South to South Learning in Jamaica Knowledge management approaches for effective learning exchange


In August 2017, the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Partnership held a face-to-face South-to-South Learning Exchange to Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), the only civil society organisation (CSO) providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) service delivery in the English-speaking Caribbean. The participating country teams, from The Bahamas, Barbados, and Guyana, were comprised of the National AIDS Programme Manager (NAP) and a CSO representative.

The aim of the exchange was to provide participants with the opportunity to learn how JASL has coordinated and collaborated with the Jamaican Ministry of Health and other CSOs in delivering comprehensive HIV services, including treatment, to key and vulnerable populations.

JASL's Role in the National Response

Since its inception twenty-five years ago, JASL has become the largest HIV/AIDS-focused, human rights, non-governmental organization (NGO), fighting against the spread of HIV in Jamaica. As a key implementing civil society partner of the Ministry of Health, JASL has expanded their work to include services focused on HIV education, prevention and linkage to and provision of care, treatment, care and support services, and advocacy for an enabling environment, all with the aim of preservation of human rights. JASL is also instrumental in rolling out activities targeted for key populations at risk for HIV.

Learning Exchange Event

The South to South Learning Exchange, which allows an organisation/host country that is successfully running a program to mentor and provide insight to participants, took place over a four day period and included a blend of didactic presentations and small group knowledge management (KM) techniques.

Didactic presentations from members of the JASL team. © Kathi Fox

The KM techniques used during the learning exchange were carefully selected based on the size of the group and the desire to provide a learning space where JASL could share their experience and visiting participants would have the opportunity to share their experiences. Throughout the exchange, the following KM techniques were used to generate knowledge sharing.

Learning exchange participants during the visioning board exercise. © Kathi Fox

Visioning board. Visually described the current status of and highlight the strengths and challenges around the 90-90-90 HIV treatment goals.

Pause and reflect. Provided opportunity to consider what participants had learned the previous day and briefly discuss key lessons they could apply to their local context.

Peer assist. Used to further understand the specific challenge each country team faced and to surface solutions from their peers.

Field visit. Observed a JASL community-based sex worker intervention.

A site visit to JASL's St Ann's Bay clinic. © Kathi Fox

Site visit. Experienced a day-long immersion into JASL's model of service delivery, understand how the services are organized, and interact with service providers.

Fishbowl. The exercise provided a space to understand the client's perspective of the services received from JASL. The clients shared their experiences being diagnosed, living with HIV, and shared how JASL's multidisciplinary support and services had made a considerable difference in their quality of life.

"I had never experienced a fishbowl experience...it was a closed fishbowl...so we couldn't interject as it was happening...I thought that that allowed the clients to share in a way that they might not have shared otherwise...That was powerful. I had never seen anything like that before." - NAP Manager, Barbados

After-action review. Provided a time for participants to reflect on the learning exchange as a whole and if it met pre-determined goals and expectations, discuss what went well, and what could be done better next time.

Action plan. Developed an action plan comprised of three to four short- to medium-term action items to be accomplished through joint planning and implementation by the CSO and NAP manager to deliver comprehensive HIV services, including treatment, to key and vulnerable populations.

During this action plan session, The Bahamas and Barbados committed to work hand in hand with their Ministry of Health to improve the capacity of CSO staff to deliver HIV testing services. The country teams also showed an overall commitment to continuing collaborations and conversations between the NAP managers and CSOs, in their work to achieve the 90-90-90 goals.

"You got to see the actual system in action. Most times when you go to an exchange they just sort of tell you about it, but the fact that we could actually go and visit the St Ann's location and see the lab and walk through the process and meet their team and really see how their collaboration and efforts play a huge part in each other's success. That was one of the most compelling parts of the whole experience...I wish that more exchanges like that were possible." - CSO Representative, SASH Bahamas
Learning exchange participants, host, and facilitator. © Kathi Fox

For more information about the South to South Learning Exchange, read the in-depth case study. For more information about service delivery approach of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), read the in-depth case study.

Learn more about the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP). Learn more about the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project.

This publication is made possible by the support of the American People through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project (AID-OAA-A-13-00068). The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, PEPFAR, USAID, or K4Health.

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