Erin Rains works on Management Sciences for Health’s AIDSTAR-Two project and is an OVCsupport.net contributor.

Several months ago, I was asked to help manage a newly redesigned site that focuses on children and HIV/AIDS. I knew that over the last decade there had been an enormous increase in both the amount of and access to global health information. Thus, the challenge was to shift from simply producing more material to organizing, exchanging, and effectively using this growing knowledge base.

The goal of the Web site OVCSupport.net is to do just that. The site serves as a global hub for information on children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS.  The site’s library contains more than 900 documents that provide users with a wealth of information on programming and research for orphans and vulnerable children. However, information is gleaned from  many sources, not just from documents. Information is also borne of the tacit knowledge of its users, so the site was recently redesigned to encourage more interaction among users. OVCsupport.net provides a platform for people working with children and HIV around the world to have a voice. Users can now participate in online discussions, rate and comment on documents, browse daily news articles on OVC topics, and communicate through Facebook and Twitter.

During the time I have worked on the site, OVCSupport.net’s usership continues to grow—both in number and reach—demonstrating the increasing access to knowledge. The site has more than 2,500 visitors monthly from approximately 100 countries. More than 16,000 documents have been downloaded over the last three months. OVCSupport.net is increasingly working to share information from the field by engaging local implementers to tell about their experiences and contribute their findings.

OVCSupport.net hopes that by collaborating with sites such as http://www.iywg.org/, users will have quick access to pertinent information covering all areas of global health, and be able to share their thoughts and knowledge with colleagues around the world. 

The OVCSupport.net site is managed by Management Sciences for Health and supported by USAID. To register for the site, please click here. For more information on OVCSupport.net or to submit a document or article to be featured on the site, please contact us at ovcsupport@msh.org.