Capacity Building

Increasing local capacity is a central focus of Advancing Partners & Communities (APC). Through targeted assistance, APC prepares organizations to receive USAID funds and implement successful programs. APC’s capacity-building approach includes strengthening organizations’ ability to comply with USAID regulations, identifying issues and challenges to determine innovative solutions, strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems, and supporting learning for community-based family planning and other health approaches. This level of capacity building will help ensure the sustainability and scalability of community-based approaches.

Photo credit: Arne Hoel/World Bank

Below you will find links to resources created by APC and other organizations.

APC Resources

Photo Journal - Community Engagement, Stories Of Change: Sustaining Health Facility Improvements Program
July 2019 | Photo Gallery

APC's Sustaining Health Facility Improvements (SHFI) program in Sierra Leone aims to engage communities, health service providers, and district authorities in building better systems, structures, and processes for conducting maintenance and preventive maintenance of health facilities by mobilizing community and government resources to fund it. This booklet provides stories of the work the FMCs and their communities have done, as they devote their time, resources, and energy to maintaining and improving their community PHUs.

Working Together: Population, Health, and Environment in Madagascar
July 2019 | Video

In Madagascar, through APC and the USAID Community Capacity for Health (Mahefa Miaraka) programs, work was done in several communities to showcase population, health, and environment methods and practices. This short film takes you to the village of Ambilo located near the forest corridor of Fandriana Vondrozo, along the southeastern part of the island.

Dashboard: Improving Health Services and Outcomes in the Ninewa Plains, Iraq
June 2019 | Infographic

Learn more about the work being done through the APC grantee, IMC, in Ninewa Plains, Iraq. IMC’s program operates in six primary health care centers and one secondary facility in places where minorities and other conflict-affected communities have limited access to essential services.

Improving Health Services and Outcomes in the Ninewa Plains, Iraq
June 2019 | Project Highlight

Northern Iraq only recently emerged from war, and security challenges and the effects of trauma and displacement persist. To support a resilient and self-reliant approach to improving access to health services, the APC project is managing a grant with IMC that helps to link the development and humanitarian continuum in the Ninewa Plains with a target population of approximately 64,000 residents.

Local Capacity Initiative Final Report
May 2019 | Report

In 2013, the U.S. Government, with funding from PEPFAR, established the Local Capacity Initiative (LCI) to strengthen sustainability of national HIV and AIDS responses through increased advocacy capacity of local NGOs. Read the final report which talks about the work done from 2014 -2018, where USAID and CDC made awards to local organizations through APC in 14 countries/regions which focused on designing and implementing local solutions to policy barriers that impede key populations’access to HIV and other health services.

Strengthening and Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Services in Iraq
March 2019 | Project Highlight

APC's GBV programming in Iraq focuses on creating spaces within facilities to provide services and linking them to communities and homes where women and men can feel more comfortable sharing their need for support. Community mobilizers are trained on how to make referrals, identify cases, conduct safety audits, and develop community mobilization strategies before they are deployed to the community to talk about how to prevent GBV.

Where Gender-Based Violence Meets HIV
March 2019 | Project Highlight

APC’s GBV project in Guyana multiplies the effects of PEPFAR investments by integrating GBV prevention and response into existing HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs in community-based organizations and health services. This includes supporting and developing national guidelines, strengthening coordination across sectors, and building the capacity of and linkages between clinics and community-based services in GBV prevention.

Strengthening Health Services Post-Ebola: Country Program in Review Sierra Leone
March 2019 | Report

In July 2016, the USAID-­funded APC project launched the Strengthening Health Services post-­Ebola (SHSPE) program. Implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., the program was initiated to support the Comprehensive Program for Ebola Survivors (CPES) and prevent further Ebola virus disease transmission by reducing the risks of resurgence; providing clinical services to survivors; and defining strategies to reducing stigma, discrimination, and other barriers to survivors accessing health and social services.

Country Program in Review: Haiti
March 2019 | Report

From 2014 to September 2017, APC supported 11 local organizations in Haiti whose missions range from providing health care and outreach to specific populations—such as prisoners, disabled people, and schoolchildren—to distributing medical commodities countrywide. APC built organizational and staff capacity to ensure that grantees could implement operational and technical programs in alignment with their USAID award and deliver high ­quality services. Learn more about the full program.

Responding to Ebola Survivor Needs Strengthens the Health System in Sierra Leone
February 2019 | Brief

Ebola survivors are particularly vulnerable to ongoing health, economic, and social challenges. In November 2015, the Government established the Comprehensive Program for Ebola Survivors (CPES) as part of the ‘Resilient Zero’ pillar of the president’s 10–24 month post-Ebola recovery priorities. 

