More about Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP)
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation SECURE THE FUTURE (STF) Technical Assistance and Skills Transfer Program (TAP)
, launched in 2007, evolved out of what has grown into a $165 million groundbreaking commitment called SECURE THE FUTURE (STF)
initiated in 1999 in five southern African countries, to enhance medical research and care and community-based outreach and support for women and children affected and infected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. TAP provides technical assistance, capacity building tools and seed funding to extend community-based approaches to fighting HIV/AIDS to an expanding number of African countries and communities. This is especially important now as billions more in funding has flowed into the fight against HIV in Africa. Those funds must be utilized as effectively as possible. TAP utilizes a faculty of 50 experts from across Africa with community engagement and program management skills. This faculty
is comprised of former STF grant recipients and partners. To date, it has engaged in 37 separate projects in 15 countries. In the past 12 months TAP has received $3 million in Foundation funding. Since its inception, it has been supported with nearly $7 million. Uniquely, TAP represents a philanthropic program that has grown in impact, even with reduced cash contributions, by focusing on providing South-South skills and knowledge transfer across Africa using human resources and community-based solutions. Partnerships with governments, NGOs, individual experts and partner organizations are central to TAP, whose faculty members are located in eight African countries. Each relationship began years earlier when these groups were funded by STF for various community-based interventions. Now, they help train others and serve as positive role models. TAP was recognized by the CECP (Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy) with its 11th annual Excellence Award (President’s Award) in June 2011. Among projects currently supported: community mobilization, voluntary counseling and testing, orphan and vulnerable children programs, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, income generation programs, HIV management, home-based care and psycho-social support.
One example is a TAP faculty that includes principals from South Africa-based Grandmothers against Poverty and AIDS, a former STF grantee of grandmothers caring for AIDS-orphaned grandchildren, now helping organize counterparts in Tanzania through a local NGO. Within a year, 466 grandmothers formed 36 support groups, gained critical knowledge about HIV prevention and care, provided mutual support and generated income through crafts for their orphaned grandchildren. An example of a positive TAP outcome cited was the Bhekuzulu Self Sufficient Program in Estcourt, South Africa, where TAP collaborated with a community-based NGO that supports a variety of HIV/AIDS-related programs, to train 91 community workers to reach more than 4,000 individuals in the area. Increased awareness of the organization and successful execution of programs led to improved relationships with the government, and is “now being leveraged to promote foreign investors to enter the area, creating thousands of jobs for community members. The organization’s total funding increased 44% over two years, due to improved fundraising and organizational capacity,” according to a recent independent audit by Accenture.
That same audit found the following: Of the 17 programs assessed, STF’s TAP program trained over 2,500 beneficiaries in various skills and reached more than 1,000,000 clients through a wide variety of service-based programs. It reached 500,000 clients in 2010 alone. Going forward, it is expected that TAP will focus on the following countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Lesotho and Ethiopia. Plans are to continue to build capacity through its NGO Training Institute and other approaches. By focusing on technical assistance, knowledge-sharing and implementation rather than cash grants, TAP risked the possibility that fewer groups or government agencies would seek engagements. That has not occurred. Indeed, additional opportunities were created in areas where funders have not operated, including Morocco, Togo, Liberia and the DRC, expanding positive impacts for many more people at risk. The program is scalable for local needs and replicable precisely because of its structure and objectives. Many community-based approaches applied to HIV/AIDS are being transferred to strengthen other Foundation programs, including reducing stigma around hepatitis in China and adapting rural health motivator usage – first field tested in Swaziland and South Africa -- for vaccination programs in rural India (see above).