Thursday, 27 August 2009

Introducing MyAIDSNexus

We are very pleased to share the beta version of our new site MyAIDSNexus with you: www.myaidsnexus.org.

While the official launch is still a few months away, we’d really appreciate your feedback on the site. Have a look around, set up a personal profile, start a group, highlight your organisation – and let us know what you like and what could be improved.

The site is the result of many conversations with you and other partners. It is a social networking site that aims to improve flows of information and networking among people responding to HIV and AIDS.

MyAIDSNexus is a global site (the first one built on the new Nexus platform) and is aimed primarily at people in countries where we do not have AIDSPortal partners. In addition to show casing some new features, it also provides an example of what is possible in other Nexus sites.

Some of the key features include:
∗ Interactive profiles for individuals and groups
∗ Customizable discussion groups (that can include pictures and polls)
∗ Micro-sites (mini web-sites) for community-based organizations without a web presence
∗ Applications (such as job listings, videos, directories) that you can include on your own website
∗ Jobs, events and funding opportunities

We are now starting to work with some of our partners to help create their own Nexus sites. These will have their own distinct names and branding, but could utilise the same features and content if wanted. We are also working on a way for users to manage the same profiles across different sites.

This is only the beginning. For one, we will be introducing mobile phone functionality, such as SMS, to extend the reach of information. We’ve built the platform to allow you to add new features and functions, so let us know if there is something you would like to see included.

Since the site is still in a ‘beta’ (testing) version, you will notice that there are things that don’t work as they should, or parts of the site that need to simplified. We’ve set up a simple form that you can fill in if you come across a problem: http://www.myaidsnexus.org/web/guest/feedback. This will help get the site ready for the launch, and help us make sure it meets your needs.

We look forward to hearing what you think.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Mapping availability of HIV, AIDS and TB services in Kenya

How can policymakers identify gaps in the delivery of HIV, AIDS and TB services at the community level?
How can communities provide feedback to policymakers on availability and quality of services in their area?
How can communities affected by AIDS be referred to appropriate local services?

The information needed to answer these important questions is mostly already available, just not easily accessible. A new AIDSPortal project seeks to make it easier to answer these and other questions by publishing data on location and type of HIV services for Kenya on a Google map.

The project is a partnership with the Kenyan AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) and Ushahidi and receives funding from the Google.org Fund at the Tides Foundation .

It will adapt the platform developed by Ushahidi for crowd sourcing crisis information to enable the publication of data on the coverage of HIV, AIDS and TB services across Africa. Outcomes from this work will be:

• A way for organisations to publish and maintain interactive data relating to public, non-governmental organisation (NGO) and community based organization (CBO) service provision
• More widespread, accessible and, up to date visual information and supportive material, such as contact details, for policy makers, planners and professionals

This map will allow policy makers, practitioners and advocates to identify gaps in services and improve referrals for people living with HIV or AIDS.

Some of the questions we seek to answer during this project include:

• Is it more cost effective for a network with pre-existing linkages with service providers to collect data on service availability?
• Does this approach result in reliable and accurate data?
• What incentives are need to encourage service providers to update their own data?
• What is the most appropriate way to make this data accessible to different audiences (communities affected by AIDS, service providers, policymakers and donors)?

Please leave a comment below or contact us if you would like to know more. For information on other organisations funded through the Geo Challenge Grant see the following link. Official google.org Blog: Announcing 14 Geo Challenge Grant Recipients

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

PortalSIDA: meeting a need for knowledge sharing and networking in Latin America and the Caribbean

PortalSIDA has rapidly grown since its launch just one year ago at the Mexico AIDS Conference. The knowledge sharing and networking portal for Latin America and the Caribbean now has over 1500 resources (documents, weblinks and events) and a growing number of visitors every month. The site also highlights job opportunities and has hosted discussions on key issues, such as regional priorities and the Global Fund.

PortalSIDA is run by our partner organisation, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and is the online component of the Latin American and Caribbean Knowledge Managment Centre.

Vist PortalSIDA to
  • share spanish language information related to HIV and AIDS, including policy, best practice and lesson learned
  • connect with people and organisations from around the region
  • consult and provide feedback on key regional issues
You can also follow PortalSIDA on Facebook and Twitter, and email the PortalSIDA Moderator at info@portalsida.org.