“It’s too much effort. If our donor really insists on us having an HIV policy, let’s just download one or adapt someone else’s. We haven’t got time to waste on such distractions to our real work.”
How often have we heard or even had this response ourselves? We are tempted to short-cut the process. But if we do, this may do more harm than good. Instead we need to take the policy development process seriously, as this Praxis Note from Project Empower explains. They learnt from a recent workplace programme with thirteen NGOs in KwaZulu Natal, that the process of policy development was more important than the final product. The ‘means’ was actually the ‘end’.
In this paper, Laura Washington and Mpume Mbatha – Project Empower staff and facilitators – share how they facilitated highly participatory and meaningful workshops around HIV and AIDS in the workplace. This unique approach has yielded sustainable and positive results in developing workplace responses to HIV and AIDS. They reflect on this approach and highlight practical ways to create the positive environment necessary for an effective workplace response to HIV and AIDS.
Praxis Note 50. The means is the end: Reflections on the process of developing HIV workplace policies