National Commitments and Policy Instrument (NCPI)

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National Commitments and Policy Instrument (NCPI)
What it measures

It measures progress in the development and implementation of national-level HIV and AIDS policies, strategies and laws.


This indicator tracks progress made in implementing the laws, regulations and policies necessary for an effective response to HIV.

Method of measurement

National Commitments and Policy Instrument (see Appendix 3)

The NCPI questionnaire is divided in two parts which cover the following areas:

Part A to be administered to government officials.

Part A covers:
I. Strategic plan
II. Political support and leadership
III. Human Rights
IV. Prevention
V. Treatment, care and support
VI. Monitoring and evaluation

Part B to be administered to representatives from civil society organizations, bilateral agencies, and UN organizations.

Part B covers:
I. Civil Society involvement
II. Political support and leadership
III. Human rights
IV. Prevention
V. Treatment, care and support

Some questions occur in both Part A and Part B to ensure that the views of both the government and nongovernment respondents, whether in agreement or not, are obtained.

Each section should be completed by (a) conducting a desk review of relevant documents and (b) interviewing key people most knowledgeable about the topic. It is important to submit a fully completed NCPI: check the relevant standardized responses as well as provide further information in the open text boxes where requested. This will facilitate a better understanding of the current country situation, provide examples of good practice for others to learn from, and pin-point some issues for further improvement. NCPI responses reflect the overall policy, strategy, legal and programme implementation environment of the HIV response. The open text boxes provide an opportunity to comment on issues that are perceived as important but insufficiently captured in the questions as asked e.g. important sub-national variations; the level of implementation of strategies, policies, laws or regulations; explanatory notes; comments on the data sources etc. In general, draft strategies, policies, or laws are not considered ‘in existence’ (i.e., there is no opportunity yet to expect their influence on programme implementation) so questions about whether such a document exists should be answered with ‘no’. It would, however, be useful to state that such documents are in draft form in the relevant open text box.

While the responsibility for submitting the consolidated NCPI data lies with the national government, the assistance of technical coordinators for data gathering, data consolidation and data validation is strongly advised. Accurate completion of the NCPI requires the involvement of a range of stakeholders which should include representatives of civil society organizations. It is strongly recommended (a) to organize an initial workshop with key stakeholders to agree on the NCPI data gathering process (including relevant documents for desk review, organizational representatives to be interviewed, process to be used for determining final responses), timeline; (b) to organize a final workshop with key stakeholders to present, discuss and validate the NCPI findings before official submission as part of the Global AIDS Progress Report. Agreement on the final NCPI data does not require that discrepancies, if any, between overlapping questions in Part A and Part B be reconciled; it simply means that when there are different perspectives that Part A respondents agree on their responses, Part B respondents agree on their responses, and that both are submitted.

If not already the case, it is useful to collate all key documents (i.e., policies, strategies, laws, guidelines, reports etc) related to the HIV response in one place which allows easy access by all stakeholders (such as a website). This will not only facilitate validation of NCPI responses but, even more importantly, increase awareness about and encourage use of these important documents in the implementation of the national HIV response going forward.

Measurement frequency


Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

The NCPI is the most comprehensive standardized questionnaire available to assess the policy, strategy, legal and programme implementation environment for the HIV response. Although the NCPI is generally referred to as an ‘indicator’ it is not used in that sense. The importance of the NCPI lies in the process of data collection and data reconciliation between different stakeholders, detailed analysis of the responses, and its use in strengthening the national HIV response. The NCPI process provides a unique opportunity for the variety of stakeholders to take stock of progress made and to discuss what still needs to be done to support an effective and efficient HIV response. When completed in a truly collaborative manner, inviting appropriate representation and respecting different views, the NCPI process can play an important role in strengthening in-country collaboration and increasing shared ownership of the HIV response.

It is important to analyse the data for each of the NCPI sections and include a write-up in the narrative section of the Country Progress Report in terms of progress made in (a) policy, strategy and law development and (b) implementation of these in support of the country’s HIV response. Comments on the agreements or discrepancies between overlapping questions in Parts A and B should also be included, as well as a trend analysis on the key NCPI data since 2003, where available.

Compare NCPI in Guidelines on construction of core indicators, UNAIDS 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009 respectively, for selecting questions for which trends can be calculated.

Further information