Community-led research and advocacy project to generate information and to improve access of young gay men to HIV services

We strive to improve the development and availability of epidemiological and behavioural data needed to strengthen advocacy on better quality and wider reach of HIV services for young gay men.

Pulse

Funded by 5% Initiative led by Expertise France, PULSE comprehends a 3-year long initiative encompassing research, community capacity strengthening and advocacy effort that aims to improve the lives of young gay and bisexual men and other young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Five countries of Greater Mekong are selected in the pilot phase of the project: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

PULSE will generate the strategic region-wide epidemiological and behavioural data on YMSM from each country and convert them into fact-driven and evidence-based advocacy products to aid the countries’ National AIDS Programmes and other Global Fund-funded interventions. The survey is expected to be launched in February 2018, with preliminary findings from the first survey round in April-May 2018. Simultaneously with the operational research activities, the initiative will also build the capacity of the community organisations leading the research and the advocacy efforts.

Together with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Mahidol University of Thailand, as the project’s research institution partner, PULSE’s country community partners comprise of Bandanh Chaktomuk (BC) of Cambodia, Myanmar Youth Stars (MYS), Lao Positive Health Association (LaoPHA), Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT), Vietnam Network of MSM and Transgender (VN-MSMTG). Click the map below to learn more about the community partners.

Wisdom

WISDOM is a project supported by implemented by Oxfam Novib and Hivos from the Netherlands under their joint VOICE Global Programme. The VOICE Global aims to capture the learning from innovative activities and projects for marginalized population.

Through this project, APCOM aims to learn from the innovations of the JumpStart capacity strengthening programme that we conducted in 2015 and 2016 with the support from Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO). The project allows us to do so and work and strengthen the advocacy capacity of four community organisations for sexually and gender diverse people. APCOM, together with our partners in four different countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia and the Philippines, will generate strategic information to enhance the current evidence base on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer population (LGBTIQ) advocacy, and capacity strengthening approaches.

In general, the project aims to:

  1. Provide technical support to our partners in strengthening their organisation in terms of governance, management, external partnerships and technical knowledge through APCOM’s Rapid Assessment Apparatus (Rap App), and to improve dissemination activities through Dissemination Plan Template (D-Plate);
  2. Improve the access to social services through advocacy and inclusion of the LGBTIQ population in the national political discourses;
  3. Increase capacity of LGBTIQ population in terms of their representation to national discourses, policy advocacy and SOGIE-related issues.

Together with these activities, APCOM is working on positioning the advocacy within the changing external environment and the newly adopted sustainability frameworks and agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

APCOM opened an application for partners who will implement country activities to reach these objectives. The selected partners for this project are:

  1. KHANA (Cambodia)

KHANA is a linking organization of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the largest national NGO providing HIV prevention, care and support services at the community level in Cambodia, as well as integrated sexual and reproductive health, family planning, maternal child health, TB and livelihoods programming. Moreover, we also have significant capacity in delivering services and technical support across other technical areas including monitoring and evaluation, organizational and institutional development, research, grant management, policy and advocacy. KHANA’s institutional capabilities are reflected through its strong management structures and resources for effective project implementation, as well as the high calibre and experience of KHANA’s staff and associates.

  1. LaoPHA (Lao PDR)

LaoPHA was formed in 1999 as an HIV and AIDS peer-education project known as Lao Youth AIDS Prevention or LYAP. And is part of the National network of the key affected population is the interactive focal point that linking the Nine provinces in Lao PDR. LaoPHA works to ensure the concerns and interests of key affected population community around the country are articulated and represented at the Provincial, National and Regional level. LaoPHA’s five priority areas are Community advocacy, Community mobilization and network strengthening, Human rights, Public health and Holistic activities.

  1. Yayasan Gaya Dewata (Indonesia)

The Gaya Dewata Foundation (YGD) Bali is a non-profit organisation concerned with sexual health, HIV-AIDS and sexuality issues among vulnerable and underserved MSM, gay and transgender communities in Bali. YGD Bali is a community-based organization working in the field of health, especially in risk reduction programs concerned with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and AIDS for gay men, trans* women (waria) and MSM. YGD plays an active role in disseminating information about STIs and HIV-AIDS prevention through: 1) One-on-one and group information sessions for MSM, gay and transgender communities, 2) routine outreach activities, 3) STI and HIV-AIDS counselling, 4) Referral assistance for STI screening and HIV testing, 5) Providing support for PLHIV, 6) The facilitation of close working relationships with both government and non-government bodies, organisations and individuals in the furthering of ideas and the achievement of the goals of YGD.

