Technical Assistance

Among children under five years of age in the developing world, nearly one-quarter are underweight (127 million) and one-third are stunted (195 million). Over 90 percent of those who are stunted live in Africa and Asia (U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF] 2009, 2011a). These forms of undernutrition can have long-lasting and damaging effects on children, especially when it occurs during critical developmental years.

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This issue paper focuses on community-based early childhood development (ECD) centers, defined as centers established at the community level for the holistic development (i.e., physical, socioemotional, and cognitive) of young children, to meet their needs and those of their caregivers, family, and community through a childcare setting. Community-based ECD centers can be an important focal point for delivering comprehensive services to young children while enhancing the capacity of caregivers, families, and communities to support the healthy development of young children.

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Gender inequality is cited as a major contributor to Swaziland's high HIV prevalence rate. There is no routine screening for gender-based violence by health providers in Swaziland to provide statistical data relating to the incidence or prevalence of GBV. However, a national population-based household study on violence against children (mostly girls) and young women revealed an epidemic of sexual assault against girls.

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Gender inequality is a major contributor to men who have sex with men's (MSM) vulnerability to HIV. Understanding the gender dynamics of MSM, as well as their specific sexual identity issues and concerns, is important for delivering effective HIV services. This case study describes how an NGO in Russia created an MSM-supportive environment and provided free access to HIV services through its "Follow the Voice of Life" program.

Both the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI) emphasize preventing, monitoring, and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) as critical to strengthening overall health outcomes. Yet, significant barriers impede the provision of meaningful, effective services for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence.

The purpose of this situation analysis, conducted for AIDSTAR-One, was to understand what supports and hinders effective care for children who have experience sexual violence and exploitation in Lesotho. The study examined the services being implemented, facilitated, or provided by community- and facility-based partners for children who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation; what is working well; and where there are gaps.

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Lyn Messner and Priya Dhanani contributed to this post.

This is the story of Lerato, whose name means love. 

Lerato lived with her mother in an agricultural community in northern Lesotho. At age 17, Lerato was raped on her way home from school.

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In this expanded role under USAID’s AIDSFree program, EnCompass provides technical assistance to USAID’s voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs. VMMC is a highly effective procedure in reducing the spread of HIV and increasing the accessibility of HIV testing services for males. 

Co-written by Sabine Topolansky and Jaime Jarvis

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To support the goal of integrating gender into all USAID programs and activities under the ADVANTAGE IDIQ, EnCompass is developing knowledge management (KM) and communications strategies and services for USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev). EnCompass is working with GenDev to produce a range of KM and communications products, including fact sheets, web content, videos, and podcasts as tools for USAID staff and to educate the general public about gender and development issues. 

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