Hi, I am Robin T. Kelley and am an internal evaluator at a national nonprofit health organization that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide free capacity building assistance to HIV prevention organizations, health departments and their HIV planning groups.
In the HIV/AIDS field, there are a number of changes occurring; here are just a few major ones: In 2010, there was the release of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy. All funded entities are now striving to align themselves with the major goals of this strategy. As of 2011, scientific studies that showed the effectiveness of adherence to HIV medicine in reducing the viral loads, resources are placed into, biomedical interventions and the emphasis is now placed more on organizations conducting high impact HIV prevention.
One key method of building an organization’s ability to manage complex situations, particularly small organizations that serve vulnerable populations, or populations of color-is to strengthen their change management leadership skills. Research has shown that in times of complexity, such as shifting federal and health priorities, organizations, businesses that serve minorities often shut their doors first ,leaving underserved communities abandoned and without services. To sustain these agencies, evaluators as well as program managers should be agile and flexible in understanding the community needs, their resources, staff strengths as well as weaknesses-to best manage the changes.
Here are some steps to take and useful tools to address HIV changes and changes in general:
1) First, help the organization conduct an organizational diagnosis. They must know what they have in order to consider what to change.
2) Second, help the organization to conduct an environmental scan or asset mapping of their community to determine if there is still a need for their services.
3) Then to help organizations to analyze the data. Based on the findings, help the organization to do a SWOT analysis (an analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Depending on these findings, perhaps there is a way to merge efforts with another organization;
4) Next, help the organizations communicate changes to all staff; without constant communication, rumors can fly and morale can sink.
5) Finally, help the organization to create a process log so that they can record the number of new service requests and activities and to continue to justify their existence.
- Organizational Diagnosis Questionnaire (ODQ) by Robert Preciosity is a freeware that may beneficial to use.
- There are many asset and community mapping tools available. I like the one by the Asset Based Community Development Institute.
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