Coordinating key stakeholders to ensure smooth transition of new products
In addition to collaborating within the Ministry of Health (MoH) and donors, it is equally important to engage relevant partners, including global and donor agencies, procurement partners, local implementing partners, civil society, and community representatives.
Stakeholder Engagement Checklist
Engage key MoH decision makers, partners, and opinion leaders to discuss and agree on product introduction priorities and phase-in strategies
Convene key stakeholders through national TWGs to decide on national guidelines, priority populations, and rollout strategies
Involve key stakeholders in the rollout planning process and define clear roles and responsibilities to leverage the skills, expertise, and resources of all involved
Ensure clear communication between program managers, procurement partners, and National Drug Regulatory Authorities (NDRAs) on national product introduction plans to guide inclusion in national forecasts and NDRA priorities
Coordinate with procurement partners to ensure smooth commodity procurement, consumption, and monitoring for supply continuity
Leverage partners to conduct clinical trainings, facilitate mentorship, and guide accurate product use
Develop community engagement strategies to support treatment literacy and demand for optimal products
Ensure community groups are engaged throughout product introduction to help inform the rollout process and communication strategies
Consider how engagement with the media could help to disseminate key messaging around new product availability and drive demand
Use the links below to download the entire HIV New Product Introduction Guide or the Stakeholder Engagement chapter only
Stakeholder Engagement Tools and Resources
Engaging with civil society organizations, community representatives, and national networks of PLHIV is critical in empowering people and expanding access to information on new antiretrovirals (ARVs). This in turn generates demand for optimal products by having a well-informed community. Furthermore, engaging communities in the initial stages of product introduction helps promote an effective implementation of new product rollout plans. While many groups are involved in community engagement around treatment optimization, including those listed above, the efforts of three key groups – AfroCAB, HIV i-Base, and the Optimal ARV CAB – are described in more detail below. Other tools in this section include the CHAI Stakeholder Mapping for Treatment Optimization, in addition to resources on media engagement.
Featured Tool: CHAI Stakeholder Mapping for Treatment Optimization
This tool is helpful for identifying the key stakeholders involved in new product introduction. This tool encourages users to think through all the key stakeholders who are either actively involved in processes required for product introduction, or who could be key decision makers or otherwise affected by the process. The tool helps the user to map what role is required of each stakeholder and to define a communication strategy for each key stakeholder. The tool also allows stakeholder coordinators to identify and track priority activities for key stakeholder engagement:
Through the CHAI-Unitaid Optimal ARV Project, which aims to accelerate access to better HIV treatment options, CHAI established the Optimal ARV Community Advisory Board (CAB) with the goal of fostering engagement with civil society partners to co-develop product adoption strategies and improve understanding of and demand for new ARVs among PLHIV. The CAB includes representatives from a range of global and national PLHIV community and advocacy organizations. The CAB will provide strategic direction and leadership to strengthen community engagement in project implementation, to foster demand generation, and to ensure that the CHAI-Unitaid project as a whole supports and complements the activities of the global HIV treatment community:
The African Community Advisory Board (AfroCAB) is a network for HIV treatment advocates across Africa and is focused on providing a platform for African HIV advocates and PLHIV to engage on key issues affecting people living with HIV, with a focus on influencing new product development and sharing experiences on treatment optimization, product rollout, and scale-up. In addition to facilitating national treatment literacy and optimization meetings, AfroCAB recently launched an application to allow community members to easily report stock-outs and rapidly flag service delivery issues so that remedial action can be taken. Android users can download the app below. Individuals using Apple products can download the "AfroCAB" app in the app store.
Also included below is the ITPC Advocacy for Community Treatment (ACT) Toolkit, which was developed by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition to support communities to realize their rights to optimal HIV treatment:
HIV i-Base is a treatment activist group committed to providing timely and up-to-date information about HIV treatment to community members and healthcare professionals. HIV i-Base produces informative patient resources, including information about new ARVs, the latest clinical trials, and treatment for special populations. HIV i-Base makes these resources are available for adaption for use in local contexts, upon request. These resources are produced by and with the involvement of HIV positive individuals and are reviewed by a medical advisory group:
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the OPTIMIZE partnership which aims to accelerate access to optimal ARVs. This consortium, led by WITS RHI in South Africa, brings together a diverse set of partners from research, manufacturing, market access, program implementation and community and advocacy engagement. OPTIMIZE members include ICAP at Columbia University, Mylan Laboratories, the University of Liverpool, and the Medicines Patent Pool.
OPTIMIZE builds on the technical leadership of USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact, which applies private sector approaches to the development, introduction and scale-up of health interventions. The Center's Idea to Impact Guide which describes the Center's approach to introducing and scaling new global health innovations can be found below:
Proactive communication to media outlets with an interest in public health or developments in the national treatment program can support dissemination of accurate messaging on new products.
An example of successful media engagement to disseminate information about new product rollout include recent media coverage from Kenya and Tanzania on the use of generic dolutegravir (DTG) in-country: