2004.

    Following that decision, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator held consultations with the Chair of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS as well as the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator to discuss the best use of time allocated for the workshop (one day and a half) and the availability of the UNICEF Human Resources Officer, HIV/AIDS in the Workplace (Martina Clark), thanks to an invitation made by the Representative of the UNICEF office in Eritrea. To take advantage of her experience with the UNICEF “Caring for Us” Program, her visit was organized to coincide with the planned learning


    Taking into account current level of understanding about HIV/AIDS among senior staff of UN agencies, as well as level of commitment, it was decided to use this opportunity to introduce the self- assessment framework for AIDS competence, a tool piloted since one year by the UNITAR/UNAIDS AIDS Competence Program. It was deemed the best possible use of time allocated for the training, since it would lead to the identification of gaps in AIDS competence among UN agencies in Eritrea, and facilitate the setting of clear targets for the future and identification of activities to reach these targets.

    To better get prepared for the exercise, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator used its participation to the UNAIDS Global Staff Meeting in Geneva to consult with colleagues about the best ways to use the Self-Assessment Framework for AIDS Competence with a UN Country Team.

     1 United Nations HIV/AIDS Caring For Us Program: The Case of Eritrea, UNAIDS Eritrea, February 2004. 2 Living in World with HIV/AIDS Information for employees of the UN system and their families, UNAIDS,

    April 2004.



     2.1 Facilitators and participants

    The facilitation team was composed of Ms. Martina Clark, Human Resources Officer, HIV/AIDS in the Workplace, UNICEF, New York and Mr. Dominique Mathiot, UNAIDS Country Coordinator for Eritrea.

    The Workshop was attended by 33 representatives from ten UN agencies, including UNAIDS and the United Nations Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). The group was gender-balanced with 16 females and 17 males. Participants were nominated by their respective agencies on the basis of the following criteria: up to four participants per agency, i.e. head & deputy head, or deputy head & senior program officer, HIV/AIDS technical focal person (member of the Technical Working Group) and HIV/AIDS personnel focal person member of the HIV/AIDS Learning Team (see complete list

    in Appendix 1).

2.2 Goals and expected outcomes

The workshop had three main goals:

    1) To strengthen the commitment and capacity of senior management of UN agencies to support

    HIV/AIDS programs in the workplace.

    2) To build the competence of UN agencies and its senior staff to respond to HIV/AIDS. 3) To develop strategies for promoting and building AIDS competency among international and

    national implementing partners involved in the national response to HIV/AIDS, especially public

    institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based organizations.

It was expected that the workshop would produce the following outcomes:

    1) Participants will have an increased knowledge and understanding of the nature of the HIV/AIDS

    epidemic, of the current situation in Eritrea and its potential impact on the development of the

    nation at all levels.

    2) The UN Country Team will have assessed its competence in responding to HIV/AIDS and made

    plans for each agency to carry out the self-assessment individually.

    3) Finally, the UN Country Team will have developed a draft workplan and strategies to:

    a) Strengthen its current HIV/AIDS learning strategy;

    b) Build AIDS competency within each agency participating in the HIV/AIDS Learning Team


    c) Promote AIDS competency among international and national implementing partners involved

    in the national response to HIV/AIDS.

2.3 Programme

The detailed programme followed during the training course (see Appendix 2) was prepared by the

    UNAIDS Country Coordinator with inputs from UNICEF Human Resources Officer, HIV/AIDS in the Workplace.

     stIt was divided in three main half-a-day sessions. The 1 half-a-day session, entitled “Living in a

    World with HIV/AIDS” was opened by a few remarks from the UN Resident/Humanitarian


    Coordinator, Mr. Simon R. Nhongo, who set the context for the workshop by remembering participants of the Global frameworks and initiatives guiding HIV/AIDS in the UN Workplace such


; The “UN Personnel Policy on HIV/AIDS” (1991).

    ; The “Secretary General’s Bulletin: Policy on HIV/AIDS in the workplace” (ST/SGB/1003/18,

    December 2003).

