ABOUT US - Where We've Worked

PEPFAR country teams face many of the same challenges and therefore, generally request similar types of support. However, the focus, activities, and outcomes of each intervention can vary significantly based on the immediate needs of the country team. The graphic below illustrates the countries in which TeamSTAR has provided services to the PEPFAR team. Scroll over the map to learn more about the key activities and outcomes of TeamSTAR's support in each country.


In Angola, TeamSTAR designed and facilitated a two-day team workshop, consulted with team leadership, and conducted multiple follow-on individual and team planning sessions in country.  TeamSTAR OD Specialists helped the PEPFAR Angola team achieve broad consensus on:

  • Budget and program priorities for COP 2011
  • A new organizational structure
  • Operating norms
  • Areas for improvement and an action plan for making these improvements
  • Team meeting processes
  • Communication protocols

With TeamSTAR's assistance, the team developed a detailed workplan for COP completion and negotiated budget priorities.  TeamSTAR's OD Tool, TeamSTAR's OD Tool, Team Decision Making: Gradients of Agreement (part of the TeamSTAR Tips & Tools Series) proved useful to team deliberations.


In Benin, OD Specialists worked with the USAID Mission to clarify the mission, vision and goals, and to establish action plans and collective commitments to achieve those goals. Through facilitated decision-making exercises, Mission staff prioritized issues they faced in their work together and developed strategies to address them. To enhance the team's effectiveness, TeamSTAR introduced specific communication and team skills that were reinforced throughout these exercises. As a result of working with these skills participants felt their teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration were improved within and between divisions and support teams and the different categories of mission staff.


The TeamSTAR consultancy with PEPFAR Burundi had three main objectives:  1) facilitate a COP retreat including  a priority setting dialogue to determine program objectives, staff roles, as well as tasks and a timeline for COP submission;  2) design and implement a PEPFAR stakeholders meeting to vet the USG PEPFAR vision and priorities and begin to map donor and partner HIV program activities and investments; and 3) help orient new hires and clarify roles and expectations in regard to the FY12 program.  Preliminary results included:

  • Mapped current program investments and drafted District selection criteria to guide FY12 investments
  • Outlined a strategy, key elements  and timeline for drafting the content of the Partnership Framework
  • Developed a template for stakeholder progress reports and activity mapping
  • Reached consensus on priority focal areas for the FY12 COP and the Partnership Framework
  • Clarified role expectations of prospective hires and established norms for the expanded PEPFAR team
  • Oriented stakeholders to PEPFAR Burundi priorities, activities, and funding for FY12


PEPFAR Cameroon engaged TeamSTAR to help plan, facilitate, and synthesize the results of a USG partners meeting, resulting in:

  • Consensus on the key pillars of the PEPFAR Cameroon strategy and priorities for COP 2011.
  • Agreed definition of what constitutes a successful USG/partner collaboration.
  • Identified mechanisms to enhance communication and collaboration among donors, TWGs, and NGOs.


The Caribbean Regional Program (CRP) encompasses 12 countries, 6 US Missions, and 5 US partners, greatly amplifying the complexity and challenge of operating as one USG. TeamSTAR has supported CRP on a number of occasions, including:

  • ROP Planning: In 2010, TeamSTAR OD Specialists helped the team plan for development, submission, and implementation of the Regional Operational Plan (ROP) by outlining an action plan, analyzing the ROP implementation challenges and developing a preliminary strategy for addressing them. Throughout the process, the team learned and practiced new behavioral norms to support successful communication and collaboration across agency and country boundaries.
  • Expert Facilitation Support: In early 2011, TeamSTAR facilitated the First Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Regional HIV/AIDS Partnership Framework. With TRG’s assistance, regional partners learned about the CRP, resources, and support under the PEPFAR II strategy, and they identified priority action items for the PEPFAR Coordinator's office, the Steering Committee, TAG, and the TWGs, as well as regional action items to address country ownership.
  • Laying a Foundation for SFR: More recently, CRP requested TeamSTAR assistance in addressing OGAC’s Staffing for Results (SFR) guidance.  The OD Specialists helped the team reach a common understanding of SFR and develop an action plan for the process.  The team has reported that this helped lay a strong foundation for a more organized and collaborative SFR planning and decision-making process.
  • Virtual Support and Coaching: In addition to on-site interventions, TeamSTAR has also provided CRP with ongoing virtual support and coaching.  TeamSTAR OD Specialists act as strategic thinking partners in prioritizing, planning, and advancing critical processes.


