In a region where taboos prevent open discussions about sex, the Action Project opened up spaces for such conversations among young people in India and Bangladesh. Funded by the European Union, the project supported community mobilisation and advocacy to improve sexual & reproductive health (SRH) of young people.
Using a right-based approach, the project focused particularly on the most marginalised young people – men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, people who inject drugs (PWID), female sex workers (FSWs), and people living with HIV (PLHIV). Peer-led discussions strengthened and empowered civil society organisations and youth groups to advocate for more responsive policies addressing the SRH of young people. The Action Project was implemented in India by Alliance India in the states of Manipur and Uttar Pradesh in partnership with SASO (www.sasoimphal.org) and MAMTA and in Bangladesh by HASAB.
One of the key strategies employed by the project was the development of Youth Partnership Platforms (YPPs) to link youth group networks together at various levels to advocate for the inclusion of young people and their issues in national and state-level SRH policy and programme development. In addition, the establishment of Youth Information Centres at village level increased SRH and HIV knowledge among participating youth and expanded their capacity to share this information with their peers and in the wider community.