MSMGF implements the Bridging the Gaps project in collaboration with COC Netherlands and an alliance of 8 international organizations and global networks (AFEW, INPUD, ITPC, GNP+, Mainline, NSWP, SOAAIDS). Together, we implement one of the largest health and human rights programs in the world. Funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and led by Aids Fonds Netherlands, the project directly benefits LGBT people, sex workers and people who use drugs and grassroots organizations in 16 countries.
Between 2011-2015, MSMGF conducted advocacy, issued sub-contracts and delivered high-quality technical assistance in: Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kenya, Panama, and Zimbabwe. This funding was renewed for another five years (2016-2020) for continued work in Botswana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
With funds from Bridging the Gaps, MSMGF directly resources grassroots organizations working at the intersection of HIV and LGBT movements in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and South East Asia. MSMGF’s work is anchored in the expressed needs of partners working at country and community levels. We use what we learn about the local context to leverage mutual capacities and facilitate synergistic exchange with local stakeholders towards shared work plans. In some cases, partnerships with grassroots organizations are technical in nature and designed to: promote the health and well-being of gay men, mobilize health professionals, use data for advocacy and programming, or mobilize new resources for community-based organizations.
In 2016, MSMGF undertook fact-finding missions to plan for the second cycle of the project. We met with LGBT organizations, other representatives of civil society (human rights and service delivery organizations), relevant governmental institutions, and international funding organizations. MSMGF subsequently initiated sub-contracts with community-based organizations in Botswana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
Our work also involves global-level advocacy, using the concerns of local partners to influence policy at both country and global levels. MSMGF actively brokers linkages to global policy bodies such as the Global Fund, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the UN agencies. We track funding flows and we support community engagement in national AIDS planning processes. MSMGF also works to strengthen local advocacy capacity through training and peer exchange. Advocates are supported to hold their respective governments accountable to the health and rights needs of gay men and other men who have sex with men.