As a regional program, PEPFAR CAR’s operating environment is particularly complex, requiring alignment of the PEPFAR program within each country’s political context, and alignment of staff who are dispersed across the region and accountable to leadership within the hierarchy of their respective Missions.  Therefore, PEPFAR CAR sought TeamSTAR support in building sustainable and efficient regional teams with the ability to define their roles and responsibilities, collaborate with each other, and achieve program results.

To help achieve this objective, the TeamSTAR OD Specialists conducted a team assessment including interviews with CAR team members and Headquarters staff in Washington to ascertain their vision for a high-functioning CAR team, conducted a rapid assessment of the management team structure, facilitated two core team retreats and an all-hands team building retreat, provided executive coaching, and developed a draft procedures manual.  Preliminary results included:

  • Developed a program vision, Terms of Reference, a ROP timeline and workplan, and an organizational structure recommendation
  • Developed guidelines/specific actions for communicating effectively, conducting meetings, decision-making, engaging partners, and managing conflict
  • Clarified roles and responsibilities of technical and managerial operational units and their key positions
  • Reached consensus on ROP collaboration and decision-making process/structure
  • Improved capacity in a number of core skills including collaborative dialogue, planning, and decision-making; facilitation; managing change; and managing conflict


In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as on many PEPFAR teams, multiple staff transitions were affecting the cohesion and continuity of the team. The purpose of the DRC field intervention was to improve team communication and collaboration while holding a priority-setting dialogue for the COP, producing a working document for the next one year, and developing a revised USG HIV/AIDS strategy for the coming five years. As a result of the intervention, the team developed an action plan, key elements of a strategic plan, and a workplan for completing the COP.  In addition, they were able to address priority issues and reach consensus on programmatic priorities and budget allocations, while building capacity in effective communication.

An important element of the consultancy was a one-day engagement with NGO contractors who were meeting together for the first time for a strategic conversation regarding the PEPFAR program in the DRC. This helped increase stakeholder buy-in and set the stage for further engagement.


The PEPFAR team in Cote d'Ivoire (CI) requested an organizational review and series of team retreats to help them meet their objectives while building stronger working relationships with counterparts and implementing partners. TeamSTAR was able to help them:

  • Identify team strengths to build on and areas for improvement.
    Clarify roles and responsibilities within the team management structure.
  • Create a new decision-making structure and adjust meeting frequency.
  • Draft a new Operations Manual.
  • Create a shared vision, set of guiding principles, and agreed values for working together.
  • Draft programmatic goals and objectives to serve as a basis for development of the PF.
  • Build skills in facilitation, collaboration, and decision-making.


TeamSTAR designed and facilitation an Executive Council/Collaborative Team Retreat, Staffing for Results planning exercise, TWG Skills training and All Hands Retreat, resulting in:

  • Improved capacity of TWG leads in facilitation, team communication, and managing meetings Planning protocols and a recommended processes for COP planning,
  • Defined process, key actions, responsibiltiies and deliverables for the Staffing for Results exercise

With TeamSTAR's assistance, the PEPFAR Ethiopia team completed a recommended program mapping activity as a precursor to Staffing for Results planning discussions. They were also able to achieve greater levels of efficiency and collaboration in producing the GHI strategy and implementation guidelines.


TeamSTAR conducted two field interventions with PEPFAR Kenya primarily to assist the team in reviewing its organization, roles, and responsibilities. The first retreat focused on joint analysis of the COP 2012 planning process, the organization of ITTs and transition of ITT co-chairs, and the development of a roadmap for the coming months. The team PEPFAR reported that TeamSTAR's support was particularly beneficial in reviewing ITT recommendations and proceeding with rapid organizational changes. The team also identified key steps and better practices for COP planning/development.

TeamSTAR's follow-up intervention created an opportunity prior to the COP process for the team to increase efficiency by clarifying roles and responsibilities and by determining whether the team structure, mechanisms and roles articulated in the PIAT Procedures Manual were meeting the needs of the PEPFAR Kenya program. In order to maximize retreat time, TeamSTAR designed a process by which all ITTs provided input to TeamSTAR prior to the retreat. The PEPFAR team reported that the decision-making and consensus-building tools introduced throughout the intervention proved useful beyond the retreat and into the COP 2013 process.


