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“(Even) Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts”: Lessons Learned from a Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks

Published: January 20, 2016

MSMGF is proud to announce the release of a new case study by and about the Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks. The Consortium is an international collaborative project of ten regional and global networks of advocates[1], including MSMGF as the lead organization. The Consortium members dedicate their work to maximizing efficiency and coordinating global efforts to support the sexual health and human rights needs of MSM and transgender people in the global HIV epidemic response. Because of the ever decreasing money available to advocacy groups for developing and influencing community-based programs, global and regional collaboration is more strategic than ever.

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“(Even) Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: A Case Study on Working Together as the Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks” documents the impact of the Consortium’s efforts. The primary context of the case study is the Consortium’s implementation of two grants by the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (RCNF) over the past two years. The Case Study highlights multiple examples of how working in a Consortium has benefited member networks and MSM and transgender communities in general. Among others, these benefits include:

  1.  Providing opportunities to strengthen the organizational capacity of member regional and global networks, and laying the foundations for strengthened advocacy
  2.  Improving the quality of programs and advocacy for MSM and transgender communities, by streamlining communications, pooling expertise and agreeing on good practice
  3. Providing a stable, global platform that serves as a united front to tackle sensitive issues and hostile environments by offering credibility, legitimacy and protection to individual networks
  4. Facilitating joint access to funding opportunities, reducing competition and producing a more time- and cost-efficient model of grant management.

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In the words of Carolyn Gomes, Executive Director of CVC (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition), one of the regional members of the Consortium:

“Consortia work is crucial in this time of reduced interest and funding in community-based efforts. It allows all the participating members to benefit from the collective expertise of the group, and raises the capacity of all members involved. That in turn allows us to be more efficient and resourceful in how we approach our work. This case study shows how we do it, and how others might also when they engage in consortia work.”

Likewise, according to George Ayala, Executive Director of the MSMGF:

“The Robert Carr Networks Fund, from Aids Fonds out of the Netherlands, is one of the few sources of financial support for consortia work. This case study can help demonstrate why consortia work is essential, and why there should be expanded interest and assistance for this approach for advocacy networks collaborating to serve key populations. We hope that this document can inspire other funders to invest additional resources to support community-led programs and interventions.”

We invite you to read the case study for further details and information. For more information about the Consortium, including the list of all of the member networks, please visit http://msmgf.org/about-us/partners/msm-regional-network/#ixzz3rhHfSJLG.

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Click to download the PDF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further questions regarding the Consortium can be addressed to MSMGF’s Community Mobilization Manager, Micah Lubensky, at mlubensky@msmgf.org.

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[1] The Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks is comprised of African Black Diaspora Global Network (ABDGN), African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM), IRGT – A Global Network of Transgender Women and HIV, M-Coalition (the first-ever Arab coalition on MSM and HIV in the Middle East and North Africa), MSMGF (Global Forum on MSM and HIV), South Caucuses Network on HIV (SCN) and SOMOSGAY.

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MSMGF has worked since 2006 to encourage targeted, tailored, better resourced, and rights- based sexual health services for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide through its advocacy and technical support work. As a global network, MSMGF has successfully influenced HIV responses at the local level through shifts in global-level policies and has effectively utilized public health as an entry point for advancing the human rights of LGBT people. MSMGF currently supports programs in 15 countries.

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