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Transforming Health and
Education Policies and
Systems for Improved HIV
Prevention and Care


  

This long-term academic collaboration between UWC and Flemish universities aimed to develop and strengthen capacity and engage in joint research collaboration and supervision of PhD students. The VLIR Programme was integrated into the wider UWC Dynamics to Build a Better Society (DBBS) Programme.

 

In the School of Public Health, VLIR provided catalytic funding to establish and develop the Centre for Research in HIV and AIDS (CRHA). It funded three PhD scholarships, our first post-docs, provided core funding for our first five annual "HIV In Context" research symposia and assisted with funding additional activities in the Centre. While the overall academic objective was to develop sustainable HIV-related research capacity in the multi-disciplinary Centre, the specific academic objective was to build research capacity and strengthen partnerships in the areas of integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and care, with a specific focus on HIV/TB, education and gender-based violence.

 

The overall development objective was to transform health and education policies and systems with the aims of

 1) decreasing the burden of HIV and TB;

 2) improving the impact of education on HIV/AIDS prevention; and

3) developing proper responses for prevention of and response to gender-based violence. 

To this end, the specific development objective wass to make policy recommendations based on research in the areas of integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and care, with a specific focus on HIV/TB, education and gender-based violence.

 

The CRHA sought to attract a multi-disciplinary team of experts to conduct research that would inform policies and transform health and education systems with the aims of

1) improving HIV and TB prevention and care,

2) improving the impact of education on HIV/AIDS prevention; and

3) developing proper responses for prevention of and response to gender-based violence.

 


Dynamics of Building a Better Society (DBBS)

The University of the Western Cape has an established tradition of being a university committed to the needs of a society in transition, using its academic mandate as a lever for societal change. As such the Dynamics of Building a Better Society (DBBS) programme is a strategic resource supporting the decision to be an “engaged university” - and speaks strongly to UWC’s ongoing commitment to align its education mandate with that of establishing a new political, social and economic order in South Africa. The DBBS programme has assisted UWC to redefine and refocus its historic mission – seeking to mobilise the University’s intellectual resources, both in defining problems and in proposing and piloting possible solutions. 

The core of DBBS Phase II consisted of supporting activities in five research centres, established as usual by the Council of the University on the recommendation of the Senate, with standard accountability structures and funding mechanisms.

 

Each of the DBBS projects will support the centres to achieve certain of the following results:

  • Strong intellectual leadership
  • Strong and resilient research teams (a significant cluster of productive researchers engaged in ambitious research projects)
  • Effective national and international linkages, including committed N-S-S activities
  • Firm indications of achieving a regional and/or international profile in the research field
  • Long-term ambitious research development plans
  • Indications of a strong funding base and prospects
  • Researchers will contribute areas of expertise to a regional or national platform
  • Research related activities, such as publications in accredited journals, joint funding applications, postdoctoral research, and supervision of M and PhD students will form part of the centres’ daily programme.

 

Closing event

 

A one-day symposium was held in February 2014 at which the work of this univeirsty-wide programme was show-cased.