The Clinic-CBO Collaboration (C3) Programme is a partnership between PATA and Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) to link health facilities and communities to deliver services together for improved PMTCT- paediatric case finding and HIV treatment. PATA and PACF have worked across nine countries and strengthened 36 community-clinic collaborations. Together, PATA and PACF have identified how transformative collaboration at a local level between community-based organisations (CBOs) and clinics can be to the health response. Thus PATA and PACF have developed a Clinic-Community Collaboration Toolkit and accompanying Be Connected e-learning course informed by the C3 programme’s successes and lessons learnt.
The toolkit was developed by Paediatric-Adolescent-Treatment Africa (PATA) and the Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF). PATA aims to mobilise and strengthen a network of frontline healthcare providers to improve paediatric and adolescent HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in sub-Saharan Africa.
Purpose of the Toolkit
The toolkit sets out to support clinics and CBOs to partner with each other. The toolkit provides a systematic approach and series of methodologies on how clinic-CBO partnerships can be built through shared projects, with the goal of expanding access to prevention, treatment and care for pregnant women, children and adolescents.
Key Principles of the Toolkit
This toolkit has been developed with the following underpinning principles in mind:
- Work with what you have: Many of us work in low or middle-income contexts, with limited staff and funding. Leverage the resources that are available to you, and build collaborative partnerships that are not necessarily dependent on additional funds
- Tailor strategies to your unique context: There is no one-size-fits-all approach or silver bullet. Each community is different in terms of its available resources, infrastructure, leadership systems and socioeconomic, political and cultural landscape. Your effectiveness will depend on your ability to leverage the strengths of your situation
- Lead the change: Whatever your role, you can influence what is closest to you
- Do what you can: While the toolkit outlines a gold standard process for collaboration, if you cannot complete all steps or aspects of a step, there is still value to be had in fulfilling those you can
- Collaborate: Working with others in your community is fundamental to accomplishing your objectives, especially when information and resources can be shared
- Participate: Collaboration requires partners to contribute to and invest in the relationship
- Integrate: Provide HIV and broader health services under the same roof, or through strong referrals and linkages. Integration and coordination can increase service access, uptake and retention as well as improve health outcomes
- Innovate: Be creative. Think up game changers for your context, and don’t wait for resources before you shift your practices
Who is the toolkit for?
The toolkit will be useful to those working at various levels within clinics and CBOs. This includes clinic managers, healthcare providers, CBO managers, youth leaders and community health workers. This is because relationships between clinics and CBOs can be built at different levels, although it is best when partnerships are supported by all relevant stakeholders.
The toolkit will be of interest to policymakers and programme managers, including district health management, national ministries of health, national and international NGOs and donors, as well UN agencies wanting to support collaboration between health systems and communities. This is because the toolkit’s principles are cross-cutting and apply at both local and national levels.
They have focused on low-resource settings and assumed that clinic-CBO collaborations will operate in the absence of supplementary resourcing, although dedicated funds will accelerate progress.