    ; The “Guidance Note on Operationalizing a Strengthened UN System Response to HIV/AIDS at

    Country Level”, letter from Mark Malloch Brown to UN Country Teams (November 2003).

    ; The “United Nations Learning Strategy on HIV/AIDS” (April 2003).

    ; “Living in a World with HIV/AIDS: Information for employees of the UN system and their

    families” (May 2004).

    ; Website on HIV/AIDS in UN workplace (scheduled for June 2004).

    He also mentioned Agency-specific initiatives currently in place, notably: Caring for Us (UNICEF and UNFPA); We Care (UNDP); ACTION (Joint Medical Services and UNAIDS); World Bank and WFP. In some counties like Eritrea, these initiatives have been consolidated into a single UN-wide program, moving closer to the idea of “UN Cares.” He then reviewed some of the key facilitating

    factors in moving forward on initiatives related to HIV/AIDS in the UN workplace, such as leadership, the global framework and initiatives mentioned above, interagency planning, committed individuals and well documented case studies as the one carried out by the UNAIDS office in Eritrea at the end of 2003. In this regard, he mentioned that the Eritrea experience is already considered a best practice, and might be presented at the next meeting of UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO). He concluded by urging participants to fully participate to the workshop, the first of its kind organized especially for senior staff of UN agencies.

    Following these opening remarks, participants had an opportunity to brainstorm their expectations about the training course (see complete List of Expectations in Appendix 3). There was a general

    consensus that expectations from the participants would be met through the proposed programme.

    Main activities for this first session included the showing by Martina Clark of the UNICEF video “Caring for Us – HIV/AIDS in Our Workplace” and presentation by Dr. Andeberhan Tesfazion,

    Director of the National HIV/AIDS/STI and TB Control Division (NATCoD) of the Ministry of Health, on the “Current Status of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Eritrea” (see in Appendix 4). Both the

    video and the presentation generated a lot of questions from participants and discussion with the facilitators and succeeded in setting the context for the rest of the workshop.

    In particular, during the question and answer period that followed the video, the participants raised very personal issues that highlighted that they were concerned about HIV not only as a program issue but indeed for their own lives. Questions were drawn from a combination of anonymous VIPP cards collected immediately after the video and open discussion among participants. This session was linked to a voluntary and anonymous questionnaire (see Appendix 5) about personal awareness,

    which highlighted the fact that we may all find ourselves at risk, at various points in our lives, regardless of race or education level. Results of the survey, presented to the participants at the beginning of the following session, and referred to throughout the rest of the workshop, served to underline that none of us are immune and that, indeed, those of us in the UN who travel so much, are under a great deal of stress and are so frequently separated from our families and support systems, may be at higher risks than even those populations whom we serve. The open, honest dialogue generated from this exercise ensured that the messages were heartfelt and not mere rhetoric or politically correct 'lip service'.

     ndThe 2 half-a-day session was entirely devoted to the self-assessment of AIDS competence exercise. Main objective of the session was to give participants an opportunity to understand and utilize the tool, and secure their commitment to conduct again the exercise with all the staff of their respective


    agencies at a later date. Because some agencies had only one or two representatives to the workshop, or had already conducted the exercise (e.g. UNICEF), they were asked to work together (e.g. UNHCR/UNFPA/UNICEF, or UNAIDS/UNMEE/WHO). This report does not include the “River of Life” and “Stairs” diagrams generated by the results from the groups, since each agency committed itself to redo the exercise before the end of July with a broader representation of their staff.

     rdThe main objective of the 3 half-a-day session was to give an opportunity to participants, on the

    basis of the self-assessment conducted the day before, to brainstorm strategies and make a concrete workplan to strengthen and further develop their respective agencies’ HIV/AIDS in the workplace programs and to promote AIDS competency within our implementing partners. To set the stage for group work, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Mr. Dominique Mathiot, made a presentation on the “Three Ones and Current Support of the UN in Eritrea to the National Response” (see Appendix 6).

    Participants discussed and challenged the proposed work plans during the plenary. They also agreed upon a set of recommendations to the UN Country Team.

