Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush launched the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative under the leadership of the Department of State’s Office of the Global Aids Coordinator (OGAC). Soon after, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was created as an independent U.S. foreign aid agency with a mission to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Thus began a unique journey for each of these two innovative United States government investments. Since their inception, MCC and PEPFAR have worked together to improve the lives of men, women and children around the world.
In 2015, MCC and PEPFAR created the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) program to help achieve sustainable HIV epidemic control and build upon their respective strengths. PEPFAR needed ways to boost the skills of key stakeholders—such as ministry of health staff, implementation partners, community workers and even beneficiaries—to better understand what their health data means and contribute to local evidence-based strategies to end HIV/AIDS. MCC had a proven model of using country ownership for sustained impact and well-integrated gender policies that could complement PEPFAR’s work, and we were ready to explore how the use of data could further enhance our partner countries’ roles in making the most of investments funded by U.S. taxpayers.
We put our partnership to work in Tanzania to unleash the power of data against HIV/AIDS, and our efforts have produced some tangible results. Those successes in Tanzania are now informing the recently expanded program in Côte d'Ivoire. MCC signed a $524.7 million compact with the Ivorian government last year, and our program will work to leverage the synergies from that existing relationship to boost positive outcomes.