|District Response Initiative in Ghana (JSA Consultants, Ltd) (UNAIDS, 2000, 6 p.)|
The DRI in Ghana involves ten districts in seven of the ten regions of the country. Since the case study in 1997, an important consensus workshop hosted by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and UNAIDS was conducted in June 1998, this led to key political and administrative personnel in the ten districts being sensitised using the UNDP HIV and development modules In response to the internationally recognised need to intensify action on HIV/AIDS in Africa, the DRI in Ghana is accelerating, expanding in both scope and intensity.
Full implementation started in September 1999, with the formation of the DRI Promotion Organisation, which consists of a multi disciplinary team of private and public sector professionals based in Accra. The first five DRI Management Teams - multi-sectoral, local-level bodies constituted to manage the DRI process in the district - have completed their training for Strategic Planning and Community Assessment. The workshop, attended by the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, UNAID, the World Bank, NACP, development planners and 35 participants initiated the local-level strategic planning process for HIV/AIDS, as well as established the system by which community assessments are to be used as the primary strategy of DRI monitoring and self-assessment for local people. Presently, these five districts have received their first quarterly disbursements from the UN Theme Group. The funds are for:
· Completion and validation of their district Strategic Plan
· Community Assessments of three communities
· Setting up an HIV/AIDS documentation centre
· Local advocacy activities
The remaining five districts have taken an active role in jointly drafting their inception reports by participating in a preliminary analysis of their particular HIV determinants and an initial community vulnerability assessment. They will undertake the local level strategic planning process in April.
Intensifying Action through the DRI
Important strides have also been made in scaling-up the process. A self-administered DRI package where districts will complete inception phases on their own has been developed along with a regional-level support and monitoring framework. Through the regionalisation of the DRI programme, local level information can be easily fed into national level practice, policy revision and planning. Agreement has already been reached amongst key stakeholders on the selection of Ashanti region for implementation of this intensified phase of the DRI in Ghana.