Living library project on AIDS Memorial Day where the ‘books’ were real people with stories of their own to share © 2008 Alliance Ukraine Participants in the Photovioce project, India © 2006 Jenny Mathews / Alliance / Photovoice

Building capacity to support MSM and transgender people in Asia


A transgender couple in Cambodia. Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender are two of the populations at highest risk of HIV in Southeast Asia © Tin Nasear/The Alliance/Photovoice
Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender are two of the populations at highest risk of HIV in Southeast Asia. With few governments addressing the needs of these populations, it falls to civil society to fill the gaps.

The Alliance’s regional Technical Support Hub for South East Asia and the Pacific is dedicated to supporting civil society organisations in the region. Based at KHANA, the Alliance’s Linking Organisation in Cambodia, the Hub brings a wealth of technical expertise and commitment to supporting networks of key populations and to build long-term capacity of local organisations involved in the response to HIV and AIDS in the region.

The Hub, with the support of funding from AusAID, is currently providing technical support and capacity building to a multi-country Global Fund grant aimed to reduce the vulnerability and risk of HIV infection, and the impact of HIV, on MSM and transgender populations in four countries in South East Asia. The grant is implemented in collaboration with national networks of MSM and transgender populations in Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Timor Leste.

The Hub has entered into a long-term partnership to provide support to the Islands of Southeast Asia Network on MSM, transgender and HIV (ISEAN), who manage the Global Fund grant together with the Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos).  This programme of support makes creative use of available funding by combining the Hub’s AusAID resources with ISEAN’s Global Fund grant.


The technical support started with a visit to ISEAN’s secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. Here a Hub consultant helped ISEAN’s board and secretariat to define the vision, mission and goals for the network. Following this the consultant will help to develop a three year capacity building plan for ISEAN and its member networks.

Additionally, three ISEAN and Hivos staff members are participating in the Alliance’s Global Fund consultants’ capacity development programme. They learn about Global Fund grant management and how to be an effective consultant through online courses and face to face trainings, as well as mentoring from senior consultants.


Greg Gray, manager of the TS Hub, says "The sub-regional ISEAN network is making great strides in addressing and raising critical issues for MSM in the region at a very strategic time in the response to HIV and AIDS. With dwindling resources and the need to show value for money the TS Hub is excited to support this network in core areas such as organisational development, governance and capacity building of their membership."

The Hub has also recently provided training on community mobilisation, leadership and governance, and strategic planning, for the grant’s sub-recipients in Malaysia, an event which saw the formation of Malaysia’s first MSM and transgender network.

Laurindo Garcia, coordinator of ISEAN, says "I’m glad to have the Technical Support Hub for South East Asia and the Pacific as our partner, and also for this to be a mentoring opportunity for the Hub’s community consultants and our secretariat team".

Useful links

- Find out more about our Technical Support Hubs

- Visit the South East Asia and the Pacific Hub’s website

- Read how PT Foundation Mak Nyah, a sub-recipient of the ISEAN Global Fund grant, ran a workshop to empower the transgender community in Malaysia with support from the Hub


Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Timor Leste

Aids Alliance