An evaluation of the HIV/AIDS workplace programme of the South African Police Service (SAPS)
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The HIV/AIDS pandemic is having a negative impact on all South African workplaces. In order to address this problem in the South African Police Service (SAPS), a comprehensive workplace programme has been developed and implemented since 2000. It currently includes two HIV/AIDS awareness programmes (one for new recruits and one for the staff in general), a HIV/AIDS Peer Education Programme, a Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) programme, numerous awareness initiatives, national and international partnerships and a variety of care and support services (SAPS, 2004:1). Although the effect of some of the individual interventions has been researched, a dire need existed in the organisation for an evaluation of the workplace programme as a whole. Only in this way would it have been possible to ascertain if the programme is effective and represents a worthwhile expenditure of time, money and effort. Objectives: The aim of this research was to evaluate the South African Police Service's HIV/AIDS -Workplace Programme and, if necessary, provide guidelines for its improvement. Method: The main thrust of the research can be depicted as "programme evaluation" in which an evaluative research design was used. In this case, the data collection methods varied from structured interviews, secondary analysis to more qualitative focus group discussions. Results: The research results indicated that there are numerous positive elements but also some deficiencies in the current SAPS HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme. The current Programme is very comprehensive, well structured and sufficiently funded, but not always effectively implemented on ground level. The recommended improvements to the Programme and its implementation will make it an even more effective instrument for dealing with the SAPS's HIV/AIDS workplace issues. The resultant programme could also be used as a model by other organisations.
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