Evaluating HIV/AIDS programmes

The ultimate objective of any AIDS/HIV intervention project is to reduce the spread of AIDS by promoting safer sexual behaviour. It is misleading to evaluate individual projects in terms of their success in achieving this because behavioural changes are influenced by a range of external factors. When measuring success, then, indicators should be carefully chosen to assess real changes in attitude; for example, measuring the likelihood that sex-workers make use of condoms, rather than simply monitoring the number of contraceptives distributed. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development for Health.