Understanding the costs and the cost structure of a community-based HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention program: the Woza Asibonisane Community Responses Program in South Africa

By  Dr. Bruce Larson  Refiloe Cele  Sarah Girdwood  Dr. Lawrence Long  Dr. Jacqui Miot  |  | 

Background: The Woza Asibonisane Community Responses (CR) Programme was developed to prevent HIV infections and gender-based violence (GBV) within four provinces in South Africa. The Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) in collaboration with six partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) implemented the programme, which was comprised of multiple types of group discussion and education activities organized and facilitated by each NGO. To date, little information exists on the cost of implementing such multi-objective, multi-activity, community-based programmes. To address this information gap, we estimated the annual cost of implementing the CR Programme for each NGO.
Methods: We used standard methods to estimate the costs for each NGO, which involved a package of multiple activities targeted to distinct subpopulations in specific locations. The primary sources of information came from the implementing organizations. Costs (US dollars, 2017) are reported for each partner for one implementation year (the U.S. Government fiscal year (10/2016–09/2017). In addition to total costs disaggregated by main input categories, a common metric–cost per participant intervention hour–is used to summarize costs across partners.
Results: Each activity included in the CR program involve organizing and bringing together a group of people from the target population to a location and then completing the curriculum for that activity. Activities were held in community settings (meeting hall, community center, sports grounds, schools, etc.). The annual cost per NGO varied substantially, from $260,302 to $740,413, as did scale based on estimated total participant hours, from 101,703 to 187,792 participant hours. The cost per participant hour varied from $2.8–$4.6, with NGO labor disaggregated into salaries for management and salaries for service delivery (providing the activity curriculum) contributing to the largest share of costs per participant hour.

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BMC Health Services Research