The IQ Business Group has harnessed its process skills to enable the efficient and cost-effective roll-out of an HIV/Aids e-health system to 23 community-based organisations (CBOs) around the country.
The system – a cellphone-based data capture solution for organisations involved in HIV training, education and support – was developed by Cell-Life, a non-profit company that supplies effective technology-based solutions for the management of HIV/Aids.
Cell-Life systems are used to raise awareness and understanding of HIV among at-risk groups including teenagers. They are also used to boost treatment literacy among those living with HIV by enabling the sharing of information on how to handle their complex medication routines.
According to Cell-Life's GM Peter Benjamin, the data capture system had been operating effectively in one CBO for about a year when Cell-Life was recently contracted by John Hopkins Education in South Africa (JHHESA) to supply and install the system at a further 23 CBOs around the country.
This was a major undertaking as each CBO's use for and requirements of the system are different; and each has different technology capabilities, infrastructure and resources.
"This is the largest single project we have ever been involved in and frankly, we didn't know where to start. That's when we approached IQ for assistance," he says.
Claire O'Neill, a process consultant at IQ's Cape Town office says the challenge facing Cell-Life is not uncommon among NGOs.
"Cell-Life is an expert in its field – HIV/Aids. It has developed superb technology that will assist in the fight against the pandemic. But it lacks the business process skills needed to get its systems to where they are needed. IQ has necessary process skills and, recognising the tremendous value of the project to the broader South African community, we were more than happy to donate our time and expertise to ensure it runs smoothly," she adds.
Three IQ staff members – two business analysts and a project manager – spent two weeks visiting each CBO to gather information about their operations and needs. They then compiled a business requirement document which included information on the needs of each CBO; and a timeline and process plans for the roll-out across all sites – including plans for the training of the CBO staff and users, and the resources that would be needed to complete the process.
At the same time, IQ trained Cell-Life staff on the correct manner in which to gather requirement information as well as how to develop timeline and implementation plans for a technology project of this size and complexity.
"IQ's willingness to support social action has enabled its skills and professionalism to be transferred to the broader HIV sector. This will have a tremendously beneficial impact on the effectiveness of our fight against HIV/Aids in the future," Benjamin adds.