What Makes AIDS United’s GENERATIONS Program Unique?

By Rob Banaszak on August 16, 2011 in GENERATIONS

Stephanie By Stephanie Cruse
Program Officer

I will be presenting a poster today focusing on GENERATIONS: Strengthening Women and Families Affected by HIV/AIDS. It is a capacity-building program for community-based organizations to create or adapt evidence-based interventions for at-risk populations of women, primarily women of color. Since 2005, Johnson & Johnson has supported GENERATIONS, and our latest cohort (GEN III) includes six grantees, funded for a period of 28 months.

So what makes GENERATIONS unique? GEN is an innovative prevention program because in addition to cash grants, we provide a technical assistance component, led by a team of HIV prevention scientists from the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University, and we also provide a local evaluator to create an evaluation plan and measurement tools, and to analyze progress towards key outcomes.

The structure of GENERATIONS is also unique. In GEN III, grantees began with a four-month Formative Phase, which allowed program staff to work intensively with their TA providers and evaluators in adapting or creating their interventions, run focus groups, and refined their target populations and projects. The final product at the end of the Formative Phase is their intervention’s curriculum. A four-month Pilot Phase followed, in which organizations conducted two pilot cohorts to test out their intervention, and to receive any feedback around any changes to be made. The curriculum is finalized at the end of this phase, setting the stage for a full 20 months of implementation during the Implementation Phase.

AIDS United’s poster at the National HIV Prevention Conference focuses on this unique model and the benefits of technical assistance to community-based organizations. I’ve personally seen our TA providers in action during grantee site visits, and the amount and quality of work that happens during the visits is inspiring. It’s not your typical funder site visit – it’s intensive, roll up your sleeves kind of work, to conduct problem solving, and offering real-time problem solving to these common and inevitable challenges. GEN is a very intensive grant, and our 6 funded organizations have truly stepped up to the task of putting in long hours creating or adapting an intervention, and working closely with both TA and evaluators to make the program successful.

Not only has the provision of technical assistance around the GEN program been invaluable to project staff, we have seen through all of the GEN cohorts that the programmatic technical assistance goes far beyond the individual GEN program. Through this grant, organizations and staff have gained knowledge and skills that can be used across prevention programming such as: basics of curriculum development; understanding adaptation of effective behavioral interventions; recruitment and retention of participants; implementation of evidence-based programs with fidelity; increased skills in dissemination, and program evaluation basics.

For more information, please come visit me today, Tuesday, August 16th from 12-1:30pm in the Poster/Exhibit Hall, space 142T!

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