Strengthening regional Key Population networks and community systems in Southern Africa.
KP REACH – Key Populations Representation, Evidence and Advocacy for Change in Health
Strengthening regional Key Population networks and community systems in Southern Africa to advocate for policy change and change in the attitudes and beliefs aimed at reducing HIV incidence and mortality and to increase the sustainability of the HIV response.
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KP REACH has been formulated by KP networks and NGOs in Southern Africa to address the high levels of HIV infection among sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG) and women who have sex with women (WSW). The eight countries included in the program account for 81% of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the achievements in reducing AIDS-related deaths in the past decade and an overall decline in most countries, new infections in key populations are on the rise. The overall goal of the regional proposal is to strengthen region KP networks and communities systems in Southern Africa. The aim is for these groups to advocate for policy change and change in the attitudes and beliefs aimed at reducing HIV incidence and mortality among KP and to increase the sustainability of the HIV response.
KP REACH is a three-year programme in year two of implementation. It is delivered through a consortium model in eight countries in Southern Africa: Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Led by HIVOS, the principal grant recipient, the technical partners are Positive Vibes, Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) and M&C Saatchi, with African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHer), African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) and the Southern African Trans Forum (SATF) as network partners.
Positive Vibes’ focus for the grant is threefold:
- Strengthening networks ASWA, CAL, AMSHeR and SATF to work closer together to find a collective voice and have more targeted advocacy, challenge policies, and find synergies in working together in the region;
- Improving data collection (Rights, Evidence, Action: REAct), knowledge management, and scaling up best practice by linking across countries;
- Finding a unified, collective key populations’ (KP) voice — how can we talk to the media and the world out there in a way that will shift stigma and discrimination, how people think about a lesbian, a trans man or trans woman (through the Key Correspondents’ (KC) mechanism).
 Led by HIVOS, the primary grant recipient, the technical partners are Positive Vibes, Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) and M&C Saatchi, with AMSHer, ASWA, CAL and SATF as network partners.
Read more on the KP REACH website
REAct – Rights, Evidence and Action
Through the Global Funded KP REACH Programme (in 8 countries in Southern Africa) PV adopted REAct which is a methodology(developed by the International Hiv/Aids Alliance) used to record and document stories of human rights violations.
REAct stands for Rights, Evidence and Action.
A right must have been violated, evidence is collected followed by immediate action.
A unique feature of REAct is that it is most suitable when used at a community level as a monitoring and response system. REAct uses martus to document stories of human rights violation.
The martus software is safe and secure and maintains confidentiality as information is stored on a cloud-based system which is encrypted.
- Evidence of human rights violation collected through REAct can be used for:
- Purposes of lobby and advocacy;
- Funding proposals;
REAct is owned and managed by grassroots LGBT+ and sex worker organisations.
The process of implementation follows four stages:
- REAct Training – Once REActors are identified by LGBT+ organisations, participants go through a training process that includes an introduction to the basics and context, Human Rights Principles and Responses, collecting evidence, interviewing, information management and implementation;
- REAct Trauma Support – The Trauma Support component involves understanding trauma, interviewing skills and protecting the self in the process. Through the trauma trainings REActor acquire skills to contain survivor/s emotions and prevent post-traumatic stress from affecting them;
- Linking and Learning Exchange (LLE)– To provide in country support to REActors and Key Correspondents. The Linking and Learning Exchange platforms provides a safe space for REActors and Key Correspondents to discuss challenges and share lessons learnt and best practises which can be replicated across the Southern Africa Region. The Exchanges conducted during the 2017 period greatly assisted in strengthening referrals and creating linkages and synergies with other organisations working for the advancement and protection of the rights of LGBT and sex workers;
- REAct Committees – Are formed in each country and meet every six months to review cases, analyse the data collected then develop informed human rights programmes, conduct targeted sensitisation campaigns and engage in advocacy. As a result of this work targeted and specific information is produced and distributed to stakeholders for the purposes of setting a common agenda and to form the basis for advocacy;
- Emergency Committees – are formed per organisation and the role of each emergency committee is to ensure that the emergency grant is used per the stipulated guidelines.
Key Correspondents are a vibrant network of citizen journalists who produce written and video content. They aim to effect behavior change in the general community by reducing stigma and discrimination towards the LGBT+ and sex worker communities. The KCs, which include representatives from the Key Population groups as well as their allies, produce content about people’s lived realities, human rights violations, stories of celebration, as well as health and human rights stories that matter to the the community.