In late 2015, the Linkages Across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations (LINKAGES) project established a global acceleration initiative to fast-track and strengthen delivery of a comprehensive package of health services for key populations (KPs) at scale. In this context, “acceleration” means simultaneously delivering speed, scale (within and across countries), and standards (a common core program). Acceleration also leverages existing partnerships to achieve rapid scale-up of KP programming. Seventeen LINKAGES countries were included in the acceleration initiative: Angola, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
To support the acceleration process, LINKAGES developed the Key Population Program Implementation Guide (the Acceleration Guide), a set of common core KP program guidelines that can be applied globally and adapted locally. The guide, which focuses on site-level implementation, ensures cohesion of technical competence across seven acceleration elements tied to the LINKAGES cascade framework. It also includes a simple assessment tool to identify the capacity development needs of organizations implementing KP programs.
The Acceleration Guide serves as the basis for training, technical assistance (TA), and mentoring, as well as monitoring and evaluation. It is a user-friendly tool that includes step-by-step guidance for implementing the critical elements of KP programming. The Acceleration Guide also includes links to resources tailored to the needs of each KP.
The success stories of Côte d'Ivoire, Malawi and South Sudan are presented in this brief.