The increasing emphasis on strengthening civil society as a part of the response to HIV and AIDS in the region attests to the fact that SAT's focus on community competence is a valuable one. SAT's niche lies in strengthening community HIV and AIDS competence. A key component of supporting this competence is enhancing the resource environment in which communities operate by mobilising and supporting the coordinated flow of resources into communities.
SAT's strategy is built on the premise that the successes of any responses to the HIV epidemic rest ultimately with individuals living in and shaped by affected communities. HIV and AIDS competent communities are the frontline in reducing the HIV incidence, allowing increased access and adherence to ART for people in the region and contributing to mitigating the impact of the epidemic.
SAT country offices work with community partners and, via sub-granting and capacity building, community competence is enhanced and strengthened. Community competence is also built through sharing the rich and diverse experiences of partners through operations research. The knowledge and wisdom gained in this way is fed into enriching civil society more broadly through communications and publications.
SAT's paradigm for promoting community HIV and AIDS competence rests on four underpinning concepts: values, encompassing willingness and solidarity; knowledge, skills and sustainability.
SAT also works with strategic partners so that the knowledge and experience gained from local/community-level partnerships form part of advocacy towards changing policies and practices in ways that ultimately create a climate to enable communities to strengthen their capacity, have it resourced and exercise it skilfully in response to the epidemic.