Rapid needs assessment tool for condom programming. Program report.
The rapid needs assessment tool has been developed through collaborative work with an expert group, and pre-tested in four countries— Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, and Kenya. The current report presents the results of these assessments along with issues for consideration in the possible improvement of the needs assessment tool and the recommended process for using the tool. The four reports conclude that while condoms are widely available, and condom use is generally increasing, there is much that could be done to improve their distribution, their promotion, and their utilization, especially among key target groups that are at a high risk for HIV. In all four countries, a significant bifurcation of condom programming was found between the distribution of condoms through family planning services and the promotion and distribution of condoms by HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Little coordination or joint planning of condom programming was found. Overall, the rapid needs assessment tool was found to be valuable and easily adjusted to local circumstances. However, the current forms and process of the assessment tool have incorporated suggestions from field implementers as well as UNFPA collaborators that will strengthen its future implementation. The process of consulting key condom programming managers and policy makers led to the identification of problems and the next steps for solving them (which was an important objective of the tool). In fact, the rapid needs assessment’s bringing together all of the stake holders involved in condom issues for mutual discussion of problems and potential solutions proved effective in all four countries. This process of engagement, discussion, argument, and ultimately, consensus, was probably the most valuable aspect of the exercise. Despite strong efforts to create a rapid needs assessment exercise, in none of the countries could it be implemented within the time frame of the 7-10 days that was desired. While data gathering activities did not necessarily take a long time, the process of scheduling meetings and interviews with high level government officials required a far greater time frame than anticipated – approximately two months — due to travel schedules, local administrative crises, and holidays. (excerpt)