The Malawi Project: Global Assistance Initiative to Combat HIV/AIDS

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Botswana , Lesotho , Malawi , Namibia , Republic of South Africa , Tanzania , Topic: Systems Strengthening , Uganda , Zimbabwe

[Note: This case study was originally published in 2009. Download a PDF or read the case study here.]

Combating global HIV/AIDS received priority status in 2003 with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which set out to build sustainable local capacity by supporting the training of new health care workers in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. Under the aegis of PEPFAR, several governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been developing and implementing training programs for this growing demand in prevention, treatment and care programs for HIV/AIDS. One such program is the Howard University Technical Assistance Project (HUTAP), the second five-year cooperative agreement that the Washington, D.C., university has signed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program since 2002. Howard University is one of the leading partners involved in building the overall laboratory capacity in Malawi.

Lessons Learned:

  • Hands-on experience and resources enable partners to provide technical assistance for the quick implementation of vital activities.
  • Sustainability should be a key aspect of program design.
  • Partner organizations can help each other and motivate existing staff by filling human resource gaps.
  • Ministries of health should spearhead and be the public face for major global health initiatives.


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