Reproductive and Sexual Health, HIV-AIDS Programming and Capacity Building of Marginalised Populations and Service Providers

Despite the progress made in improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) many segments of the population remain vulnerable to poor SRHR outcomes. Many lack access to comprehensive SRHR information, education and services, severely limiting their ability to make informed decisions, protect their health and stand up for their rights.

Hierarchical and conservative ideas and socio-cultural norms and values can serve to subordinate aspects of effective SRH service implementation which impacts upon access to contraception, safe and legal abortion, and sexual rights. These values not only influence women and young girls but also men and boys. Engaging men and boys is essential for improving SRHR, preventing HIV and AIDS and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). In addition, specific vulnerable groups, such as lesbian gay bisexual transgender (LGBTQI), people living with HIV (PLHIV), person with disabilities, and people living in remote rural or high-density urban settings, require targeted and contextualised approaches that address their specific needs and realities.

Efforts to address the HIV epidemic continue to be a priority focus of SRH, and although much has been done, public health services are beginning to baulk under the weight of an increasing HIV burden. High rates of unwanted pregnancy are indicative of low condom use. Unsafe sexual practices lead to high rates of STI as well as HIV, and key affected populations such as MSM and Male To Female transgender are especially vulnerable. Across the region, gay men, MSM and trans* women bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV pandemic, wherein they are more than 19 times more likely to become infected compared to other populations.

Heteronormativity is dominant across the region, supported by conservative gender ideologies and restrictive religious mores. Although to some extent there is increasingly safe space for LGBTQI, most particularly through the internet and social media, LGBTQI populations are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to SGBV and discrimination from the health providers, as person with disabilities and people who inject drugs. An important step for the international community pertaining to sexual rights of LGBTQI people was taken in March 2007, when a group of human rights experts from 25 countries gathered in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. The result was The Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding the international legal standards with which all states must comply. Even though these guidelines have been set in place, the region still has a long way to go towards sexual orientation and gender equity.

  

DARE THIS supports initiatives based on evidence based SRH and HIV programming that work to prioritise implicated bodies and population across the spectrum including CBOs, INGOs and NGOs, local health care providers, vulnerable populations and the government.

  

Our Main Strategies are:

  • Involvement of program beneficiaries and implicated bodies throughout the consultancy process

  • Promotion of the meaningful involvement of disenfranchised populations throughout the project cycle including youth, female sex workers, LGBTQI, men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, people in prison contexts, rural populations, person with disabilities, and migrant workers

  • Incorporation of non-government and government bodies and agencies in order to promote inclusivity, dialogue, effective cooperation and enabling environment

  • Community consultation through established and developing regional networks

  • Capacitation and empowerment of vulnerable populations

  • Evidence based programming

  • Greater Involvement of People Living With HIV (GIPA)

  • Prioritising and reference to the SDGs

  

Our services include:

  • Qualitative and quantitative research

  • Community Based Participatory Research

  • Project and program evaluations

  • Baseline studies, Context Analysis, Need assessments

  • Training for government workers and other stakeholders

  • Capacity building for civil society including non-government organizations

  • Project monitoring and support

  • Training on Mainstreaming Gender and Sexual Diversity and SOGIEB (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression of the Body)