With a population of 17.25 million, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, and has the highest fertility and population growth rate in Latin America. Almost half of Guatemala’s population is under age 19, making it the youngest population in Latin America.
With a GDP per capita of $4,549 USD (2018), Guatemala is a resource-constrained country that has many challenges in the areas of health and development, including issues of equity, especially for the country’s large indigenous population which is disproportionately affected. There are high levels of infant, child, and maternal mortality, malnutrition, with relatively low levels of literacy, and contraceptive awareness and use.
Central America is characterized by a concentrated HIV/AIDS epidemic with low prevalence among the general population. However, prevalence among key populations (such as men who have sex with men, transgender persons, male and female sex workers, and clients of sex workers and their partners) is very high. In 2019, Guatemala had 1,100 new HIV infections and 1,200 AIDS-related deaths, according to UNAIDS.
Targeted Programmatic Support Across Countries (CDC1950)
(2020 – Present)
In September 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded AIHA a five-year grant, providing a vehicle by which AIHA can assist the CDC at the global and country level, in support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
AIHA initiated activities under the CDC1950 grant in Kenya (October 2019), Tanzania and Zambia, (April 2020), Nigeria (May 2020), Guatemala (July 2020), Haiti (October 2020), the Dominican Republic (October 2020), and the Philippines (2020) the goal of which is to strengthen Key Population (KP) and Civil Society (CSO) led organizations’ capacity to deliver services to vulnerable populations to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS through various prevention, care and treatment initiatives. The project also provides KP-led organization with the skills and abilities to enable them to operate as primary recipients (and sub-grantors) of US/PEPFAR and other donor funding.
AIHA is conducting this work in collaboration with CDC/Atlanta and respective CDC Country Offices and National KP Consortia.
Once KP-led organizations in-country have been identified, the first step in the process is to conduct an assessment of organizational capacity. AIHA has used the Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA tool), a self-assessment that each KP-led or KP-competent organization interested in participating in this project needs to complete to determine gaps and training needs. The OCA forms are analyzed and then shared along with recommendations with the national KP networks. This helps determine the list of KP-led CSOs to be included in the project and the input for the development of an organization-specific training plan. The most common gaps identified thus far are in Project, Finance, Human Resources and Organizational management.
Due to COVID19 pandemic, AIHA has been conducting training on priority areas via a set of webinars that will be followed up by one-on-one mentorships. All CSOs are welcome to listen to webinars but one-on-one mentorship will be provided to 8 organizations selected for the project.
An overarching goal of AIHA’s activities in Guatemala is to strengthen the organizational capacity of the KP-led CSOs and increase the financial resiliency of KP-led CSOs through social enterprise initiatives. AIHA plans to accomplish this through improving M&E and strategic planning, financial, and human resources management capacity; strengthening financial resiliency through diversified sources of revenue, and building capacity to plan, implement and sustain social enterprise activities.
In Project Year 2 AIHA focused on the following:
Objective 1: Strengthen financial resiliency through planning for diversified sources of revenue
In accordance with gaps identified in Year 1, AIHA delivered trainings on Finance and Human Resources Management, M&E, Leadership and Communications followed by a two week-long on-line training on Social Enterprise and diversified sources of revenue. All trainings were followed up with in-country based mentorship. Upon completion of the training on Social Enterprise, participants submitted draft business plans that included a social enterprise scheme (e.g. a profit-generating activity).
Objective 2: Build capacity to implement and sustain social enterprise schemes
Small grants were provided to CSOs to address their capacity development needs followed by implementation of their social enterprise capacity development plans. A local consultant was hired to assist AIHA supported selected organizations in each country to implement their social-enterprise scheme.
Key Results of OCA-informed Training and Mentorship Programs:
- 4 OCA-based and Specialist Capacity Building Training and Mentorship Series Conducted
- 85+ Training Hours for all 4 Training and Mentorship Series Implemented
- 86+ Mentorship Hours for all 4 Training and Mentorship Series Implemented
- 8 KP-led CSOs trained
- 12 KP-led CSOs participants trained in Financial Management
- 12 KP-led CSOs participants trained in Social Enterprise
- 12 KP-led CSOs participants trained in M&E
- 10 KP-led CSOs participated in Special Training Series (Communication, Stakeholder Engagement, Volunteers/Interns)
Key Results of Social Enterprise Initiative:
- 7 of 8 eligible CSOs were trained in social enterprise
- 7 CSOs submitted business plans for Social Enterprise mini-grants
- 3 CSOs awarded Social Enterprise min-grants
Guatemalan CSOs will share their experiences, lessons learned and recommendations for follow-up in an on-line Learning Exchange Forum scheduled for November 2021.