  1. TLF Share (The Philippines)

TLF SHARE is a non-profit, non-governmental organization of peer educators, trainers and advocates working on the sexual health, human rights, and empowerment of gay, bisexuals, other men who have sex with men, and transgenders. Community empowerment, human rights, and evidence-based interventions are the core of TLF SHARE’s mandate. To implement the program, TLF SHARE has collaborated with development institutions, national agencies, and international donors. TLF SHARE also sits in the Philippine National AIDS Council as the representative of the MSM and TG community. TLF SHARE are also affiliated with several national networks on HIV and SOGIE such as Dangal National Network, Network to Stop AIDS Philippines and LAGABLAB.

Cambodia

The country implementation in Cambodia, in partnership with KHANA, aims to: 1) Increase technical capacity on management, leadership, advocacy skills, and technical knowledge for LGBT community in addressing their issues. 2) Improve an enabling environment for LGBT people in accessing to health and non-health services. 3) Promote the engagement of LGBT people in policy and advocacy dialogues, program development, and SOGI related issues.

Highlight activities include:

  1. Provide technical capacity to LGBT leaders on meaningful engagement and effectively representation into the national and sub-national forums.
  1. Support LGBT leaders to take lead on advocacy initiatives at community level– the advocacy initiatives include the community forums/dialogues, Anti-stigma campaign, and mainstreaming SOGI with health services providers, local authorities and police)
  2. Design a mentoring program[1] and provide on-going supports to 20 LGBT community leaders/activists. The mentors will be invited/identified among CSOs leaders and experienced government officials who are skilful to pair with LGBT activists.

Lao PDR

The country implementation in Lao PDR, in partnership with LaoPHA, aims to increase the participation of MSM/TG people in Lao PDR experience greater freedom from violence, stigma, discrimination and human rights violation based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and better access to assistance when incidence does occur.

Highlight activities include:

  1. Organize awareness campaigns; we will organize at least two awareness campaigns in one year in selected provinces namely Champasak south province and Vientiane capital.
  2. Conduct capacity building on SOGI, policy advocacy and public policy; more advanced capacity building sessions for MSM and TG WOMEN leaders will be organized for those who are interested in influencing policies or stakeholders.

Indonesia

The country implementation in Indonesia, in partnership with Yayasan Gaya Dewata aims to: 1) Increase the self-understanding of the community who are still grappling with issues concerned with sexual orientation and gender identity. 2) Increase the knowledge of stakeholders, education facilities (such as universities) on the issue of stigma and discrimination SOGIEB in order to mitigate existing stigma and discrimination. 3) Increase community awareness of their rights so that data collection, documentation and complaints of stigma and discrimination can be conducted efficiently and comprehensively.

Highlight activities include:

  1. Training about relevant Laws and Human Rights issues for the community.
  2. Training on SOGIEB for LGBT Community
  3. Round-table discussion on Human Rights issues among LGBT Community

APCOM opened an application for partners who will implement country activities to reach these objectives. The selected partners for this project are:

TLF SHARE is a non-profit, non-governmental organization of peer educators, trainers and advocates working on the sexual health, human rights, and empowerment of gay, bisexuals, other men who have sex with men, and transgenders. Community empowerment, human rights, and evidence-based interventions are the core of TLF SHARE’s mandate. To implement the program, TLF SHARE has collaborated with development institutions, national agencies, and international donors. TLF SHARE also sits in the Philippine National AIDS Council as the representative of the MSM and TG community. TLF SHARE are also affiliated with several national networks on HIV and SOGIE such as Dangal National Network, Network to Stop AIDS Philippines and LAGABLAB.

Philippines

The country implementation in Philippines, in partnership with TLF Share, aims to: 1) To develop organizational strategic direction and policy agenda; 2) Develop advocacy and communication plan for HIV Law Amendments. 3) Capacitate frontline organizations on human rights documentation and paralegal. 4) Link communities of MSM and TG to local government units, development partners and CSO’s.

Highlight activities include:

  1. Stakeholders meetings with key allies in Congress to bridge the LGBT community groups with their congress representatives and lobby with equality champions to support the passage of SOGIE Equality Bill and HIV Law amendments.
  2. Human rights Documentation and Para-legal training to LGBT groups

[1] A guideline for the mentoring program will be developed