The main messages that emerged from discussions and presentations were:
- Focus has moved from individual orphans to broader focus on vulnerable children who may be vulnerable for many reasons and who may be worse off and in as much in need of support as orphaned children.
- Focus on households and families rather than on individual children
- Strong call for evidence based programming given the lack of good M&E data around interventions for OVC and especially hard data and results on family centered programming and impact it has
- Push to eliminate vertical transmission and pediatric HIV by 2015 (This is the new flavor of the month for private donors as it is something they feel they can track and monitor for impact)
- Discussion on how to go to scale pointed out that African extended families and CBOs have already taken OVC support to scale but our job is how to support and harness these ongoing efforts.
Bantwana presented its BSIP program from Swaziland in a two hour session with four presenters including a senior representative from the Ministry of Education. The team did an excellent job, and we had a lot of questions and interest in the program. It was affirming to realize that we have done in Swaziland is what the sector is now calling for – comprehensive, family support driven by the community with a model that focuses on sustainability and community engagement and that has strong links with local and national government. Now we just need to find $2 million dollars to scale this up!!