Since 2016, DevTech’s S4SIPMS project has supported PEPFAR’s commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by implementing hundreds of SIMS assessments across Nigeria.
SIMS is a Site Improvement through Monitoring System, created by Ambassador Deborah Brix in 2014. At its core, SIMS is a quality assurance methodology used to increase the impact of PEPFAR programs through standardized monitoring of the quality of HIV/AIDS-related services. The tools are comprised of assessments that score the quality of care provided against PEPFAR quality of care standards.
The Department of State’s Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) recently released SIMS 4.0 – the newest version of the SIMS assessment tool. SIMS 4.0 is the most technical version of the tool to date, requiring deep knowledge to assess PEPFAR programs and relate those scores to Monitoring, Evaluation and Recording (MER) indicators. The release of SIMS 4.0 created a flurry of activity for DevTech’s S4SIPMS team. The staff in Abuja have trained assessors on the new SIMS 4.0 tools while simultaneously completing roughly ten assessments per week. On Thursday, January 31, the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, and Capacity Building Specialist hosted seven implementing partners (IPs) in Abuja for a training on SIMS 4.0 to prepare IPs to successfully apply the tool to their PEPFAR program sites. Some of the IP training content included:
- How to prioritize sites for assessment
- How SIMS 4.0 differs from previous versions and what that means for IPs
- The new scoring system used in SIMS 4.0
- How to identify the required vs. elective elements of an assessment
All Operating Units (OUs) are required by PEPFAR to use the SIMS tools, and most OUs oversee SIMS scheduling, assessments, and management of IPs without the engagement of third-party contractors. However, DevTech’s highly skilled team in Abuja was entrusted with the training of IPs in Nigeria due to their high level of competency with SIMS tools and assessment management. In fact, S4SIPMS is the only standalone SIMS project in the world, and DevTech’s work in Nigeria has become the industry standard thanks to the team’s great work over the past three years.