From the end of 2022 to the end of 2023, with the aim of evaluating and improving the inclusivity and cultural safety of its program, the PLDI Alliance held a parallel project to the delivery of its leadership trainings.

The Culturally Safer HIV Leadership Training project funded by Gilead was 18 months long with most of the evaluation performed between winter 2022 and October 2023. Participatory evaluation was the central project method used to actively involve Indigenous and ACB people who are part of communities that PLDI intends to benefit. This approach emphasizes collaboration and shared decision-making to ensure that the evaluation is relevant, inclusive, and addresses the needs and perspectives of their communities.

At the end of April 2024, a summary oral presentation of the project was presented at CAHR 2024 in London, Ontario under the title: Advancing Inclusion and Cultural Safety in HIV Leadership Training: A comprehensive evaluation by peer evaluator. Description of the project, methods of evaluation, recommendations and next steps were presented:


20 HIV-positive peers, 14 of ACB identities, and 6 of Indigenous identities participated in this project as evaluators with a total output of 30 peer evaluations of our online and in person trainings. A total of 8 PLDI trainings were evaluated including 3 contemporaneous online Core trainings, 3 contemporaneous online Governance trainings, 1 in person French Communication training held in Quebec and 1 English in person Core training held in Saskatoon with a majority of participants from First Nations of the Prairies.

The Saskatoon in person Core training was made possible through this Gilead project funding and gave the opportunity to 14 people living with HIV to experience and benefit the PLDI Core leadership training in a culturally safer way for indigenous participants as we integrated for the first time the presence and wisdom of a Kookum, practices such as smudging and culturally specific curriculum and examples such as the “Seven grandfather teachings”.   

A total of 20 recommendations was produced from this evaluation project to increase diversity and cultural safety of the PLDI program (Recommendations.pdf).


Recommendation Summary

PLDI Trainer and Staff

The evaluation project recommends diversifying the PLDI trainer pool, fostering cultural sensitivity, promoting cultural humility, and integrating community insights to deepen cultural understanding.

The PLDI Curriculum

The evaluation project suggests expanding the training program curriculum to include diverse cultural examples, teachings, and topics like intergenerational trauma. This expansion aims to illustrate the universality of leadership practices while honoring cultural uniqueness, integrating protocols and rituals where appropriate to respect Indigenous ways of knowing and learning.

Additionally, the project recommends incorporating teachings from various communities, such as the “Seven grandfather teachings,” to enrich the curriculum with diverse perspectives on governance and leadership.

PLDI Outreach, program Offering and Delivery

Enhance engagement through smaller group sizes, flexible time structures, and more in-depth discussions to create a culturally safer experience for participants, fostering meaningful interactions and learning opportunities.

Strengthen outreach efforts to promote program awareness nationally and extend services to underrepresented regions, particularly in the Atlantic and Prairies, aiming to increase accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals living with HIV.

Future Research, Evaluation and Continuity 

Maintain the Community Advisory Committee and establish clear roles in future projects to ensure transparency and inclusivity, fostering collaborative and accountable research and evaluation processes.

Further explore demographic influences on participation and increase funding to offer customized training, particularly focusing on equipping individuals entering new roles in Community Based Organizations, thus enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of HIV leadership within these communities.