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Policy development and implementation is an important component in stemming the HIV and AIDS epidemic. To be effective in impacting the epidemic, policy development must be prioritised by national programmes, particularly as these relate to drafting national laws, policies, guidelines and standards. Within a country programme, managers often engage in lower level policy-making to operationalise the national approach. This lower level policy decision-making plays an important role in the effectiveness of national programming. Institutional policies can influence access or lack of access to services by vulnerable or marginalised groups and undermine nationally-stated goals and objectives if these are not reflective of articulated strategic priorities and values. Consequently, understanding a country’s policy framework, at all levels, is necessary to assess the adequacy of the response and the extent to which the epidemic is being targeted.
In many Caribbean countries, the development of written policies and protocols has lagged behind the promulgation of National Strategic Plans (Click to Download NSPs). The PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU) began a review of PANCAP Member Countries’ NSPs with a view to assessing them, including their alignment with the goals and objectives of the CRSF. (See Draft Preliminary Report).
PANCAP was formed in 2001 with the considered view that advocacy at the regional level plays an important role in supporting national efforts at policy development and implementation.
In this regard, key regional policy development initiatives over the past years have included:
- Development of a Model Workplace Policy.
- Development of a Model Condom Policy
- Legal Assessments of Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.
- Code of Practice for Psycho-Social Practitioners
- The Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework 2002 – 2006
- Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework 2008 – 2012
- Development of a Model Tourism Policy
The PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU) has also mobilised resources to support the development of NSPs. With funding from the World Bank regional policy studies (click to download studies) have been conducted in the fields of tourism; prevention; stigma and discrimination; access to medicines; and patent issues.
Within the context of achieving the goal of universal access, the current Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (CRSF) 2008 - 2012 has identified the agreed priority areas for policy advocacy at the regional level which have been identified by countries and partners.
Read more on policy development and initiatives undertaken in the six priority areas of the CRSF:
- Promoting an Enabling Environment
- Multisectoral Response
- Prevention of HIV Transmission
- Treatment, Care and Support
- Capacity Development
- Monitoring and Evaluation