The PEPFAR team in Lesotho faced a challenge that is common among teams in PEPFAR, multiple staffing changes. To help them through the challenging phases of transition, TeamSTAR OD Specialists conducted individual consultations with team leaders, an all hands retreat for local staff, and a training session on Leading and Managing through Staff Transitions. Outcomes of TeamSTAR's assistance included:

  • PEPFAR Lesotho staffing and organizational charts
  • Best practices and guidance for orienting new team members
  • Protocols for team meetings
  • Team priority tasks and timelines including recommended actions to ensure smooth leadership and staff transitions
  • Clarified roles of team managers

TeamSTAR also helped the team specify methods for implementing communication norms and expectations, including managing effective meetings and creating templates to document key decisions.


With the help of TeamSTAR, PEPFAR Mali achieved consensus on key elements of a joint USG strategy encompassing HIV/AIDS programming across all USG agencies. In the process, TeamSTAR OD Specialists helped PEPFAR Mali to:

  • Complete a stakeholder environmental scan
  • Develop action steps and a timeline for completion of the strategy
  • Establish a process for vetting the Strategic Framework and soliciting feedback from key stakeholders

TeamSTAR also helped the team complete a scope of work for a "flexible" TWG to address technical issues in multiple program areas.


In Mozambique, TeamSTAR completed a tandem assignment working with the USAID Integrated Health Office (IHO) and the PEPFAR Team. The priority in the work with the IHO was to facilitate a retreat focused on the implementation of their new organizational structure and role clarification, creating an interactive dialogue on the overall strategic direction, exploring GHI and the concept of integration, and developing operational agreements for moving forward at both the IHO and cluster levels.

With the PEPFAR team, TeamSTAR OD Specialists facilitated a series of meetings that resulted in agreement on the GHI strategy development process and establishment of a core group responsible for its coordination.  In addition, TeamSTAR conducted a series of ½ day skills training sessions to improve the team's capacity in:

  • Meeting planning and facilitation
  • Collaborative decision making
  • Effective collaborative teamwork
  • Non-defensive communication

In 2012, the USAID Mission in Mozambique requested TeamSTAR support to assess the effect of the current management and organizational structure on Implementation Procurement Reform (IPR) progress.  TeamSTAR assisted the team with several recommendations, terms of reference, and an action plan for piloting the reform effort.  Since then, the team has implemented or plans to implement all of TeamSTAR’s recommendations regarding: IPR team structure, knowledge management strategy, staff capacity enhancement, process streamlining, government to government preconditions, field presence, and planning for the scale-up.  The team reports that TeamSTAR interventions helped move the process forward with increased Mozambican participation, resulting in a decision-making process that is more agile, transparent, and productive.


PEPFAR Namibia benefitted from TeamSTAR support over a period of time and multiple interventions. TeamSTAR helped the team to:

  • Reach consensus on programmatic priorities and proposed budget allocations for stakeholder input .
  • Build team capacity in in managing meetings, problem-solving, decision-making, communication and effective feedback
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities within the team management structure
  • Define and reach consensus on a collaborative process for engaging USG agencies and partners in developing the COP
  • Establish planning parameters for a Staffing for Results exercise
  • Define next steps for advancing the PF and PFIP
  • Supported the ITTs in presenting current programmatic situations to the PEPFAR team for dialogue.
  • Helped the PEPFAR team reach consensus on programmatic priorities and proposed budget allocations to present to stakeholders.


In Nigeria, TeamSTAR facilitated strategic planning exercises and conducted leadership and decision-making skills training while improving teamwork and communication across the interagency team.  Outcomes of the TeamSTAR assistance included:

  • Shared understanding of what was needed to develop decision-making leadership capacity within the TWGs,
  • Development of an annual work plan for key strategic and operational activities
  • Preliminary agreement on the structure and function of the PEPFAR Coordinator's Office
  • TWG specific assessment of strengths and areas for improvement
  • Recommendations on interagency structure and staffing to support implementation of the Partnership Framework and more effective engagement with the Nigerian government at Federal and State levels
  • Development of/updates to interagency management procedures.


