Mozambique: Putting strategic information to work (February 2006)

The Emergency Plan recognizes the importance of strategic information, not only for accountability to the American people on what has been achieved against established targets, but also for program planning, advocacy, resource allocation decisions, and effective implementation. Reaching national consensus on where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is and where it is going is essential for planning, resource allocation, and evaluating results - yet such consensus is often lacking in the countries most affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Mozambique Multisectoral Technical Group (MTG) was formed in 1999 to advise the government on interpreting sentinel surveillance data on HIV prevalence and on improving data collection. The MTG includes broad representation from government agencies and others, and analyzes sentinel surveys, recommends changes to the surveillance system, and produces HIV/AIDS impact projections with internationally-recognized techniques. The U.S. Government (USG) has provided the technical and financial support that has been the driving force behind the MTG since its inception.

The strategic information generated by the MTG is discussed and approved in national consensus forums, involving national and international partners. MTG reports and analyses have been used as the most reliable sources of information about HIV prevalence and demographic impact. National advocacy groups and policy programs use MTG information for advocacy, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, and for programmatic purposes such as estimating the number of people to be covered by specific interventions.

At the national level, the data generated by the MTG is used to draw a picture of the national HIV/AIDS situation, and has been used to inform key policies and programs to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. This partnership - Emergency Plan funding, U.S. technical support, and strong leadership of Mozambican experts - has created a mechanism for the analysis and dissemination of HIV prevalence data and demographic impact. USG support for the work of the MTG has helped to provide the Mozambican government and civil society with a reliable and accurate source of data generation and analysis. In order to sustain and build capacity for analyzing and using improved data at more local levels, the national MTG has begun setting up provincial technical working groups that will help replicate the process throughout the country, broadening the availability and use of high quality strategic information in Mozambique.

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