    The Chair of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS, Dr. Charlotte Gardiner, closed the workshop. In her closing remarks she thanked the facilitation team for the excellent job done and strongly reaffirm the commitment of the Theme Group and UN Country Team to follow up on the recommendations made during the workshop.

2.4 Evaluation

The workshop evaluation report demonstrates that participants were generally very or even highly

    satisfied with the learning workshop as a whole. Respondents came up with a number of very good suggestions for follow-up and future learning activities, which will be discussed by the UN Country Team and/or UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in due course (see Appendix 7 for details).


3.1 UN Agencies’ Work Plans following the Self-Assessment of AIDS Competence


    The main outcome of the workshop is that all participating agencies prepared a work plan based on the results of the self-assessment for AIDS competence exercise. Details about the proposed work plans can be found in Appendix 8. All participants understood that these plans would be revisited after each agency had the opportunity to go through the self-assessment again, with the participation of all their staff (see 3.3 below).

3.2 Comments on the Self-Assessment of AIDS Competence tool

    Following the self-assessment for AIDS competence exercise, participants came up with the following comments or suggestions on the tool:

; Why not HIV/AIDS competency?

    ; We should consider separating care and prevention (two different competencies) to better know

    where we are regarding each.

    ; For sequential work planning, would make better sense if competency no 5 (Vulnerability) would

    come before competency no 3 (Care & Prevention).


    ; In the tips for facilitators, we need to better clarify whether the exercise is conducted vis-à-vis our

    workplace program or our programs on HIV/AIDS (internal vs. external?).

    ; There is a need to better clarify /explain the matrix. We need 3 to 4 clear indicators for achieving

    each competency.

    ; We also need to clarify if all competencies are HIV-specific (obviously the first 5 are) or if some

    are organizational (for example, are we assessing the organization’s capacity in terms of Learning

    & Transfer or Measuring Change vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS-related issues or in general?). ; Suggest for one rapporteur in each group to keep the matrix and use highlighters of different

    colors to mark boxes corresponding to the agreed-upon current level of AIDS competence and


3.3 UN Country Team Commitment / Recommendations

    Finally, at the end of the plenary during which agencies shared their respective work plans, the following commitment / recommendations for the UN Country Team were agreed upon:

a) Conduct the Self-Assessment of AIDS Competence in all agencies by the end of July 2004

    (UNDP: 23 June; UNHCR: to be confirmed; UNFPA: 15 June; FAO: to be confirmed; OCHA: to

    be confirmed; WFP: June or July; WHO: mid July; UNAIDS: June; UNMEE: June; World Bank:

    to be confirmed).

    b) Finalize the Draft “Guidelines for access to ARV treatment for UN staff and their families in

    Eritrea” by the end of June 2004 – current draft, after Martina Clark‟s have been incorporated by

    the UCC, will be circulated by the end of the week to members of the UN Medical Technical

    Committee for final review and submission to HoAs at the next monthly meeting.

    c) Ensure participation of a representative of all agencies to the HALT meetings (HIV/AIDS in the

    workplace focal persons appointed /held accountable).

    d) Ensure participation of a representative of all agencies to the TWG meetings (HIV/AIDS

    technical focal persons appointed/held accountable).

    e) Effective participation of all UN agencies to the HIV/AIDS Learning Fair planned for Sunday 28

    November 2004.



    Appendix 1

    List of Participants

     Agency Name of Participant Title

    1. Mr. Fillipo Fossi Associate Professional Officer 2. Ms. Temertza Zego Programme Secretary FAO

    3. Ms. Yodit Michael Secretary of the Representative 4. Mr. Musa Bungudu Head of OCHA Office 5. Ms. Freweini Zerai ICC Manager OCHA 6. Mr. Sirak Ghebrehiwot Information Officer 7. Mr. Amadu Alex Filed Liaison Officer 8. Ms. Semret Amanuel Admin. Assistant UNAIDS 9. Ms. Flora Bertizzolo Intern

