Good healthcare systems are complex, and various sectors—including communities, civil society organizations, governments, international bodies, and the private sector—all have an essential role. These roles include implementation, funding, policy guidance, and coordination. While investments made to counter the epidemic are starting to yield results in reduced new infections and deaths, sustaining these gains requires an effective response led by strong, capable organizations and facilitated by national governments and regional intergovernmental institutions.
The Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project (BLC), implemented by Management Sciences for Health and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was conceived to address these challenges. BLC’s vision was that by 2015, its partners are stronger, more resilient, and able to support community, national, and regional structures to competently respond to HIV and AIDS issues, resulting in improved overall health in the southern African region.
BLC built the capacity of government and civil society entities in southern Africa, with country-specific programs in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland to implement policies and health services for those infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS. The three key program areas included:
- Care and support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)
- HIV services
- Community-based care
BLC sought to maximize the impact of the HIV response in southern Africa by working with key partners at regional, national, and local levels. BLC partnered with a wide range of organizations and goverment bodies and provided them with needs-based, tailored support to grow, able to develop and implement sustainable programs that effectively contribute to regional needs and strategic objectives. BLC’s support was customized to a particular context and need within a particular level, similar to a complex puzzle where BLC fills the gaps and connects various levels.