Local ownership of HIV response grows as Tanzania partner graduates to direct USAID funding

December 19, 2022
Participants from the transition of OVC activities event in Tanzania pose for a photo. Credit: ELCT North Diocese.

In 2020, the USAID Mission in Tanzania issued a request for information for an upcoming program to support children who had been orphaned or were vulnerable to HIV across the east African nation. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) North Diocese was among the local organizations that responded to the call. 

A faith-based organization, ELCT North Diocese had been working with Pact since May 2017 to implement two Pact-led OVC programs funded by USAID/PEPFAR, Kizazi Kipya (2015-2021) and ACHIEVE (2020-2024). As a subgrantee, ELCT North Diocese not only implemented activities in two areas—Arusha City Council and Arusha District Council—but they also received technical assistance and capacity development from Pact.

Earlier this year, USAID awarded ELCT North Diocese the Kizazi Hodari award to implement OVC activities in the Northern Zone of Tanzania. The win is another important step toward a locally owned and operated HIV response in Tanzania.

For decades now, Pact has been working to develop the capacity of local organizations around the world so that they are well-equipped and resourced to solve development challenges in their own communities, from health crises to poverty to environmental problems. It is a hallmark of Pact’s work and our philosophy on how international development should be done.

It is also a crucial part of PEPFAR’s new five-year strategy, which recognizes that reaching and sustaining HIV impact is a long-term effort and planning for a sustained response is as important as achieving prevention and treatment goals. The presence of highly credible, locally led partners is necessary for HIV prevention and treatment services to be owned and operated by local institutions, governments and organizations.

"The capacity development and technical assistance that Pact furnished us has greatly improved our performance and skills both as the organization and individual staff, especially in managing and implementing the USAID/PEPFAR-funded projects."

Dr. Paul Mmbando, Health Programs Director for the ELCT North Diocese

Dr. Mmbando believes the support has been the game-changer in long-standing ELCT services to support vulnerable children and communities.

"In the 2022 fiscal year, Pact transitioned 25 councils to local Prime Implementing Partners through the ACHIEVE project," said Augustino Mwashiga, Pact’s Director for Zones and CSO Program Management in Tanzania.

The transition process aims to ensure no loss of quality or drop-off in performance and undisrupted service delivery for program participants. The transition started with strategic engagement meetings with USAID and project leadership at both country and global levels and Kizazi Hodari implementing partners. We later held technical workshops and worked closely to exchange experiences. Divided into two phases, the transition started with 8 councils in July 2022 and later expanded to include 17 more councils that transitioned by October 2022. 

"In the long run, our efforts as the organization will complement, support, facilitate and reinforce initiatives to realize the global UNAIDS goals of 95-95-95 through the provision of comprehensive and integrated services among children and communities infected and affected by HIV," commented Dr. Mbando. 

In the 25 transitioned councils, the HIV response is now being led by two local partners under the Kizazi Hodari program, ELCT North Diocese for the Northern Zone (12 councils) and Deloitte for the Southern Zone (13 councils). Pact will continue to provide technical assistance and capacity development for the two partners to further quality programming and impact of scale, including on topics related to monitoring and evaluation, program management, and technical interventions such as OVC, DREAMS, and preventive services delivery.

“This is a great milestone, and we are happy seeing that one of our subgrantees has graduated for direct funding," said Mwashiga.