There is not a great depth of experience in operationalizing Staffing for Results (SFR), which poses a challenge to PEPFAR teams. OD can have a big impact in helping to develop an inclusive analytic process and documenting lessons learned and better practices. PEPFAR South Africa requested TeamSTAR assistance with a large-scale SFR assessment to analyze current staffing in relation to the program's vision, goals, and activities, in addition to anticipated staffing needs over the next five years as the program transitions from direct service delivery to a technical assistance model.

    Outcomes of the consultancy included:

    • A staffing analysis – current staffing and anticipated needs or changes
    • A financial analysis of current staffing vs. recommended staffing
    • Recommendations for managing the transition and proposed provincial efforts
    • Recommendations for improving interagency collaboration to optimize agency strengths and program efficiency

TeamSTAR turned its lessons learned from this process into a primer for other PEPFAR teams planning to implement SFR. The full document is available here.


TeamSTAR's consultancy in Sudan focused on team building and preparation for the 2011 COP. With the help of TeamSTAR OD Specialists, the PEPFAR Sudan team was able to develop the following key planning aides:

  • COP work plan
  • Key elements of the PEPFAR Southern Sudan Vision
  • Defined strategic key technical areas
  • Decision criteria for making programming and budget decisions for the COP 2011
  • Partner program reviews and updates
  • Prioritized action and a flow chart for completing the COP


The Tanzania SO10 Unit Leads sought clarity about their leadership role, functions, and expectations in light of recent changes, including GHI and leadership transitions. Using the Kotter 8-Step Model to Leading Change as a framework for defining critical next steps, the TeamSTAR OD Specialist designed and implemented a process to outline a strategy for managing structural and staffing changes that will impact team operations.

Through skills training and practice sessions, TeamSTAR helped Unit Leads improve their capacity to manage change and staff performance. Areas of skills training included:

  • Preparing for and conducting performance planning conversations
  • Effective feedback
  • Managing performance and conduct issues
  • Supervisory actions to enhance staff motivation and morale


GH Forward

TeamSTAR OD Specialists functioned as strategic thinking partners for the GH Forward Coordinator in the Bureau for Global Health, providing guidance and support in planning and implementing reforms.  TeamSTAR also provided meeting design and facilitation support for various task teams, helping to facilitate problem solving and collaborative decision-making.

As part of the GH Forward scope, TeamSTAR was invited to facilitate a USAID Global Health Bureau Senior Management Team (SMT) Retreat.  Through this retreat, TeamSTAR helped the SMT:

  • reach agreement on the overall strategic direction of the Bureau and leadership implications;
  • develop guidance for proposals on changes to the Bureau’s organizational structure; and
  • define a timeline and process for completing the strategy and organizational changes.

Office of Health Systems

As a relatively new office within the Bureau for Global Health, the Office of Health Systems (OHS) has sought TeamSTAR support for a variety of team development activities, including: work planning, priority setting, strategy development, identifying next steps, communicating its successes and strategy, and generating ideas for building and maintaining a Health Systems Network.  Most recently TeamSTAR assisted OHS with developmnet of an Agency strategy for health systems strengthening consistent with the goals of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and bringing about an AIDS-free generation.

Supply Chains for Health

The USAID Supply Chains for Health (SCH) Office sought TeamSTAR’s assistance to enhance team communication, to clarify roles and responsibilities under the matrix management structure, and to reach a common understanding of the future direction and strategic priorities of the program.  TeamSTAR conducted a management team meeting and a team retreat with the following results:

  • Outlined the matrix team structure
  • Documented leadership roles, expectations and vision for the team
  • Completed a SWOT analysis and action planning
  • Reached agreement on norms and behaviors to guide daily interactions and enhance team collaboration
  • Documented operating procedures for carrying out specific roles and team functions

Office of Country Support

The Office of Country Support (OCS) at the USAID Bureau for Global Health requested TeamSTAR facilitation for an Office retreat to examine what is working well within OCS, identify the external expectations for the Office, explore barriers and best practices to achieving the team’s goals, and organize strategically and effectively for progress.  As a result of the retreat, the team was able to identify better practices and model behaviors for ensuring a high functioning team and to clarify/affirm the roles and interactions of leadership and functional units within OCS.