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Below is a list of key issues within capacity building that APC focuses on. Within each key area you will find resources related to capacity building that have been pulled from multiple sources. 

Organizational Development

Through organizational development, or building organizational capacity, an organization can become more effective, efficient, and sustainable, and ensure they are complying will all applicable USAID rules and regulations. Organizational development activities can focus on one specific aspect of an organization, or a wide range of areas such as financial management, human resources, program management, sub-grant management, and monitoring and evaluation.

Local Capacity Initiative Final Report
May 2019 | Report

In 2013, the U.S. Government, with funding from PEPFAR, established the Local Capacity Initiative (LCI) to strengthen sustainability of national HIV and AIDS responses through increased advocacy capacity of local NGOs. Read the final report which talks about the work done from 2014 -2018, where USAID and CDC made awards to local organizations through APC in 14 countries/regions which focused on designing and implementing local solutions to policy barriers that impede key populations’access to HIV and other health services.

Enhancing Organizational Performance and Impact
October 2013 | Webinar

Watch a recent series of webinars where JSI shared experiences in the growing and diverse field of capacity development. These webinars cover topics such as connecting organizational and technical capacity, developing capacity through grants, and responding to shifting demands in capacity development.

The Essential NGO Guide to Managing Your USAID Award
September 2012 | Publication

This publication is designed to assist NGOs to more effectively administer resources from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The guide aims to help USAID awardees (also referred to as grantees or recipients) clarify specific requirements, regulations, and compliance issues mandated by their agreements.

Organizational Development Toolkit
July 2012 | Toolkit

This toolkit from NPI-Connect is a compilation of sample manuals, forms, policies, and guidelines that were distributed amongst partners as guidance documents during the NPI program. The resources and tools included in this toolkit serve as examples for organizations to reference when creating organizational or project documents. These are not official templates. Organizations should adapt them according to the needs of their organization.

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance through trainings, workshops, guidance documents, and other means allow organizations to build their technical capacity in a specific technical area or areas. They also allow staff to remain up-to-date on the most recent changes to policies, service delivery guidelines, state-of-the-art practices, etc.

Improving Health Care Quality
November 2015 | E-Learning

The USAID ASSIST Project has launched an eLearning course on Improving Health Care Quality through USAID's Global Health eLearning Center. Free and open to learners from around the world, this course is the first of its kind to focus on quality improvement approaches and methodologies for low-resource settings. It is designed for anyone looking to understand how to improve health care, including health care workers and managers, government officials, donors, and implementing partners. It will help learners to demystify health care improvement, describe its underlying principles, and explain how proven interventions can be incorporated into practice for every patient. The course focuses on process improvement which has a large body of evidence in USAID-supported countries.

Peace Corps Maternal and Newborn Health Training Package
January 2015 | Training Guide

This training package, developed in partnership with Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), introduces Peace Corps Volunteers to the fundamentals of maternal and newborn health and exposes them to key concepts and global trends.  The training package highlights the latest evidence-based practices that can be implemented by Volunteers and their counterparts at the community level to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes. 

Developing Capacities of Community Health Workers in Sexual and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health: A Mapping and Review of Training Resources
April 2014 | Journal Article

This paper aims to identify, organize and provide a synthesis of existing training resource materials for community health workers in different components of sexual and reproductive health and maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health as well as to determine gaps and opportunities and inform efforts to avoid duplication and harmonize approaches to training.

Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Family Planning Program: A Facilitator's Guide
October 2009 | Training Guide

This course provides mid- and senior-level country managers with the skills to develop project designs using a results framework. When these skills are used in the design process, project activities are more reliably linked to desired outcomes, and the elements necessary for success are more likely to be addressed.

Sustainability

In many cases the goal of building an organization’s technical or organizational capacity is sustainability of an organization or a project. Through organizational development and technical assistance, local organizations are able to increase the likelihood that their organization can adapt to a changing environment and have a long-term impact on their community.

Family Planning Sustainability Checklist
September 2012 | Toolkit

This resource is a project assessment tool for designing and monitoring sustainability of community-based family planning services. This document is designed to assist community-based family planning project planners and implementers to identify key elements to incorporate in a community family planning project to increase the likelihood of family planning services continuing beyond the project’s end.

Going the Distance: A Step-by-Step Strategy to Foster NGO Sustainability
September 2012 | Training Guide

This training guide offers practical strategies to help nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) plan and effectively navigate the ever-changing environments within which they operate.

Community Health Worker Motivation

In the face of global health worker shortages, the use of community health workers (CHWs) is an important health care delivery strategy for underserved populations. In Uganda, community-based programs often use volunteer CHWs to extend services, including family planning, in rural areas. This study examined factors related to CHW motivation and level of activity in three family planning programs in Uganda.

Support to the Policy and Regulatory Framework for Improving Community Health Systems in Sierra Leone
October 2016 | Summary

Advancing Partners & Communities has been an active partner in the Community Health Workers (CHWs) policy revision process, offering ongoing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) of Sierra Leone.

Expanding global impact through Community Health Workers: progress and challenges in counting CHWs
March 2016 | Webinar

On March 2, 2016, World Vision, Frontline Health Workers Coalition & One Million CHWs Campaign hosted a webinar: Expanding global impact through Community Health Workers: progress and challenges in counting CHWs. The webinar presented key findings and discussed the relevance of the journey “from fragmentation to harmonization” for the CHW community at large.

CHSS

Photo Journal - Community Engagement, Stories Of Change: Sustaining Health Facility Improvements Program
July 2019 | Photo Gallery

APC's Sustaining Health Facility Improvements (SHFI) program in Sierra Leone aims to engage communities, health service providers, and district authorities in building better systems, structures, and processes for conducting maintenance and preventive maintenance of health facilities by mobilizing community and government resources to fund it. This booklet provides stories of the work the FMCs and their communities have done, as they devote their time, resources, and energy to maintaining and improving their community PHUs.

Women Survivors Leading Post-Ebola Recovery in West Africa
March 2018 | Success Story

Women leaders of survivor organizations in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are stepping up across the region to address challenges for Ebola survivors, while promoting gender equality in their countries.

Mental Health Nurses and Disaster Response in Sierra Leone
January 2018 | Journal Article

Advancing Partners & Communities has supported mental health nurses in responding to the mudslide disaster in Sierra Leone.

Building Capacity within the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors
January 2018 | Brief

The Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services program objective is to help the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors become an effective, autonomous institution that can serve and advocate for Ebola survivors.

Endline Infographic: Improving Community Health Services in the Post-Ebola Context
June 2017 | Infographic

This infographic summarizes APC's work in strengthening critical health services in local communities in Sierra Leone, with focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health.

Technical Brief: Strengthening the Health Workforce in Sierra Leone
June 2017 | Brief

This Technical Brief provides detailed information on the capacity building work done by APC under the Post-Ebola Rebuilding Health Services project in Sierra Leone.

Controle De La Qualite Des Donnes De Planification Familiale A L'aide De L'outil RDQA Dans Les Regions Medicales De Dakar, Thies, Et St. Louis
April 2017 | Study

La présente étude se situe dans ce cadre et a pour objectif d’évaluer la qualité des données de routine dela planification familiale dans les régions médicales de Dakar, Saint Louis et Thiès au Sénégal.

Strengthening Health Services as Part of the Post-Ebola Transition in Sierra Leone: Community Engagement Implementation Toolkit
April 2017 | Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide the community engagement process for improved community ownership of peripheral health unit quality and catchment area health outcomes in support of the project’s Community Engagement Implementation Strategy.

Life After Ebola: Mothers Return to Health Facilities in Sierra Leone
April 2017 | Photo Gallery

After the Ebola epidemic, a community health center in Sierra Leone is now able to provide improved quality health care services, including family planning.

Revue de Performance des Données de Planification Familiale au Sénégal
December 2016 | Brochure

Le projet Advancing Partners & Communities a apporté une assistance technique à la Direction de la Santé Reproductive et de la Survie de l’Enfant (DSRSE) dans le domaine du suivi-évaluation notamment dans le programme de planification familiale.

Revue de Performance des Données de Planification Familiale au Sénégal
December 2016 | Report

Pour repositionner la Planification Familiale, le Sénégal a rédigé un Plan d’Action National 2012-2015 (PANPF). Le principal objectif de ce plan est d’offrir les services de la planification familiale à 350 000 femmes additionnelles en union et d’atteindre un taux de prévalence contraceptive de 27% en 2015. 

Local People of Various Ages and Professions Trained to Promote Family Planning in Senegal
December 2016 | Summary

In Senegal, Advancing Partners and Communities designed an approach to convince non-traditional sectors and civil society organizations in regions with low contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) and high unmet need for family planning (FP) services to support the Ministry's National Family Planning Action Plan (NFPAP).   

How Data is Strengthening Community Health Systems in Zimbabwe
December 2016 | Publication

In Zimbabwe, district health executive (DHE) teams are using community scorecard data to understand major health challenges facing local communities and taking action to reduce barriers to care. 

Understanding the Challenges of Delivering Community Maternal and Child Health Services in a Post-Ebola Context
October 2016 | Infographic

Following the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone faces challenges to rebuilding its community health system. This infographic helps explain the challenges of delivering community maternal and child health services in a post-Ebola context.

Program Overview: Sierra Leone, Liberia & Guinea
October 2016 | Publication

The Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services Program (ETP & SS) launched in July 2016 and is operating under the umbrella of priorities set by USAID’s Global Health Ebola Team. The program works with ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations in regions of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea that are most affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone: Community Engagement Implementation Strategy & Toolkit
April 2016 | Strategy

Advancing Partners & Communities has drafted a community engagement strategy for adoption and use by all implementing partners in the project’s five districts. In line with the project’s goal of strengthening health services, the strategy focuses on district- and facility-level interventions and emphasizes the role of community health workers (CHWs). The strategy complements other community-based interventions.

Advancing Partners & Communities, Sierra Leone: Program Overview and Accomplishments
March 2016 | Summary

Advancing Partners & Communities received a grant from USAID’s “Ebola Response and Preparedness” funds authorized by the United States Congress to strengthen critical non-Ebola health services, in Sierra Leone. 

Created in 1979, our Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – Action Against Hunger – is fighting against hunger in the world. Its mission is to save lives eradicating hunger through the prevention, detection, and treatment of malnutrition, in particular during and after emergency situations caused by conflicts and natural disasters. Today, Action Against Hunger is a major player in the fight against hunger in the world. Structured on an international network, our organization provides a coordinated response in nearly 50 countries.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides individual and community development and disaster relief in over 120 countries worldwide. ADRA’s community development efforts promote health, provide food and water, and empower children through education. Their disaster relief projects coordinate with local governments to deliver medical care, food, water, and shelter to affected populations.

Agape Network began their work to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the community of Sophia in Georgetown, Guyana. Agape Network takes a family centered approach, offering care and support services to people living with HIV (PLHIV) and their families. Separate services are available for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) such as home-based care, after school program support, and counseling. Adults receive psychological and nutritional counseling services, social support, and referrals.

ASA is an informal group of friends, non-profit, funded by private companies, made up of people with or without disabilities, that promotes the social integration of young people and adults with physical or sensory disabilities, through socialization spaces that allow know and transmit experiences of life and disability, strengthen self-concept and self-esteem, generate solid links for an exchange of mutual support, to make their relationship with the environment more positive.

The Asociación Dominicana de Planificación Familiar (ADOPLAFAM) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on improving family planning and HIV/AIDS services in Provinces throughout the Dominican Republic. ADOPLAFAM aims to build HIV service delivery capacity in the Dominican Republic, ensuring universal access to care and support, prevention, and treatment services for key populations. They partner with other local organizations including Clínica de Familia la Romana, Grupo Este Amor, and Clínica Esperanza y Caridad.

CIDR works in key sectors of development in Africa: local development and decentralization; business development in rural and urban areas; decentralized financial systems; health insurance and social welfare. Created in 1961, the International Center for Development and Research studies, designs, implements operations and programs of socio-economic development in respect of socio-cultural choices of populations.

The Centro de Promoción y Solidaridad Humana (CEPROSH) is an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention organization based in the northern region of the Dominican Republic that works to improve regional capacity to deliver quality HIV services to key populations.

ChildFund International is a Christian organization that sponsors children in need largely through monthly donations from individual sponsors. These donations are used to support the transition from extreme poverty for these children and their communities. In addition to their sponsorship program, ChildFund receives grants and donations to provide trainings and capacity building activities, health and education programs, emergency relief, and food distribution.

The Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) is a private organization conceived as a result of the emergence of HIV/AIDS and human trafficking in the Dominican Republic. COIN implements HIV prevention programs and health care services for key populations throughout the region. COIN works with surrounding communities in the process of identifying their needs and problems to address key issues and reduce stigma.

The National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, operates as a biomedical research facility. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) raises funds and creates public-private partnerships to support the advancement of scientific research to improve health globally. The Foundation for the NIH unites experts and resources around common biomedical research goals to improve health domestically and abroad.

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July 03, 2019 | Blog

APC sub-grantee Motivation has been working with APC grantee World Vision to share their expertise in wheelchair service provision with their community networks. This blog explores the training programmes and how they will help even more disabled people in Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania.

June 13, 2019 | Event

On June 13, 2019, the APC project brought together partners and stakeholder to celebrate the conclusion of the Sustaining Health Facility Improvements Program, which helped strengthen the health system and increase resilience by supporting sustainable, community-led activities.

May 01, 2019 | Event

Watch the webcast recording from APC's May 1st event, Community Health Matters in the Journey to Self-Reliance, put on in collaboration with the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center.

