NGO Leadership Cohort
First Class of Graduates Implementing Advocacy Plans
As part of the NGO Leadership Cohort, our year-long organizational management training program for grassroots health rights advocates, participants from the 2012 class have been implementing their advocacy projects, and results are coming in. For example, two of the cohort participants targeted illegally over-priced hepatitis B medications in Chengdu as their advocacy project. Through their own research, successful Open Government Information (OGI) requests and other strategies, they were able to convince the Municipal Department of Price Supervision to investigate the chain drug stores that were selling the medications at inflated prices; consequently, several of the drug stores have already begun to return money to customers who purchased the over-priced medications. We will share more project results on the blog soon.
Second Cohort Class Creating Strategic Plans for their Organizations
In an earlier program update
we introduced the new 2013 NGO Leadership Cohort participants, who represent the communities of people living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, LGBTs and their family and friends, people who use drugs and people with disabilities. During the time since the first workshop, the participants have been working on their draft strategic plans with members of their organizations and communities. Three assistant trainers, who were selected from the 2012 Cohort class, together with Asia Catalyst staff, have been providing individualized feedback to the participants as they revise and fine-tune their plans.
The 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11)
As in previous years, Asia Catalyst is providing technical assistance to Chinese HIV/AIDS NGO representatives who are planning to attend the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11), which will be held in Bangkok this November. The China Program staff will provide feedback on their abstracts and scholarship submissions to attend the Congress as well as assist applicants with editing and English translations. China Program staff will also work with selected representatives to define their goals for ICAAP and polish their presentations in advance of the meeting. In addition, Asia Catalyst will offer scholarships to two representatives from China (who did not receive scholarships directly from the Congress) to attend ICAAP.
Advocacy and Rights Trainings
In March, Asia Catalyst worked with the China HIV/AIDS Community-Based Organizations Network (CBO Network) to organize a two-day workshop on advocacy for 10 AIDS activists from central China. For the first time, these activists learned how to define an advocacy issue, identify advocacy targets and allies, and develop an advocacy strategy. The training was part of an ongoing collaborative project between Asia Catalyst and the CBO Network to build the capacity of members of the CBO Network on advocacy and to support them in their campaign to end medical discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS at the local level.
Also in March, Asia Catalyst was invited by a sex worker rights organization in China to lead a one-day rights training for sex workers. The training was attended by 15 female sex workers. Through discussions, role plays and a Q&A session, the group learned both about human rights and Chinese law and legal issues relevant to their work as sex workers.
Global Fund Advocacy
Last month, Advocacy Director Shen Tingting was selected to be a member of The Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board. As such, she will play an important role in bringing the voices and concerns of Chinese and regional civil society organizations to the Global Fund, and in making sure Chinese and other Asian NGOs are well informed about the work of the Global Fund and its new funding model.
RIGHTS TRAINING PROGRAM
Release of New Manual: Change It: Ending Rights Abuses
On April 1, Asia Catalyst, Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group (TTAG) and Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education released the English version of Change It: Ending Rights Abuses, the final volume in the three-part curriculum of human rights manuals for grassroots groups from HIV/AIDS-affected communities. The Chinese, Thai, and Burmese versions will be available later this year.
Developed in consultation with grassroots groups in Asia, Change It provides definitions of key terms used in the field, case studies of creative advocacy initiatives, and teaches groups to plan and execute successful advocacy campaigns.
Change It will serve as the basis for a regional rights training program to be held next month in Thailand.
All three manuals can be downloaded for free here
We recently welcomed three new members to the Asia Catalyst Board of Directors: Andrew Duncan, a New York City-based private investor, Bruce Rabb, general counsel of PILnet, and Sara L. M. Davis, Ph.D, founder and former Executive Director of Asia Catalyst, now at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Finally, we'd like to extend a warm thank you to interns Cleo Kun Zhang and Su Wenying for giving their valuable time over the past few months to make substantial contributions to our work.