Thailand: Coming Out to Reclaim Rights and Strengthen Spaces
“Coming Out to Reclaim Rights and Strengthen Spaces” will assist leaders, organisations and networks in providing positive interventions for young people who are questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), people who are living with HIV (PLHIV); and men who have sex with men (MSM) through a two-day training on the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICT) including B-Change Foundation’s web-apps BE and PLUS, for organisational support and development.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
In many contexts communication is repressed by well-established codes of morality and online information is difficult to access. An underrepresentation of LGBT people and PLHIV online results in the restriction to essential information, support and services. The Internet is a place where sexual minorities such as LGBT people and PLHIV turn. It allows access to information for individuals on sexuality, medical conditions, relationships and prospects for the future. It also provides a community for support, networking, engagement and mobilization.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Aside from BCF, the trainers will come from B-Change Technology (BCT), that will be providing technical solutions for the conduct of the Regional Dialogue. BCF will also be joined by its partners such as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Being LGBT in Asia, Advocates for Youth, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Oogachaga, Queer Comrades, among others. The latter’s experiences and shared analyses have similarly informed B-Change Foundation’s framework document in its use of strategic ICTs, “Connecting the Dots,” http://b-change.org/connecting-the-dots This proposed training is a critical component of “Connecting the Dots.”
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The training itself will be documented. A series of at least five articles will also be developed following the training. These written content will be uploaded into the websites and social media platforms of B-Change Foundation, BE, PLUS, HIV Advocates (hivadvocates.net) and will be shared with partners, including the media. Parts of the training will also be captured in video, which may be included in future collaterals similar to the films that BCF has already developed to promote BE.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
BCF will be actively participating in “Regional Dialogue on LGBT Rights and Health in the Asia-Pacific: Investing in Innovation and Action.” The development of the BE and PLUS web-apps have been supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the key stakeholder of the Regional Dialogue and some smaller donors. The partners for the strategy document, “Connecting the Dots” will also be at the Regional Dialogue, to mainstream and when possible, consolidate policy and practical interventions on LGBT rights and health, including sexual rights and health.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
25-30 participants will be selected through a competitive process, the 2-day training will be held on 7-8 June 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, immediately after the “Regional Dialogue on LGBT Rights and Health in the Asia-Pacific: Investing in Innovation and Action” by UNESCAP, UNDP and OHCHR from 4-6 June 2014. It will also be open for Thailand-based organisations that are not participating in the Regional Dialogue. We will select participants who are at least in mid-management positions in their organizations; whose organisations directly work on LGBT and HIV issues especially through direct support services; who will commit to retooling sessions towards the implementation of the learning from and replication of the training.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The training will have modules and exercises that enable organisations to understand the internet infrastructure and its iteration into tools and functions; assess their ICT needs; and use open-source tools, that are relevant for organisational development. It will also orient participants in the use of the web-apps, BE and PLUS, which BCF developed in consultation with partners in civil society. BE is designed to support young people who are dealing with SOGI while PLUS is for PLHIV especially MSM communities in Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore. The web-apps provide critical information on personal processes such as coming out and getting tested; basic online counseling; and referral systems for psychosocial support, legal assistance, medical services, etc- all deliver
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The venue will have good internet access and equipment such as an LCD projector and microphone. Participants will be also be asked to bring their own laptops and prior to the training, back up their files.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
BCF and its people have the credibility and integrity in implementing the training, as a result of the development of BE and PLUS web-apps and their content, including engaging communities of praxis. More importantly, the trainings – like the BE, PLUS and HIVAdvocates in terms of their design, platform and content – have been informed by a broader rights-based and community-oriented framework “Connecting the Dots” which has been vetted by leading advocates of gender and sexual rights advocates.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
BCF expects the challenges to be concentrated in the selection process, language and resources. We expect that there will be numerous applications for this trainings. As such, the selection process will be strengthened with a panel consisting of representatives of BCF, 2 regional and 1 international partners in “Connecting the Dots” strategy, and 2 trainers. Balance will be sought in terms of geographic representation and gender. Although the training will be done in English, BCF will have from staff who are conversant in Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Chinese, Filipino and Thai. The participants will be asked to work in pairs to promote confidence and collaboration. BCF will source funds for expenses not covered by this grant (see budget).
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
An evaluation form will be distributed at the end of Days 1 and 2. A meeting among trainers, proctors and selected participants will be held to make any adjustments on Day 2 and the retooling session.
The retooling session via online conference will be held 2 months (9 September) after the training to assess the progress made by the participants and their needs in replicating the training in part or in full. This assessment will be documented and will form part of the terminal report of BCF for Rising Voices. It will also inform BCF’s plans in developing tools and resources in the near future.
A more qualitative method will be developed to showcase the challenges and successes in at least 5 organisations, following the training. The cases will be the subject of a few articles to be writ
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
• The training will take place on 7-8 June 2014 in Bangkok Thailand
• A retooling session will be on 9 September 2014 via online conference
• Monitoring and evaluation in between the activities above
• Submission of the report on 30 September 2014.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Since the airfare will be covered by the organizers of the Regional Dialogue, the costs will centre around accommodations, food and venue.
Accommodation: 15 twin-sharing rooms for 30 participants x 2 nights at USD50/ night = USD1,500
Food and Venue: 30 pax x THB500 x 2 days = USD1000
BCF will source funds to cover the honoraria of the trainers and the training kits and per diem of the participants and if possible for the extension of the training days and its corresponding cost.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can help disseminate information about the training and promote the web-apps BE and PLUS. Together with the training participants, Rising Voices can also help BCF in rolling out and enriching BCF’s HIV Global Services Map. Functioning like google maps and agora, the Map shows the location of different service providers where LGBT people and PLHIV and their support groups can turn to for specific advice and services. Aside from the location of human rights organizations, psychosocial support groups, testing centres, legal assistance centres, the Map provides critical details such as contact details, focal points, opening hours, list of services offered, cost of treatments and services, and reviews.