1. When implementing HIV/AIDS prevention activities targeted at women, it is essential to gain high-level political support and commitment within national governments, donors, national AIDS programmes, nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations and communities themselves to achieve effective and sustained national policies and/or large scale programmes.
2. Political leaders should be encouraged to recognize the important role they have to play in terms of advocacy. They can also ensure that policies and/or programme priorities are integrated, as far as possible, within existing national priorities and strategies, and ensure that the essential policy and/or programme objectives are adhered to.
3. It is vital that a thorough problem analysis is conducted, and that key issues are identified and understood, prior to policy formulation and/or programme design. Specific attention should be given to: short-term and long-term objectives; principal components required; current knowledge and situation; methodology; budgetary considerations; and cost-effectiveness.
4. To ensure successful implementation of a policy and/or programme it is vital to include in the planning process a clear definition of the operational structures and responsibility levels prior to policy and/or programme implementation. This should be done in accordance with existing implementation capacities and budgetary structures.
5. Appropriate mechanisms should be put into place to ensure policy and/or programme continuity and sustainability, so that any changes in the social, economic or political situation should not impair the effectiveness or threaten the survival of the policy and/or programme in question.
6. To ensure a policy’s or programme’s long-term effectiveness and usefulness, it should be monitored and evaluated at regular intervals. Given the high cost of evaluation, it may not be possible to subject every policy or programme to such evaluation. Practical and simple monitoring, using indicators that are easy to measure, provides sufficient feedback for improvement.
7. For media-related aspects of national policies and programmes to be most effective, continuous campaigns are needed over time and across media. These campaigns should be responsive to the particular needs of the community targeted. Further to this they should be culturally sensitive, while providing correct information, and where possible promote dialogue within a community. New messages should be developed in accordance with changes in the social context and messages need to be adjusted and renewed frequently so as to maintain interest.
8. Nongovernmental (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) are an important component of HIV/AIDS prevention strategies targeting women. Long-lasting and optimal success of policies and/or programmes will best be achieved where national governments and programme planners build links with relevant NGOs and CBOs and encourage participatory interaction between themselves and these organizations.