Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Scriven

Third Advisor

Dr. Robin Miller


Despite numerous attempts by international agencies to halt the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), nowhere has the impact of HIV/AIDS been felt more acutely than among women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). SSA women account for 59% of adults over the age of 15 living with HIV/AIDS and 76% of those 15-24 who are infected (United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS [UNAIDS], 2007).

The evidence on gender disparities in infection rates is indisputable; there is an urgent need to identify what is missing in HIV/AIDS prevention interventions: What is the evidence based upon which programs are grounded? Program evaluations should influence and inform policy and funding and provide a critical feedback mechanism for the design of HIV interventions that work for girls and women.

This dissertation examines HIV/AIDS evaluation practices by bilateral and multilateral agencies in Sub Sahara. The main objectives are: 1) to identify a small set of demonstrable properties (e.g., validity, credibility, utility, cost-effectiveness, ethicality, robustness) adequate to characterize high-quality gender-sensitive evaluations of HIV/AIDS prevention interventions in SSA. (over) These properties will be used to determine the absolute and relative merit and worth of a sample of evaluations of HIV/AIDS interventions; and 2) to suggest ways that evaluations of SSA HIV/AIDS prevention interventions can help influence prevention interventions that shift the underlying social ecology that gives rise to women's vulnerability.

As the first in-depth metaevaluation study of evaluations of HIV/AIDS prevention interventions, this dissertation contributes to the practice of evaluation within SSA and will help identify prevention strategies with potential for meaningful sustained change for women and girls.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access