The Capacity Development and Support Program (CDS) contributes to achieving the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets by promoting, facilitating or providing HIV testing services in all its programs, with a specific emphasis on reaching vulnerable populations, such as orphans and vulnerable children and youth and adolescent girls and young women and their male sex partners. CDS strengthens referrals and linkages to treatment and works with its partners to integrate ongoing care and support, including long-term adherence, into their programming. CDS also addresses many of the social and structural factors that contribute to vulnerability to HIV infection, such as harmful gender norms and gender-based violence.
CDS focuses on developing the organizational and technical capacity and sustainability of local nongovernmental organizations and governments in southern Africa to sustain an improved, expanded and country-led response to HIV and AIDS.
The program has the following strategic objectives:
- Develop sustainable institutional capacity
- Strengthen the overall health system
- Support the provision of sustainable, high-quality, HIV and AIDS services
- Enhance local partner capacity in treatment, care and prevention
CDS employs a broad and flexible methodology that incorporates a wide range of tools and approaches selected according to their suitability to specific requests received from USAID and government departments and ministries. The CDS methodology ensures accountability for results by developing meaningful indicators and benchmarks for measuring project outcomes.
CDS implements projects and activities in the following streams:
- Orphans and vulnerable children and youth
- Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS)
- Institutional capacity
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Support to systems strengthening in governments
- Lesotho local partners technical assistance
CDS is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/South Africa under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It originally was implemented in South Africa; it expanded to Lesotho and Eswatini in fiscal year 2020.