April 11, 2019 | Article

As part of the APC work in Liberia, USAID has dedicated a rainwater harvester and wells constructed to supply water to two hospitals in Lofa County. The new wells and water storage system, as well as solar panels to provide energy to the wells, is part of the work to strengthen health services across eight counties in Liberia.

July 26, 2018 | Event

APC held a high-profile closing ceremony for the Guinea-based Ebola Transmission Prevention & Survivor Services (ETP&SS) program on July 26, 2018 at the Hotel Riviera in Conakry. During the half-day event, Minster of Health Édouard Niankoye Lamah thanked the APC project for its efforts aiding Ebola survivors in Guinea and recommended continued follow-up to prevent a future outbreak.

May 30, 2018 | Announcement

The Ministry of Health with local stakeholders and international organizations presented the draft State Social Contracting (SSC) program to collect feedback and recommendations from all involved in its development.

May 08, 2018 | Article

Advancing Partners & Communities and Partners in Health organized a course on foundational financial management training for members of the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors, helping to build the organization's capacity to become fully autonomous.

May 02, 2018 | Blog

APC's Erchell Tibel discusses challenges and strategies to strengthening the capacity of USAID-funded Haitian organizations.

March 08, 2018 | Blog

Advancing Partners & Communities has supported the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other partners to build the capacity of the public health system in Sierra Leone to provide evidence-based mental health services.

February 07, 2018 | Article

In order to support the mental health needs of those affected by the mudslide in Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the World Health Organization with funding from the UK Government, JSI and USAID quickly deployed Mental Health Nurses pulled from other parts of the country to provide urgent Psychological First Aid, focusing initially on psychosocial and trauma counselling.

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January 2012 | Video

The New Partners Initiative (NPI) is part of a broader effort within PEPFAR to support established community- and faith-based organizations to become new partners to the national government and funding partners. Find out how TA-NPI has helped grantee organizations grow and thrive and provide more people in need with important HIV and AIDS-related services.

Photo of Vanessa

Nine-year-old Vanessa was diagnosed with viral meningitis after suffering from a very high fever and convulsions. Her aunt heard about the TEAM project and immediately registered her. The TEAM project is implemented through a grant awarded under APC, by World Vision, who will enable more than 1,900 people with disabilities including victims of war, especially women and girls, to attain and maintain maximum independence.

Isatu Bangura

Isatu Bangura was illiterate when she joined Advancing Partners & Communities' adult literacy program for Ebola survivors in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Now, she can read and write simple sentences and is on the path to self-reliance.

Photo of Christine in a wheelchair

Christine was a normal, developing 14-year-old child until 2013 when she developed sudden weakness in her legs. She spent a month at Kenyatta National Hospital and was diagnosed with a rare medical condition known as Guillen Barre Syndrome.

Kadiatu

When 11-year-old Kadiatu lost her hearing after surviving Ebola, a survivor advocate helped ensure she received appropriate treatment.

Photo of Marius popping a wheelie in his wheelchair

When Motivation Romania Foundation (MRF) met Marius, he was shy, not ready to use a wheelchair, and still looking for explanations. One year later, Marius left the MRF sports camp with a gold medal for wheelchair basketball and archery.

Leaders of RENASEG participate in the Survivor Network Regional Workshop in Conakry, Guinea in March 2017. Dr. Seny Ivonne Loua, Vice President (left) and Dr. Mamadou Oury Diallo, President (right).

This short story highlights the work that Guinea’s national Ebola survivor network, RENASEG, has accomplished with its 24 member organizations. The network’s vice president, Seny Yvonne Loua, explains what her group has done to help create jobs for Ebola survivors.

Photo of D in a wheelchair

D is 10 years old and lives with her mother and two half-siblings in a village in Cluj County, Romania. D has carnitine deficiency and severe psychomotor impairment.

A clinician participates in Phebe Paramedical Training Institute’s mental health clinician graduation.

Advancing Partners & Communities supported a post-basic mental health training program at the Phebe Paramedical Training Institute to reduce barriers to mental health care in Liberia. The program has trained 38 mental health clinicians to better understand, screen for, and provide mental health services.

Sussex MCHP

One of the biggest challenges throughout the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was a lack of water and sanitation, which led to poor implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures at health facilities. In the post-Ebola context, as the country moves forward with its Health Sector Recovery Plan, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a priority.

Dr. Udofia leading a training on ophthalmic care.

Advancing Partners & Communities selected the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a graduate medical residency program that supports advanced training for physicians across a range of medical specialties, to independently manage the complex medical and surgical cases of Ebola survivors, as well as to offer specialty care to the general population.

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