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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 395J • The Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46640 TH
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
BUR 214
Buckley

Course Description

Some of the greatest challenges we face are of our own making: the obstructions of bureaucracy, the injustice of stigma, the rivalry, lack of coherence, and the failure of political leadership.,.... This is not time to be divided by institutional agendas. We all have the same goals and we must work together - each playing to our individual strengths.

Peter Piot, Director UNAIDS
Plenary Address, Closing Ceremony
VX AIDS Conference Bangkok July 2004

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a crisis of incredible social, cultural, political, and economic significance. It challenges behavioral choices, contributes to the stigmatization of risk groups, alters the structure and composition of families, destroys communities, intensifies poverty, stresses health services, depletes labor forces, challenges state capacity, and presents a significant threat to security around the globe. A diverse array of interventions from intergovernmental agencies (IGOs), non-governmental agencies (NGOs), national and local governments, and informal social organizations emerge from the past twenty years of AIDS experience. This graduate seminar seeks to systematically examine the aims and content of HIV/AIDS programs undertaken by IGOs, NGOs, States and communities. The seminar will investigate the extent to which structural differences between these organizational forms translate into comparative advantages or disadvantages in specific policy areas, and in turn the ways in which organizational differences change the way in which HIV/AIDS is conceptualized and framed as a social issue. Using the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a case study in comparative crisis response enables students to gain important grounding in the key issues relating to the most significant global challenge of the era and to critically assess the importance of structural variation within the non profit sector for program capacity. The seminar will be broad in scope, with students encouraged to focus individual research assignments on areas more directly related to their focus of study. Readings will contribute to our understandings of non-profit and philanthropic studies, issues of globalization, development, and inequality, regional studies, and gender. As one of the first social science graduate offerings to focusing on HIV/AIDS policy, this seminar fills an important gap in current course offerings. Focusing on both masters and Doctorial portfolio students, the course seeks to fit the interests of students in the social sciences, area studies, and professional schools including social work, public affairs, nursing, law, business and education.

Course Focus
The seminar is designed around six central questions:
1. What are the major Sociological issues related to the HIV/AIDS pandemic?
2. What types of organizations are involved in generating and evaluating HIV/AIDS policy?
3. What are structural forms do these organizations take?
4. What are their comparative structural advantages of different organizational types, theoretically and in practice?
5. How can these organizations work best, alone or together, to address the Sociological issues related to HIV/AIDS?
6. How can these organizations work with the private sector? As complements? As substitutes? As rivals?

Grading Policy

There will be three major assignments for the course. Any or all of the three assignments may be done alone or in groups, with permission of the instructor.

1. The first assignment focuses on a directed case study. Students will be assigned a specific agency involved in the HIV/AIDS policy area, developing a case history of the organization, addressing the following questions:
A. How did this organization get started?
B. What is the mission? How has the mission evolved?
C. Where are the sources of support for the organization (internationally, nationally, or socially)?
D. How is the organization structured? How does it fit or challenge our typology?
E. How effective is the organization? (Make your criteria for efficacy clear and defensible)
F. What can this case add to our understanding of HIV/AIDS nonprofits?

Each group or individual will give an oral presentation on their findings the fourth week of class (Feb. 5) , and submit an 8 to 10 page (double spaced) paper summarizing their investigation the fifth week of the seminar (Feb 12). This will be worth 20% of your final grade.

2. Mid way through the seminar student will be expected to write an evaluation of a specific program aimed at HIV/AIDS related education or prevention for the second assignment. This assignment will be peer evaluated. Participants may elect to focus on a case study from the course readings or an instructor approved program of their choice. Playing the role of an external evaluation consultant, they are to generate an 8 to 10 page (double spaced) assessment. Each assessment will minimally include the following:
A. What were the initial goals of the program?
B. What resources were devoted to this program?
C. How was the program structured?
D. How was the program monitored?
E. What are the current results?
F. What structural factors impeded or enabled the project?

All participants will turn in 2 copies of their evaluation on March 18, one for peer review and one for Professor Buckley. Everyone will be responsible for approximately one page of comments for the evaluation their review on March 25th. This assignment will be worth 25% of your final grade, and the review will be worth 5% of your final grade. (total 30%)

3. Finally, in place of a research paper, participants are asked to develop a detailed program proposal in the area of HIV/AIDS for their final project (approximately (20 to 25 pages). The proposal must either advocate the establishment of a new program, seek funding to expanded or continuing a current program, or conduct. The proposals must be fully researched, include a detailed and feasible budget, and incorporate issues relating to the appropriateness of the organizational structure advocated. In my graduate methods seminars I often require the development of a grant proposal as a final project and find that students benefit from this more "applied" structure and enjoy the creativity it affords. For students especially interested in the area of HIV/AIDS the program proposal can provide the basis for their portfolio paper or policy report. I encourage ambitious students to establish links with local HIV/AIDS nonprofits and to generate concrete program proposals linked to the needs and goals of such agencies. All topics should be submitted to Professor Buckley by March 4th for approval. This assignment is worth 50% of your final grade in total. Rough drafts of your proposals may be turned in for preliminary assessment and evaluation until 5pm on April 25th. The submission of rough drafts of your proposal is strongly encouraged.

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