India HIV/AIDS Resource Centre
National AIDS Control Organisation
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

Strategic Information Management is one of the cornerstones of the country’s fourth phase of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-IV). It is envisaged to have an overarching knowledge management strategy that encompasses the entire gamut of strategic information activities, starting with data generation to data dissemination and its effective utilisation by the stakeholders, for evidence-based planning and implementation.


Among others, the Strategic Information Management Unit (SIMU) deals with consolidating programme data, conducting surveillance and periodic evaluations, undertaking research, promoting data use for policy making, programme planning, implementation and review at national, state, district and reporting unit levels. Evidence requirements and research priorities are being customized to the emerging needs of the program. Special efforts are being made to undertake analysis and HIV/AIDS research required to answer the key questions in the programme. For achieving this, there is a strong focus on building capacities of epidemiologists monitoring officers, statisticians as well as programme managers at national, state and district levels in appropriate methods and tools of analysis and modeling. SIMU comprises four divisions: Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Research Division, Surveillance & Estimation Division and Data Analysis & Dissemination Unit.


Key Components
I. Tasks, Services and Structures:

• Monitoring and Evaluation:

Monthly data collection under the programme is done through the nationwide Computerized Management Information System (CMIS) , which provides strategic information on programme monitoring and evaluation. However, it was felt that data from CMIS and HIV Sentinel Surveillance are not sensitive enough to detect the emerging hot spots of the epidemic. To ensure robust reporting and programme monitoring, the web-based integrated system, Strategic Information Management System (SIMS), has been rolled out and strengthened at over 15,000 reporting units at health facilities and intervention sites across the country. The system facilitates data flow and feedback at various levels. 
Various planning documents and reports are prepared by the division on regular basis for dissemination of the programme data. These include monthly note on status of achievements to Cabinet Secretariat, Global AIDS Progress Reporting, Result Framework Document and Outcome Budget Document, and inputs for national and international documents such as Economic Survey, National Health Profile, India Report, Plan Documents, Joint Implementation Review Mission Reports, UNGASS report, Universal Access report and SAARC report, etc.


NACO has given a strong emphasis to strengthening of research activities under the programme, to position NACO as the leading national body, promoting and coordinating research on HIV/AIDS nationally and in the South Asia region. HIV/AIDS research covers a wide diversity of areas, such as epidemiological, social, behavioural, clinical and operational research; each of these has a strong role to play in providing a direction to the programme strategies and policies. 
Capacity building in Operational Research and Ethics, and coordinating activities of Technical Resource Group on Research & Development and NACO Ethics Committee are major components of the Research division. The NACO Research Fellowship Scheme has been conceptualized with the main aim of facilitating capacity building of young researchers in the country for undertaking quality and need based research in the field of HIV/AIDS and to communicate research findings for impacting policy and programme. 



Surveillance and Estimation:

HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS): HIV Sentinel Surveillance is one of the key components of second generation surveillance system in India. Being implemented since 1998, HSS focuses on thorough study of HIV prevalence trends coupled with a deeper understanding of the risk behaviours and vulnerabilities that drive the epidemic trends among different population groups in a given region and also identify the spread of the epidemic to new pockets. Over the years, the surveillance network has expanded from 176 sites in 1998, to 1359 sites in 2011 (including 696 ANC and 184 STD sites) when almost all districts are covered under the surveillance system. The 13th round of HSS 2012-13 has been commissioned at 750 ANC sites and 13 STD sites across the country.
National Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance (IBBS): Given the low level and concentrated nature of the HIV epidemics in the country, Integrated Biological & Behavioural Surveillance has been planned and is being implemented as a strategic focus to strengthen surveillance among High Risk Groups and Bridge Population. This is a population-based survey aimed at providing HIV prevalence and key behavioural indicators at district, state and national levels.
HIV Estimations: In the country, HIV Estimations is the primary source of updated information on the current state of HIV epidemic. Using the data from the epidemiological and demographic data inputs available through the latest round of HIV Sentinel Surveillance, the Census data and other programme data, the HIV Estimation Report of the country is prepared on a regular basis. NACO Technical Resource Group on Surveillance and Estimations comprising of national and international experts review and approve the HIV Estimation results. HIV Estimations 2012 have been finalized and released after an elaborate and rigorous exercise of modelling.

Data Analysis and Dissemination Unit:

Under NACP there is robust data generation through surveillance, research and M&E (CMIS/SIMS) with enormous volumes of data collected through multiple reporting formats on numerous indicators. The Data Analysis & Dissemination Unit has been set up at NACO to institutionalize mechanisms for data analysis and data use at national, state and district levels. In order to make best use of the available data, identify analytic requirements, and to address the programme needs and research priorities, a structured Analysis and Research plan has been developed through a consultative process for commissioning analytical work/ research studies accordingly.



Thematic Area: