We perform a critical role of community liason for sexual and gender minorities.
Welcome to APCOM
Founded in 2007, we are a coalition of members – governments, UN partners, non-profits and community based organisations – from Asia and the Pacific. APCOM represent a diverse range of interests working together to advocate on, highlight and prioritise HIV issues that affect the lives of men who have sex with men (MSM)* and transgender people, including rights, health and well-being.
Our goals are: Improve male sexual health through increased investment, coverage and quality of sexual health services for our communities:
- Advocate for sexual health services
- Advocate for an enabling environment
- Gather, generate & share strategic information
- Build a cadre of advocates at all levels
“Men who have sex with men” (MSM) is an inclusive public health term used to define the sexual behaviours of males having sex with other males, regardless of gender identity, motivation for engaging in sex or identification with any or no particular ‘community’. The words ‘man’ and ‘sex’ are interpreted differently in diverse cultures and societies as well as by the individuals involved. As a result, the term MSM covers a large variety of settings and contexts in which male to male sex takes place.”
WHAT WE DO
APCOM performs a critical role of community liaison.
We review and track the degree of inclusion of MSM and HIV issues in the national AIDS plans for various countries. Further, we monitor the violation of MSM rights.
We work with MSM and HIV community networks and organisations by offering support and mentorship, and technical expertise. We also nurture and help grow supportive networks.
Finally, we advocate for qualitative research and extensive studies, which help policy makers and service providers in their work. As a community of excellence, we emphasise sharing data and insights to build capacity, knowledge and recognition.
We bring all of that together in our online resource centre called “The Source.” There you will find a wealth of searchable data and information related to HIV, MSM, transgender and related issues.
At our core, we are on a mission to shift attitudes and sensitise society to the needs of our diverse and vibrant community. Together, we are sharing knowledge and real-life stories that support and promote the sexual orientation and gender identity rights of MSM and transgender people.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in collaboration. We have faith in ideas. And we advocate for change. We are focused on creating a world where MSM and transgender people live life fully, free of stigma and discrimination, a world where everyone is treated equally.
We believe in sharing knowledge and experiences so that outcomes are stronger and impact is greater. Committed and passionate, we anchor our work in understanding and facts.
Most of all, we believe in equity, dignity and social justice.
HOW WE STARTED
In 2006, 380 people from 26 countries – government officials, policy-makers, donors, researchers, grassroots and community based organisations across Asia and the Pacific – convened in Delhi for an international consultation called Risks and Responsibilities. The goal?
Facilitate dialogue and learning that would enable more investment and effective strategies to address male sexual health related, in particular, to HIV. It also provided an opportunity to inform and develop strategic advocacy initiatives by discussing key policies related to these issues. The Consultation ended with participants calling for the formation of a regional alliance of civil society groups, HIV and AIDS organisations, MSM and transgender networks, along with international donor, development and government agencies. The mandate was clear: strongly advocate for activities that increase investment for rapid scale up of HIV prevention, care and support services for MSM populations across the region.
With initial funding and support from Hivos and UNAIDS Regional Support Team – Asia and the Pacific and under a fiscal arrangement with NFI (Naz Foundation International), the alliance was named the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM). We began operations at the first meeting of the Interim Governing Board of Directors on July 25, 2007.
As a community of changemakers, people are a critical ingredient of our success. We are fortunate to have skilled board members, regional advisors and staff to help us advance our mission.
The APCOM Secretariat is made up of 17 diverse, highly skilled and compassionate individuals. All our staff identify as being part of the community and as one of the key affected populations including youth and people living with HIV.
The staffs are accompanied by seven board members who are experts of various key topics of health and rights advocacy and practice, representing each subregion of Asia and the Pacific.
In 2014 and 2015, APCOM embarked on a process to change its governance structure entirely from a previous system based on sub-regional representation to a system in which its board members are appointed on a skills and merit basis, after an open call for applications and a nomination and endorsement process. The governance structure is established in a way to do justice to the regional character of the coalition, while on the other hand fulfilling the requirements of the Thailand’s national legislation on non-profit organisations. APCOM’s governance structure has two levels: the main governance body so-called APCOM’s Regional Advisory Group (RAG) and a supervisory body APCOM’s Thai Foundation board. From within the RAG, an Executive Committee (Exco) is chosen for the day-to-day governance issues and guidance to APCOM’s Executive Management.
