Community Capacity Enhancement

What is the project about?

      UNDP Namibia introduced Community Capacity Enhancement through community conversations (CCE-CC) in 9 regions of the country to increase community dialogue and participation in HIV & AIDS prevention, treatment care and support efforts. Photo - UNDP

Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) is a methodology for mobilizing communities to action while building trust, accountability and citizen participation. It is based on recognition that communities have the ability to care, change and sustain hope in the midst of major development challenges such as the current HIV epidemic. It is an approach that creates safe interactive spaces for facilitated conversations, reflections and applications based on relationships of trust and mutual respect. The approach was initiated in 2007 and is currently being integrated in 23 Local Authorities and 18 Civil Society Organizations. UNDP utilised this approach to facilitate a scale up of the national response through a process of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into development and planning process of Local Authorities and Regional Councils.

Objectives of the Project

  • Ensuring protection of residents within corresponding regions, constituencies and town council areas against HIV and AIDS infection
  • Coordinating HIV and AIDS prevention, care, support and impact mitigation activities in respective regions including those of the Government, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the private sector
  • Ensuring resource mobilization for regional and constituency AIDS responses through regional council budgeting procedures for multi sectoral activities as well as through adequate budgeting on regional level by each government sector, NGO and private sector businesses and
  • Planning, managing and implementing HIV and AIDS prevention, care, support, impact mitigation activities at regional and local authority levels.

What are the expected outcomes?

  • Political leaders at sub-national level have increased advocacy and funding for HIV and AIDS interventions
  • Community led interventions are operational and contributing to a reduction in HIV new infections.
  • Better understanding of community attitudes, culture that fuel the epidemic identified, understood and documented.
  • Communities are motivated and use innovative home grown interventions to address identified HIV concerns.
  • Community interventions integrated into the Local Authority, Civil Society and Regional Council responses.

What have we accomplish?

CCE has contributed to scaling up local responses through dialogue and community participation and community led interventions within Local Authorities (LA) and Regional Councils (RC). The approach further helped address the limited human and financial capacities within local communities through partnerships with other service providers. This initiative helped communities achieve some of their planned outcomes while stimulating individual and community reflection on values and attitudes contributing to transmission of HIV. The approach further supported conversations around cultural beliefs and practices that fuel HIV transmission in which issues relating to power dynamics within the context of gender were discussed at length. Other topics dominating the conversations were issues around stigma and discrimination, rights of people living with HIV&AIDS, cultural practices fuelling the epidemic, multiple partnerships, excessive alcohol intake, lack of skills and unemployment.

These issues were seen to be interlinked and contributing the community vulnerability to HIV. The approach further helped identify existing strengths relating to the social capital within implementing communities which ultimately contributed to increased participation in community led interventions. These interventions are mainly income generating activities such as gardening, harmer mill to grind grains for local communities, a boat to transport people from one side of the river to the other, brick making, livestock trade and chicken farming. The aim is to economically empower women with the view to reduce their vulnerability to transactional sex while ensure food securing to support treatment adherence.

Through community conversations, implementing communities realised that a lack of education leads to unemployment and poverty. This contributes to migration and ultimately to transactional sex rendering women and girls vulnerable to HIV and STIs. Hence the choice to engage in income generating projects as a means to address these vulnerabilities. They further realised that their vulnerability to transactional sex due to these circumstances was high and therefore require community action with support from government, private sector and CSO. To date, 23 LA and 18 CSO are integrating the approach in their community led programmes on HIV prevention, treatment care and support. 

Condom Use within Traditional Authority

The programme also made a huge contribution to in achieving acceptability of condom use within traditional settings. The picture on the right shows a demonstration of a female condom done at one of the Traditional Authorities for both men and women.

Who finances the project?

Funded by the UNDP TRAC Resources and the MDGF joint programme