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The Australian Partnerships with African Communities (APAC) Program set out for men and women in 132 southern African communities to lead their own development, to address the impacts of HIV and AIDS, to have increased food security, and to secure access to basic social services. Structurally, the APAC program had three objectives:

  • Achieve food sovereignty and security through building community capacity
  • Build a network to improve the quality of the responses to HIV and AIDS
  • Create a more enabling environment for HIV and AIDS programs.

This report explores theoretical approaches to community development focusing on community engagement, and highlights emerging best practice in community entry strategies for HIV and sustainable livelihood development projects. It considers community engagement strategies undertaken by the seven partners working on the APAC program in South Africa and Mozambique and identifies the approaches that they use; sections highlight the strengths and challenges encountered in their strategies, and discuss common trends that have emerged from a study of the various approaches.

The report also provides lessons and recommendations that emerge from the findings to inform further community engagement practice.

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