November 2014

Training & Technical Assistance for AAU & UB MEPI Projects

In September 2010, Addis Ababa University (AAU) and the University of Botswana (UB) were awarded Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) funds as a contribution to both universities’ overall goal of Creating and Developing Sustainable Medical Education and Health Research Capacity in their respective countries.

In April 2014, a team of consultants from JSI and University of Washington (ClASS Team at I-TECH) conducted a one-day grants management training and a two-day technical assistance exercise at both AAU and UB aimed at strengthening the project management teams’ capacity to implement HRSA and HHS grants. Training covered the following areas:

  • Lifecycle of a project and key players
  • Successful grant management
  • Administrative requirements for recipients of US Government (USG) funding
  • Cost principles for Educational institutions
  • Terms and conditions of MEPI grant award
  • Reporting requirements for MEPI
  • Procurement
  • Sub-award management
  • Grant close-out review

There were 51 participants at the training from different faculties and departments of UB and 11 at AAU. The primary objective of these sessions was to review key award and USG requirements to ensure successful grants management and compliance with United States Government (USG) rules and regulations.  In addition to the trainings, a detailed review of the MEPI Project and targeted TA yielded important observations and recommendations in both venues.  The combination of training and targeted technical assistance was well-received by both universities.

2014 HQ ClASS Visits

ICAP HQ Global Nursing Capacity Building Program (GNCBP)

HRSA conducted a comprehensive site visit to ICAP in September 2012 which focused on administrative systems, financial systems, and leadership and management. The follow-up visit in June 2014 focused on programmatic systems and support, and the capacity of the program to build partnerships and to provide TA to country offices.

American International Health Alliance (AIHA) Twinning Project

HRSA conducted a comprehensive ClASS assessment for the American International Health Alliance (AIHA) Twinning Project in July 2014. An experienced team of reviewers conducted administrative, financial and programmatic reviews and reported findings in the following categories: Legislative Requirements, Program Expectations and Improvement Options.

I-TECH HQ

A team of ClASS reviewers traveled to Seattle in September to conduct a comprehensive review of I-TECH’s organizational, administrative, financial management and programmatic systems and the organization's capacity to implement sustainable, high quality interventions in PEPFAR funded countries. The assessment will inform technical assistance of the HRSA/UW/UCSF cooperative agreement.

Expert Consultation Meeting on Capacity Assessment

On October 16, 2014, HRSA hosted an expert consultation meeting on the best practices for capacity assessment frameworks. The day-long consultation meeting documented best practices for organizational capacity assessments and formulated recommendations to guide USG agencies that are preparing to transition international HIV care and Treatment programs funded by PEPFAR to sustainable, country-led programs. The seventeen experts that attended the consultation represented both academics and field practitioners. Each was identified from a literature review and for their work in capacity development in low resource settings, particularly in HIV and other priority health programs.

The meeting produced two key products - an updated list of references for the literature review on best practices for capacity assessment frameworks, and recommendations for implementing effective assessments within USG-funded programs. Participants also developed a number of recommendations for designing and conducting capacity assessments.

New and Updated Training Materials

Need to brush up on your ClASS knowledge and/or skills? In-person training sessions have been updated this year and posted to the ClASS website for your viewing pleasure.  You can review the Financial and Administrative Refresher webinars by logging in at the bottom of the training page.  There is also a brand new PEPFAR Update intended for all ClASS reviewers - new and veteran - to prepare for fielding by understanding the latest PEPFAR guidance stemming from the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013.  

Keeping the ClASS Consultant Database Current

We have received extensive positive feedback from programs and HRSA Project Officers who have visited the ClASS site and using theconsultant database to familiarize themselves with our outstanding cadre of reviewers. Please hep us ensure that your profile demonstrates that to a broader audience.  At a minimum, please make sure that your name, credentials, and bio are up to date.  Photos are greatly appreciated!