Named Pehchan which in Hindi means ‘identity’, ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ this programme strengthens and builds the capacity of community-based organisations (CBOs) to provide HIV prevention programming for 453,000 men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras in 17 Indian states. Pehchan is funded by the Global Fund and remains their largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable sexual minorities.
Pehchan is working closely with MSM, transgender and hijra communities to establish and develop 90 new CBOs and strengthen 110 existing ones. To ensure sustainability and impact, the programme will develop these CBOs as implementing partners for Targeted Interventions (TIs), a central element of India’s National AIDS Control Programme to reach high-risk groups with HIV prevention services. By supporting the development of strong CBOs, Pehchan will address some of the capacity gaps that have often prevented CBOs from receiving government funding for much-needed HIV programming. The programme will also augment the services provided by Tis to address a broader range of beneficiary needs and improve the enabling environment for these groups.
Along with Alliance India, the Pehchan consortium includes the Humsafar Trust, SAATHII, Sangama, and SIAAP. These partners each work in selected states and provide organisational development, technical and capacity building support to programme CBOs. The programme was formally initiated in October 2010 and actively collaborates with the National AIDS Control Organisation and State AIDS Control Societies. Activities during Phase 1 (2010-12) have focused on community mobilisation, development of programme governance and oversight systems, building a strong partnership with government and other stakeholders, and providing capacity building support and technical assistance to programme CBOs.
Avahan (Phase I: 2003-2009 and Phase II: 2009-2013)
Avahan India AIDS Initiative is a focussed prevention initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Alliance India is one of two Avahan state lead partners working in Andhra Pradesh. The goal of Avahan is to reduce HIV transmission and the prevalence of STIs in vulnerable high-risk populations (female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgenders) through prevention education and services. The main components of the programme are condom promotion, STI management, behavior change communication, community mobilization, and advocacy. The programme also supports the creation of an enabling environment to increase the effectiveness of the HIV response through individual and organisational capacity building.
Alliance India’s efforts with Avahan strengthen the capacity of NGOs and CBOs in the state to implement quality AIDS programmes in close partnership with the Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) and in accordance to its mandate under the national programme.
Phase I of Avahan covered 13 districts of Telangana and Rayalseema region in Andhra Pradesh, and reached approximately 72,000 FSWs and MSM. Now in Phase II, Alliance India is in the process of transitioning the programme activities to the state government and supporting efforts to further strengthen community mobilisation efforts with beneficiary groups to ensure sustainability of prevention activities with state support after Avahan ends activities in 2013.
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