NEWSROOM July 9, 2019

APCOM restructure Update

As part of our year of consolidation, we undertook a difficult restructure to better align our organisation with our Strategic Framework, as well as the realities of funding that has become more limited and project-based. We are undertaking a comprehensive review and we implemented a range of new measures to ensure the most efficient and effective delivery of our programmes and services that is aligned with the needs of our communities on the ground. The restructure also coincided with the conclusion of several of our multi-year projects and this involved the departure of various team members whose positions were being funded via these projects. 

We want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to the staff who have not only contributed passion to the work of APCOM, and also making a difference on health and rights in Asia Pacific region. We wish you all the best in your future steps and careers and hope that you can still contribute to our work in your new endeavors.  

We also thank all staff for their cooperation during the restructure process, for their hard work, dedication and camaraderie. 

From June, we have moved to new office location that is more suited to a reduced staff of 8, and our current projects that shall continue are:

1) Finance Inc. supported by VOICE Global Influencing Grant, 

Finance Inc. is a three year (2018-2020) multi-country project which is being implemented with our country partner organizationsin Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. The overarching long-term goal of Finance Inc. is to contribute to improved access of persons of diverse SOGIESC to economic and social services specifically health, education and financial resources and services. 

It also aims to contribute to increased participation of LGBTQI communities in the conversations aimed towards inclusion. Finance Inc. aims to engage the Asian Development Bank and other stakeholders towards LGBTQI inclusion.

Since we have started implementing the project, some milestones include:

– Organised a session at the Civil Society Policy Forum during the IMF-WBG Annual Meetings in Indonesia titled ‘SOGIESC inclusion in regional MDBs: ‘Taking a leaf out of the World Bank’s Playbook‘, The session was an opportunity for APCOM and Finance Inc. country partner organizations to highlight the LGBTQI situations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines.

– Engaging the Asian Development Bank for the goal of LGBTQI inclusion.  An important part of this was working with themon their first ever IDAHOT event with a panel discussion titled ‘LGBT+ as a vulnerable population: Entry points at ADB operations’, a news release from the Asian Development Bank quoted ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao stating support for LGBT+ inclusion. APCOM and Babaylanes, our country partner in the Philippines were part of the panel. 

 – Engaging the Asian Development Bank Resident Missions and World Bank in countries with our partner organizations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. During country visits, connect our country partner organizations with ADB resident missions and World Bank offices for possible future engagements and collaborations on LGBTQI inclusion. These meetings are also opportunities to generate feedback and suggestions from stakeholders we aim to engage with on this project. Read here on the meetings in the Philippines. 

2) TestBKK supported by EJAF and PEPFAR/USAID/FHI360 LINKAGES, and TestHKG and TestJOG supported by Aidsfonds

As part of the regional TestXXX campaign, TestBKKTestHKG and TestJOGis designed to empower the existing community-based clinics to reach wider YMSM audience and to generate more promising behaviour change by harnessing the power of cutting-edge communications and creativity that resonates with today’s culture of YMSM, such as the popular use of mobile sexual networking apps and other online platforms to regularly find new sexual partners. 

We have done the following so far:

– GAY GAMES: The 5-episode game show features myriads of gay men in Bangkok who represent diverse lifestyles and interests to uncover gay-exclusive experiences, to compete each other for rewards and to learn key sexual health knowledge through various entertaining games. 

– GAY OK BANGKOK season 1 – 2: The most viral gay web series follow fictional gay characters that represent different ages, body types, gender expression, and HIV status. The series provides a realistic and diverse portrayal of gay individuals of Bangkok, while showcasing multiple HIV knowledge, from HIV risk to the importance of regular testing to PrEP awareness. 

– “Testing is not Awkward” PSA videos: Six light-hearted, often humorous videos, with the message: “There are more awkward things than getting tested, are expected to introduce and direct more visitors to testBKK.org to learn more about HIV testing and know where they could take the test.

– Launched TestJOG campaign with our local partner GWL-INA in Yogyakarta. They included a gay badminton championship and entertainment events at gay-friendly bars and restaurants as part of their community outreach. A local online drama series was launched – Geng Conk (Indonesian slang for ‘a friendship squad of gay men’) which focuses on young Yogyakarta gay men as they navigate friendship, romance and health issues. 

 – Launched TestHKG campaign with our local partner AIDS Concern in Hong Kong. They used events such as PinkDot HK and Hong Kong Pride to promote the initiative. Released a mobile gay health app and three campaign videos showcasing the diversity of romance, body image and sexual fantasy among Hong Kong youth were produced.

As part of the regional TestXXX campaign, TestBKK is designed to empower the existing community-based clinics to reach wider YMSM audience and to generate more promising behaviour change by harnessing the power of cutting-edge communications and creativity that resonates with today’s culture of YMSM, such as the popular use of mobile sexual networking apps and other online platforms to regularly find new sexual partners. 

3) Engagement of the community with the Global Fund on sustainability, transition and co-financing supported by MPact, 

As part of the Global Fund CRG Long-Term Technical Assistance Program, APCOM’s role is to increase understanding on the Sustainability, Transition and Co-financing, and to identify the TA needs so that civil societies, especially the Key Population networks, are effective in their roles in ensuring allocative efficiency for HIV programmes in transitioning. APCOM is also a pre-approved TA provider of the Global Fund.

– Fact Sheet: Global Fund Sustainability,Transitioning and Co-Financing Policy and the World Bank Transition Checklist and we will be translating this into Nepalese, Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia, and Vietnamese.

– Convene an Inter-Regional Dialogue on Global Fund’s Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing (STC)

For more information on our work please visit our TENACITY: leaving no one behind strategic framework 2018-2020