Registration in Thailand: APCOM’s Thai Foundation Board
Having the Secretariat office in Bangkok, APCOM is registered as a non-profit organisation under Thai law. To be officially registered under Thai jurisdiction, APCOM has to be accompanied by a Thai foundation board. The Thailand Ministry of the Interior has prescribed the rules and regulations for setting up of foundations through the legislation of The Ministerial Regulations of Regulations, Operation and Registration of the Foundation B.E. 2545 (2002). APCOM’s Thai Foundation Board consist of four members. It is the Thai Foundation Board which signs-off and presents the APCOM reports and financial accounts to the relevant ministries and holds responsibility for APCOM’s ongoing registered status. APCOM was registered in Bangkok as a Thai Foundation on 21 April 2014 and has as registration number Gor Thor 2428 (กท ๒๔๒๘). The Thai Foundation Board can be seen as a supervisory body that guards and oversees if APCOM operates within the parameters of the Thai legislation concerning non-profit organisations, charities and foundations. The Thai Foundation Board advises the RAG and Executive Committee (Exco) on any changes in the Thai legal environment that have an influence on APCOM’s registration. The Thai Foundation board also advises the RAG and Exco on any issues concerning the registration of the audits and reports, if needed. The Thai board of the APCOM Foundation is always represented in the Regional Advisory Group and Exco with one member to maintain a strong and on-going link between APCOM’s two governance bodies. APCOM’s Thai Foundation Board members serve on a voluntary basis and do not receive any remuneration for the work. The current members of APCOM’s Thai Foundation Board are
- Tony Sakulpongyuenyong (Chair)
- Somchai Phromsombut (Vice Chair)
- Paijittra Katanyuta (Director and Treasurer)
- Wattana Keiangpa (Director and Secretary)
APCOM’s Core Governance Body: The Regional Advisory Group
The Regional Advisory Group (RAG) is the core governance body of APCOM. The RAG members are being selected through an application, nomination and endorsement process, based on skills and merits in those fields in which APCOM is working. This does not apply to the representative of the Thai Foundation Board in the RAG. The Thai foundation board members have the right to select from with their board their representative in the RAG. The 7 members in the RAG have voting rights on all issues being brought to vote. The RAG is completed with APCOM Executive Management, the Executive Director (ED) and Deputy Director (DD), who are RAG members ex-officio, without voting rights. APCOM’s RAG members primarily set out and approve the overall strategic directions of APCOM in order to achieve the organisation’s vision and mission. They lead the strategy development planning process, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of APCOM in reaching its vision and mission through a regular review of the strategy, programmatic results and impact as well as they assure APCOM’s accountability to the Thai ministries on APCOM’s registration and mandate by delivering timely the reports and audits to the Thai foundation board as required for maintaining the registration. Last but not least, the RAG approves organisational policies relating to the work of APCOM in the Asia and Pacific and looks for advice from specific experts for new or revised policies as needed. Terms of Service of RAG Members RAG members serve per term of three years, except when a member has to vacate office. His/her replacement will only serve the remaining time in office, before elections are due. RAG members are eligible for re-election after one term, but cannot serve more than two terms in office. APCOM’s RAG members fulfil the position on a voluntary basis and do not receive any remuneration for their work as RAG member. Eligibility to become a Regional Advisory Group Member The criteria for being eligible to apply and be selected as a Regional Advisory Group member are:
- Living in the Asia/Pacific region
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have skills, experience and merits earned in those fields in which APCOM is working and/or bring added value in other ways to the development or growth of the organisation and/or reaching APCOM’s strategic goals and objectives
- The candidate should preferably related to an organisation, however, this is not a necessity
- The candidate should feel strongly attached or represents the interests groups and constituencies APCOM is working with and for
APCOM’s Executive Committee Within the RAG, an Exco is elected for overseeing the day-to-day business and act as a sounding board for the APCOM’s Executive Management. The Exco consists of three elected members (chair, co-chair and secretary), completed with the Thai Foundation Board member, usually the chair of the Thai Foundation board, which makes the total Exco consisting of four members. The RAG member of the Thai Foundation Board is automatically the treasurer in the RAG and Exco, as ultimately the Thai Foundation Board will need to present the APCOM financial accounts to the relevant Ministries for maintaining and fulfilling the obligations that come with APCOM’s registration in Thailand. The Exco and RAG are serviced by APCOM’s secretariat based in Bangkok. Current RAG members The current RAG members are:
- Dédé Oetomo (chair)
- Donn Colby (vice chair)
- Andrew Chidgey (secretary)
- Tony Sakulpongyuenyong (treasurer)
- Scott Hearnden
- Nic Parkhill
- Isikeli Vulavou
APCOM’s Secretariat The secretariat carries out APCOM’s work under the guidance and direction of the RAG and governing policies as established in the APCOM Constitution. Implementation and development of all operational activities and functions are handled through the secretariat by staff, volunteers, working groups and, if needed, external consultants under the direction of the Executive Management.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2017
APCOM is proud to release our 2017 Annual Update, detailing the contribution our activities throughout the year made towards improving the health and rights of the communities we serve across Asia and the Pacific.
2017 was a special year for APCOM as we marked 10 years of working with our communities throughout the region. Our report highlights some of the special events we undertook to commemorate this milestone as well as the broad range of activities we undertook to accelerate the impact of our mission.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2016
The report showcases our efforts in advocating for sexual health services, cultivating an enabling environment, generating and sharing strategic information, and building a cadre of advocates at all levels throughout the region.
2016 was another busy year for APCOM, with our broad range of activities accelerating the impact of our vital mission.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2015
APCOM is proud to release its Annual Update 2015, detailing the contribution its projects have made towards gay men and other men who have sex with men, and transgender communities throughout the year. The report showcases our efforts in advocating sexual health services, cultivating an enabling environment, generating and sharing strategic information, and building a cadre of advocates at all levels in the Asia-Pacific region. Throughout 2015 we have successfully continued to expand programmes while initiating new and innovative projects.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2014
For 2013, the word that best described APCOM was consolidation. Keeping that tradition, this year we chose another word “spark”. APCOM’s 2014 was a year of many new and exciting sparks for the coalition, the organisation and our work.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2013
“Consolidation” best sums up 2013 for APCOM. An external evaluation commissioned by Hivos and UNDP in early 2012 strategically guided our work to assess its impacts and progress from its inception in 2007. It provided guidance by looking at areas of Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Sustainability and Equity. Throughout 2013, we formed our bases and continued to build momentum as we geared up to an effective engagement for the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP11), which was hosted in Bangkok, 18-22 November 2013.
ANNUAL UPDATE 2012
In what has been a busy year, 2012 can be summed up as consolidation year for APCOM. A new base for APCOM’s operations was found in Bangkok – centre for international and regional community networks, and our leadership was renewed, providing much-needed stability.We would like to say thank you to Hivos, an organisation that understands the needs of community networks, and therefore puts real investment into core operating costs. We are grateful to UNAIDS and UNDP for helping to strengthen our governance- and strategic information development functions, and to IDS, our new partner, for helping us develop the policy brief on positive MSM. We also thank all our other stakeholders who have helped guide APCOM during this period.
Interested in working with APCOM?
Since 2007, the Secretariat, based in Bangkok, Thailand has increased its staff complement to meet the needs of the region. We recruit diverse, highly skilled, approachable and compassionate individuals and encourage diversity and community representation. All our staff identify as being part of the community and as one of the key affected populations including youth and people living with HIV.
See below to find our current vacancies.
(Thai Nationality) (Deadline: Open)
(Deadline: 28 February 2020 / 18:00 Bangkok time)
(Deadline: 28 February 2020 / 18:00 Bangkok time)
Community Based Monitoring Officer
(Deadline: 15 February 2020 / 18:00 Bangkok time)
Communications and Demand Generation Officer
(Deadline: 15 February 2020 / 18:00 Bangkok time)
SOGIE Rights Assistant
(Be open for recruitment soon)
Working within the Operations Unit, the Finance Officer responsible for maintaining sound financial and accounting systems and controls for the organisation. The role entails performing day to day financial accounting tasks including, processing payments, filing and document retrieval, providing data for report preparation and data input for support in budgeting, financial accounting and reporting of assigned grants.
Working across APCOM’s Programmes Unit and Operations Unit, the Communications Officer will provide assistance during the planning and implementation phase of projects by tracking and updating the work plans, milestones, timely reporting, adhering compliance towards organisational policies and donor requirements, overall contributing towards strong programme management systems and documentation within the unit. The position will also work directly with APCOM’s country partners in Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Philippines
The Media Assistant is expected to work across APCOM’s Programme Unit and Operations Unit to support and maintain internal and external communications of the organisation. Working with the Programmes Unit, the position will also support APCOM’s corporate communications and the execution of the communication components of the implementation of other APCOM’s projects as per approved work plan and budget
Community Based Monitoring Officer
Working within the Programmes Unit, the Community Based Monitoring Officer will provide assistance during the planning and implementation phase of the projects by tracking and updating the work plans, milestones, timely reporting, adhering compliance towards organisational policies and donor requirements, overall contributing towards strong programme management systems and documentation within the unit.
Communications and Demand Generation Officer
The Communications and Demand Generation Officer will lead and manage the planning and implementation the project by tracking and updating the work plans, milestones, timely reporting, adhering compliance towards organisational policies and donor requirements, overall contributing towards strong program management and documentation within the unit.
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