HIV and Livelihoods Programme in Ethiopia

Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) supports livelihoods development initiatives for HIV affected children, their families, and communities in Ethiopia.

Our study

Despite efforts to mainstream HIV in livelihoods development programmes, successes are unequal. The exploratory study on HIV and livelihood projects in Ethiopia and Uganda (February 2012) commissioned by STOP AIDS NOW!, demonstrates that many organisations inadequately respond to the livelihood needs of HIV affected people. Only a small number of organisations makes use of the innovative capacity of beneficiaries and attaches value to their own ideas about livelihoods development. 

Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!)’s HIV and Livelihoods Programme is the actual follow-up of the study. The programme, which started in 2012, aims to support sustainable livelihood initiatives for HIV affected children and their families in Ethiopia. The programme has two main components: innovative livelihoods projects and the Linking and Learning Project on HIV and Livelihoods.

Innovative livelihoods projects

Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) supports different innovative projects in Ethiopia that contribute to the economic and social empowerment of HIV affected children, youngsters, their guardians, families, and communities. The interventions aspire to improve people’s social status by reducing discrimination and stigma, enhance the livelihood potential, increase resilience to economic misfortune, and reduce risky sexual behaviour. To arrive at sustainable social protection systems within communities, a multi-stakeholder approach is adopted. Thus, children and their caretakers, community based organisations, governments, schools, networks of people living with HIV, private sector partners, microfinance institutions, non-governmental organisations, and universities jointly work on all aspects: treatment, care and support, education, fighting stigma and discrimination, and livelihoods development. The project partners are keen to make the livelihoods projects more HIV sensitive, that is accessible and relevant for families affected by HIV. So far, three innovative livelihoods projects are being implemented.

Linking and Learning Project on HIV and Livelihoods

The Linking and Learning Project on HIV and Livelihoods enables 12 Ethiopian organisations to act as a community of practice. Together, they explore new insights to improve livelihoods programmes that address the needs of HIV affected people and communities. During the three year project period, the organisations follow different learning tracks on identified gaps and weaknesses. Based on new findings, they will change their strategies and integrate new approaches in their livelihood programmes. Other Ethiopian as well as international stakeholders will benefit from the project's newly to be developed tools and guidelines for scaling-up and advocacy work.

On of the organisations participating in this project is NEP+. Read the interview with it's executive director about how the organisation benefits from being member of the community of practice: "We've been able to change lives."

For more information, please contact our policy advisor on HIV and Livelihoods, Martine Weve