The Centre is composed of a core management team, and a research and teaching group. The work of the Centre has been funded by WHO EURO, GIZ, the European Commission, UNDP and WHO EMRO.
The work strategy of the Centre is built around responding to national and regional needs and achieving capacity development in HIV surveillance by:
- Developing innovative teaching programme and organising training courses
- Providing technical assistance
- Conducting surveillance-related research
- Development of partnerships and collaborative networks with national and international institutions
- Bringing together a wide range of expertise
- Adapting surveillance guidelines and tools
- Training courses
Extensive training materials with case studies and practical exercises on HIV surveillance have been developed and implemented. All modules have been extensively evaluated. Training is based on interactive methods and 30-50% of time is spent on practical exercises, in particular on a protocol for the surveillance system development or evaluation of HIV interventions. Participants are encouraged to reflect upon and apply their knowledge to their own country settings and some have organised such training courses in their own countries.
A unique feature of the teaching programme has been the provision of scholarships. Enrollment on the scholarship programme is based on applicants' CV, the completed application form and their letter of interest. The primary requirement is the work on HIV surveillance and an outline of future plans for work on HIV surveillance. Scholarships were provided to 50 participants from eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Technical assistance included carrying out various activities related to the work on HIV surveillance and HIV prevention development, such as design and implementation of HIV surveys, systems of monitoring and evaluation and writing-up proposals for the GFATM. Technical assistance was provided to the following countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen. We also work continuously as advisors to WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and other agencies on carrying out various research projects and consultancy missions, and development of HIV surveillance tools and guidelines.
Our interest in implementation and evaluation of various research methodologies in surveillance help us in devising high quality surveillance systems and understanding the factors that enable or hinder their successful implementation.
Adaptation of Surveillance Tools and Guidelines
Guidelines for implementation of HIV surveillance systems in low-level and concentrated epidemics have been developed for WHO EMRO to assist surveillance officers and programme managers in the planning, design and implementation of various components of HIV surveillance. The Guidelines were translated by WHO EMRO Office in Arabic and French.
The Centre has also conducted the adaptation of the CDC training module on respondent-driven sampling for the WHO EMRO Region.