In 2014, five national networks representing the MSM and transgender communities in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam has participated in JumpStart project. JumpStart is the flagship capacity strengthening initiative of APCOM in partnership with Australian Federation of AIDS Organsiations (AFAO). The initiative leverages on to improve, and build on, the networks’ existing management and advocacy, while encouraging leadership for a community-led HIV response. It serves as a catalyst for networks to explore on their needs with which they can build on, at the same time, to probe into the needs, which the network can devote on addressing for a strong organizational structure.
“A 2014 Capacity Assessment of National MSM and Transgender Organisations and Networks in South-East Asia” is a report that encapsulates the result of the assessment of these five community organisations.
The report has identified that the networks have in place a functioning governing body, which carries out the strategic decision making within the organisation. The networks have also reported to have developed good communications and networking with partners and have been relatively successful in building relationships with stakeholders. In addition, there is a good range of technical capacity existing, which provides opportunity for sharing of experiences and good practices. Finally, the networks are reported to have strong community representation especially on MSM and transgender population.
However, the report also notes the need to further strengthen the areas of resource mobilisation for full operations of the organisations. External support is also needed to establish financial management across the networks. There is also a clear need for more training on advocacy especially in planning and carrying out and monitoring and evaluating the advocacy work. Finally, focused assistance from the region and technical partners is necessary for the networks to create stronger engagement with community who sell sex, use drugs and young MSM and transgender people.
The gaps in resource mobilisation and staffing can be linked to the huge gap of investment in the role of community organisations to conduct advocacy particularly as financing on the HIV response transitions from International donors to national governments. It must be underscored that the participation of the community organisations constitutes an essential component in the overall effective HIV response.
See also the individual capacity assessment report of each organisations below:
Photo Caption: The assessed community organisation, Myanmar Youth Star, is doing ice break within their assessment session.