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Keywords:

  • HIV/AIDS prevention;
  • Tripartism;
  • workplace

Abstract

A strategic venue to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic has become the workplace. One program, SMARTWork, implemented by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) in six diverse countries, utilized a tripartite approach fostering partnerships between three sectors—government, business and labour—to advance HIV/AIDS workplace policies and programs at the national, provincial and enterprise levels. The implementation of this approach produced important learnings in the field of HIV/AIDS and the world of work. First, getting an early understanding of the country context and prior tripartite conditions helps identify the facilitators and barriers to tripartite building. Second, inclusion is critical—insisting on a structure where all sector partners have a [place at the table] helps build the credibility of weaker sectors and strengthens tripartism. Third, sector expectations must be clear—tripartite partners need to be transparent with each other about how to plan for and obtain resource commitments to advance their objectives. Most importantly, flexibility is key. While starving for collaboration between the three tripartite partners, individual sectors can have strategic impact, along with bipartite partnerships, in addressing HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.