Named for the Hindi word meaning ‘identity,’ ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ the Pehchan programme strengthens and builds the capacity of 200 community-based organisations (CBOs) to provide effective, inclusive and sustainable HIV prevention programming in 17 states in India for more than 450,000 men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras (collectively, MTH).
Pehchan is funded by the Global Fund and remains their largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable and underserved sexual minorities. Along with Alliance India, the Pehchan consortium includes the Humsafar Trust, Pehchan North Region Office, SAATHII, Sangama, Alliance India Andhra Pradesh, and SIAAP.
Pehchan is a rare example of a Community Systems Strengthening programme working at a national scale. It provides organisational development, technical and capacity building support to new and existing CBOs working with MTH communities. Using a rights-based approach, the programme develops CBOs to serve as implementing partners with the National AIDS Control Programme’s Targeted Interventions (TIs) that provide HIV prevention services to high-risk groups. By helping build strong CBOs, Pehchan addresses capacity gaps that often prevent them from receiving government funding.
Pehchan also enhances the scope of services to reflect the needs of the community. The programme leverages and complements the government’s HIV prevention strategy for MTH by providing services beyond basic HIV prevention that support an enabling environment that encourages healthy behaviours. Pehchan also fosters community-friendly services in the broader health system and engages in advocacy to improve the lives and wellbeing of MTH populations in India.