October 29, 2013
The Good Participatory Practice Guidelines continue to be rolled out in various contexts and are increasingly seen as an essential tool for engaging stakeholders in research. In recent months, AVAC collaborated with partners in Kenya, South African and Uganda for focused feedback sessions about several new GPP implementation tools that are in the works. The new tools take users through the process of developing a strategic community and stakeholder engagement plan. Participants are asked to develop a plan based on concrete goals and objectives such as working with local media to provide accurate information or increase participation of key populations throughout the trial life cycle. The end result is a clearly-defined set of GPP activities that can be evaluated in terms of their impact on research and communities.
AVAC worked with partners with expertise implementing GPP and stakeholder engagements. These include the Uganda Makerere University Walter Reed Program, Uganda Virus Research Institute-International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Kenya Partners PrEP, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute in South Africa—all of which have extensive histories of engagement and GPP practices.
GPP is most often implemented in the context of randomized controlled trials. These sessions were especially exciting because they included teams involved in research with different types of designs, such as combination prevention studies and demonstration projects. Perspectives from these groups, including the Uganda Infectious Disease Institute and Liverpool VCT in Kenya, will help make the new tools widely applicable to a wide range of prevention studies. As the HIV prevention field increases in complexity, stakeholder engagement practices need to keep up! New tools, along with an online training course, will be available at www.avac.org/gpp.