    10. Mr. Simon R. Nhongo UN Res/Humanitarian Coordinator/UNDP


    11. Ms. Abeba Bockrestion Executive Assistant UNDP 12. Mr. Habte G/her Programme Analyst 13. Mr. Michael T.Medhin Programme Associate 14. Mr. Michael Araya Information Assistant 15. Dr. Charlotte Gardiner Representative/ UN Theme Group Chair UNFPA 16. Ms. Yodit Ghebray Personnel Assistant 17. Ms. Pirjo Dupuy Representative

    18. Mr. Christian Koch Deputy Representative UNHCR 19. Ms. Lemlem Tewolde Admin. Assistant 20. Mr. Mohammed Dualeh Head of Sub Office (Barentu) 21. Mr. Christian Balslev-Olesen Representative

    22. Mr. Yutaka Kikugawa HIV/AIDS Coordinator UNICEF 23. Mr. Temesghen Araya Programme Officer on HIV/AIDS 24. Ms. Tighisti Mehreteab Programme Assistant 25. Mr. Mamadou Mbaye Country Director a.i. 26. Ms. Hildegard Tuttinghorf Programme Officer 27. Ms. Jennifer Bitonde Programme Officer WFP

    28. Ms. Zeneb Habte Programme Officer 29. Mr. Haile Ghebru Programme Officer 30. Dr. Yohannes Ghebrat Disease Prevention and Control Advisor WHO

    31. Ms. Agnes Asekenye-Oonyu D/OSRSG

    32. Mr. Michel Munywoki HIV/AIDS Policy Officer UNMEE

    33. Ms. Nicola Koch Special Assistant to DSRSG


    Appendix 2


    (28-29 May 2004, Hotel Intercontinental, Asmara)

    - Agenda -

    Friday 28 May Saturday 29 May

    8:00 am 8:30 am

    Opening remarks Support of the UN to the National Response:

    (UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator) How to build AIDS Competency within our 8:15 am implementing partners and ourselves?

    Overview of Workshop Goals and Objectives “The Three-Ones” and Current Support of

    the UN in Eritrea to the national response 8:30 am

    (Presentation by UCC) Living in a World with HIV/AIDS

     “Caring for Us” HIV/AIDS in our The Way Forward”: Workplan and

    Workplace (a video from UNICEF) strategies to strengthen our HIV/AIDS in

     Current status of the HIV epidemic in the workplace programs and build AIDS

    Eritrea (Presentation by NATCoD Director) competency within our implementing

    partners and ourselves

    (Group work)


    10:30 am 10:30 am

    Group work (cont’d) Living in a World with HIV/AIDS (cont’d)

     U and AIDS a Personal Awareness

    Survey (Questionnaire)

     Panel Discussion 11:30 am

    (Q&A) Plenary

     (Discussion and adoption of workplan)

     12:00 pm

    Closing remarks LUNCH (Chair, UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS)

     2:00 pm

    Self-Assessment of AIDS Competence A

    Human Capacity Development Framework




    Self-Assessment of AIDS Competence



5:30 pm

    Closing of Work Day


    Appendix 3

List of Expectations from Participants

    ; Increased commitment [of UN agencies / senior management] ; Better knowledge on how to support colleagues ; How to make it my issue (internalize)

    ; Learn from one another individuals, agencies, resource person ; Integrate [mainstream] HIV/AIDS into programmatic work ; Learn more

    ; Know where we are

    ; UN strategy in Eritrea make a clear plan of action ; Increased competence / capacity

    ; How to create openness, [address] denial ; Learn more about staff benefits

    ; Learn how to share with colleagues

    ; Increased awareness

    ; Find s simple language to transfer this knowledge ; Increased awareness of senior management


    Appendix 4

    Current Status of HIV/AIDS In Eritrea 1.Status of the Epidemic

    2.Behavioral Information

    3.Impact of the National Response4.Challenges for the future


    1. Status of the HIV/AIDS EpidemicGlobally:

    Identified in 1980,

    Most important epidemic in the modern era.

    Over 60 millionare infected withHIV/AIDS

    > 20 million people have died of AIDS

    About 40 million people are currently living with the virus

    Approximately 70% of these live in sub-Saharan Africa.HIV is transmitted in only three ways:

    Unprotected sexual intercourse

    Blood or blood products

    Infected mother to her child


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