ECOM’s Concept Note to the Global Fund

The Eurasian Coalition on Male Health is currently in the process of developing a Concept Note to the Global Fund for the regional program “Right to Health: Community Action to Increase Access of MSM and Transgender People to HIV Services in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.” In response to the disproportionately low access to HIV services of MSM and transgender people in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA), the program is aimed at contributing to an increased update and retention across the continuum of HIV care for MSM and trans* people in CEECA. The program’s three main objectives are:
(1) to contribute to an increase in MSM and trans* community participation in decision-making in national HIV responses;
(2) to contribute to building the capacity of MSM and trans* organizations by strengthening organizational structures, technical competence and fundraising capacity; and
(3) to strengthen enabling environments for HIV services for MSM and trans* people, by fighting stigma and discrimination, promoting and protecting human rights, and removing legal and policy barriers.
The regional program will be implemented in five target countries: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia Kyrgyz Republic, and Macedonia.

The following section provides a timeline of the Concept Note development process and contains further information and links to documents related to ECOM’s Concept Note.

March 2015 — ECOM submits EOI

ECOM submitted the Expression of Interest (EoI) for Regional Program concluding the first step in the process.

A full program description is available here.

August 2015 — ECOM’s EOI approved

ECOM was thrilled to learn that its recent EoI to request funding was accepted by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. ECOM is invited to work on development of a full proposal. While this is not a confirmation of funding, it is an important opportunity for ECOM to enhance gay, bisexual and transgender community organizations in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) in their work on protecting men who have sex (MSM) and transgender people (TG) from the negative consequences of the HIV epidemic. Read more here.

September/October 2015 — Online Regional Consultation

ECOM invited its members to take part in a regional consultation on the development of ECOM’s new Regional Program “Community Actions to Increase Access of MSM and Transgender People to HIV Services in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. The purpose of this consultation was to ensure meaningful involvement of community representatives and key partners in the planning of the Regional Program.

66 persons from 12 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Balkans participated in the consultation. The results of the online consultation provided ECOM with invaluable information and will facilitate the development of its concept note.

October-January 2015-6 — Communication with CCMs

ECOM staff visited the proposed participating countries to present the Regional program to CCMs for their endorsement as well as meet with other stakeholders, including potential SRs.

November 2015 — Istanbul Consultation

A Regional Dialogue Consultation Meeting was held in Istanbul was held with involvement of international, regional, and national stakeholders, including organizations of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender people (TG). The goal was to come to overall agreement on the scope and key elements of the ECOM Regional Program to be included in a Concept Note to the Global Fund.

Up to 70 participants took part in the consultation, including representatives from national community-based and other civil society organizations from Eastern European and Central Asian countries, regional and international NGOs and associations, government and civil society representatives from CCMs of CEECA countries, technical agencies and partners, Global Fund Secretariat, ECOM staff and consultants.

Specific clarifications on the proposed activities have been received, and new directions have been proposed. In particular, the discussions highlighted the need to support the development of communities of transgender people, as well as subgroups of PLWH and sex workers in MSM and transgender people communities.

Consultation’s agenda, presentations, other relevant materials and photos can be found here.

November 2015—target countries selected

After careful consideration, the Steering Committee has made the difficult, yet strategic choice of selecting the following four countries for implementation of the regional program: Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Macedonia. Georgia was also identified to be included in the register of unfunded quality demands. Later, following publication of new data, Georgia was listed as 5th target country.

In making its decision, ECOM’s Steering Committee weighed a number of factors, including the HIV prevalence among MSM/TG, the availability (or lack) of national funding for HIV prevention and treatment activities targeting these groups, the level of civil society participation in shaping national policies related to MSM/TG health, subregional representation, as well as the potential impact of the regional program in both individual countries and in the region as a whole.

January 2016 — CN submission to GF

The concept note was submitted to the Global Fund on January 29, 2016. If approved by the Global Fund, ECOM’s regional program would commence in November 2016.


This page has been funded by grant 2014097 to the Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks by the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund.