Orphans and Vulnerable Children
The HIV epidemic affects children disproportionately. UNAIDS estimates that 15 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease, and many more are living with sick caregivers. This leaves children vulnerable to a range of poor outcomes, including dropping out of school, early marriage, transactional sex, and HIV infection.
If infected, children are less likely to access HIV treatment than adults: Less than one-quarter of the 3.2 million children living with HIV/AIDS are receiving treatment. Community-based programs for orphans and vulnerable children are important links for families to health and social services – ensuring that caregivers are able to meet the needs of children, that children at risk are tested for HIV, that HIV-positive children access and adhere to treatment, and that adolescent girls stay safe, in school, and on track to reach their potential.
MEASURE Evaluation works to improve orphans and vulnerable children programming by facilitating the collection and use of data. Data is important to determine “what works” and to keep programming on track, ensuring positive impacts on children and families, reaching targets laid out in the PEPFAR initiatives – Accelerating Children on Treatment (ACT) and Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) – and ultimately achieving the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
This work includes:
- Building capacity in monitoring and evaluating orphans and vulnerable children programs globally through developing indicators and tools;
- Supporting community-based orphans and vulnerable children programs to build improved routine monitoring systems and to collect information that is fit-for-purpose, including information for identifying beneficiaries (targeting), case management, and routine program monitoring;
- Conducting evaluations of community-based orphans and vulnerable children programs in collaboration with local research institutions; and
- Working with governments to build national community-based information systems to support the response to orphans and vulnerable children and improve the child protection response.