Managing Diversity and creating capabilities for effective HIV and AIDS mitigation in Uganda: The community dialogue Approach.

Najjuma, Saidah Mbooge (2016). 'Managing Diversity and creating capabilities for effective HIV and AIDS mitigation in Uganda: The community dialogue Approach.' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract Diversity; the human characteristics, associations and behaviours that make people different from one another such as literacy levels, ethnic, class, sexual orientation and physical abilities among other factors, are still strong in determining what individuals or groups are able to be and do. While plurality is a fact, appreciation of differences allows individuals to work together to meet their needs collectively. Further, people have diverse abilities; experiences, values, perspectives, skills, gifts and personal stories that they wish to share among stakeholders with the same calling to mitigate HIV and AIDS effects. Creating capabilities provides collaborates with the means by which they are influential in determining mitigation measures. One of the key participatory approaches useful in integrating diversity is the community dialogue approach. It for instance enables every participant irrespective of their background to tell his or her own story, the opportunities they envisage and the difficulties involved in their functioning’s. Guided by the convergence model of communication, the study adopted a qualitative Case Study Design to carry out in-depth investigation and observation of participants in the study area of Nakasongola, who included men, women, and children involved in mitigation of HIV and AIDS effects with support of Save the Children, Uganda. Data was collected through participant observation, supplemented by focus group discussions, participatory learning action methods, and key informants interviews, and was analysed manually. Findings show that community dialogue optimises diversity of capacities into the design, planning, and implementation of HIV and AIDS mitigation interventions, thus promotion of agency in a community’s own context and rights. Community dialogue combines diverse abilities into collective capabilities such as in teams, special interest groups, and psychosocial support networks and economic support systems to address the adverse effects of HIV and AIDS. Because the process of community dialogue is central in human interactions and neutral to diversity, the study found knowledge expansion, altruism, collective fundraising strategies, community capacity building, and social ownership that were important in effective in mitigating the effects of HIV and AIDS. In conclusion, community dialogue allows the possibility of managing diversity a key factor that traditionally dogged the participation of under privileged groups and it allows creation of capabilities for effective HIV and AIDS mitigation can be realised. Therefore, more of it is needed among the stakeholders to manage diversity locally and globally.

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