IIEP and its partner ministries of education launched the collaborative action research programme was launched in 2003. This initiative is designed to contribute to mitigation and prevention of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in three countries - Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. The focus of the research activities is essentially needs assessment. This, in turn, will help to prioritize options for the development of policy, training and other measures to enable the education sector to strengthen its internal capacity in two critical areas. These are to respond to the impact of the epidemic on its staff at all levels and to maintain progress towards EFA goals The collaborative action research programme is designed to achieve the following objectives: to identify problems related to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector and to prioritise areas for action; to formulate responses to gaps identified in current policy, leadership practices and management capacities; to develop a database to track patterns and trends in HIV/AIDS-related teacher and student absence, abandonment and mortality; to formulate effective mitigation and prevention measures based on a qualitative assessment of the impact of HIV/AIDS on selected schools and their surrounding communities. The programme is expected to produce results on two levels. Initial activities will produce five diagnostic studies and recommendations for specific responses to the impact of the epidemic on the education sector. The first two studies will be carried out in all three countries. The final three studies will be implemented selectively. The studies will examine the impact of HIV/AIDS on the following areas: educational leadership and policy; educational governance; enrolment, attendance and instruction in district schools; selected schools and communities, and tertiary educational institutions. This phase will also lead to the production of a handbook of research tools, policy recommendations and best practices, to facilitate replication of the research programme in other countries. As the research progresses, the needs identified in the diagnosis stage will be used to formulate policy frameworks and recommendations, and training and organisational development strategies. The ministries of education of the co-operating countries will implement, monitor and evaluate these strategies, in partnership with IIEP and other technical and financial partners in the donor community.
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