OGAC Multilateral Diplomacy Unit

OGAC’s Multilateral Diplomacy Unit (MDU) requested TeamSTAR support to help design and facilitate a retreat that would improve collaboration and clarify the team’s vision and individual roles and responsibilities within the new matrix structure of the team.  To increase operational effectiveness within the matrix structure, TeamSTAR introduced the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) analysis model and corresponding chart for assigning and clarifying roles and responsibilities.  During the retreat, TeamSTAR also helped the team draft a vision statement and team values and surface critical questions and issues to help determine strategic direction.

Office of HIV/AIDS Implementation Support Division

TeamSTAR has facilitated two team development retreats for the Implementation Support Division (ISD) within OHA. The primary objective of the most recent retreat was to clarify the vision, structure, and roles of the ISD.  To that end, TeamSTAR helped the team complete a SWOT analysis and identify gaps/needs as perceived by USAID, OHA, MISSIONS, and PEPFAR, focusing on those gaps that ISD might be able to address to help achieve OHA’s vision.  The group also made progress toward selecting thematic areas that will define future priorities and the organizational structure of the ISD.

PEPFAR Coordinators Trainings

Leveraging its extensive experience and lessons learned supporting PEPFAR teams in the field and providing virtual/coaching support to PEPFAR Coordinators and team leaders, TeamSTAR has also offered trainings and working sessions tailored specifically to the PEPFAR Coordinators in conjunction with their annual meeting in Washington.  These workshops have created a productive space for Coordinators to:

  • Explore and clarify their role and leadership responsibilities
  • Share better practices and lessons learned
  • Identify priority issues and strategies pertinent to the transition to country-led HIV/AIDS programs and the USG technical assistance model of intervention
  • Improve capacity in team decision-making, problem-solving, facilitation, interagency collaboration, and other skill areas critical to success in the Coordinator role

In addition, the Coordinators take advantage of the opportunity to meet one-on-one with TeamSTAR OD Specialists for coaching on specific challenges and/or skills.


In Uganda, TeamSTAR OD Specialists assisted the USAID SO8 HIV/Health team in the development of a team strategic plan and facilitated consensus building exercises that resulted in agreed program priorities for 2011.  Supervisory skills training was conducted for the Senior Leadership Group to enhance team leaders’ ability to manage and lead effectively in a fast changing work environment.  Other training included consensus decision-making, using the Gradients of Agreement tool developed for PEPFAR teams.  Individual leadership coaching and performance support was provided on demand to support the application of skills and the implementation of action plans developed in prior sessions.


TeamSTAR conducted a team building and staff development retreat for the West Africa Regional Health Office (RHO) with the following results:

  • Agreed on an RHO program vision and values
  • Prioritized actions for each team member that were aligned to overall strategic priorities
  • Explored the impact of MBTI personality preferences and diversity on team work and outlined key actions to improve team communication
  • Developed behaviorally-based operating norms for how the team will work together
  • Revised the Results Framework consistent with program priorities
  • Developed key messages to inform the development of a communication strategy for internal and external stakeholders
  • Identified actions and a timeline to finalize and implement retreat agreements and products


The Health team and HIV/AIDS Multisectoral team of USAID Zambia have each managed separate health portfolios, which often intersect or require close collaboration. USAID Zambia sought TeamSTAR assistance to design and facilitate a joint team retreat to explore possible integration or other possibilities for increasing efficiency and impact.

    TeamSTAR helped the group:

    • Establish guiding principles for progression toward a new vision
    • Identify barriers that must be addressed before moving forward
    • Map Health and HIV team projects, functions, and structures
    • Clarify roles and responsibilities and identify duplications
    • Improve internal coordination of each team
    • Identify ways to increase collaboration with other technical teams and support

    Since the retreat, the two teams report that they are taking greater advantage of their strengths and working more collaboratively. Because the staff are coming together more often, they are getting to know and understand each other better, which is improving morale, enhancing productivity, and moving the teams closer to a consolidated structure. The team's leadership reported that this has had a ripple down effect to PEPFAR Zambia's programs, helping them to work more collaboratively and create greater impact through unified performance monitoring, appraisal, and environmental scanning.