Community Advocacy

Community Advocacy

Community advocates can end AIDS.

Community advocates have changed the HIV and AIDS response worldwide and continue to improve the well-being of marginalised people and their communities. Their work demonstrates the innovative efforts of communities to navigate the complex social and political landscapes that define the HIV and AIDS response.

However, there still rests prejudice and lack of understanding of community advocacy. These views are reflected in the lack of financial and political support for community-based and community-led advocacy, both from donors and, in particular, from domestic sources.

4 ways community advocates are crucial to end AIDS

1. Influencing policies and laws

2. Improving access to treatment and support

3. Challenging stigma and discrimination

4. Advancing the rights of marginalised groups.


Community advocates can end AIDS

What you can do

Strengthen collaboration and implement joint activities with community advocates to develop conducive environments for advocacy

Synergise and learn from the extensive knowledge and expertise within civil society and communities to formulate polices

Support and fund community advocates so that they can effectively advocate for social change and the needs of their communities

Speak up on behalf of community advocates to ensure their rights are met and respected

Share content from community advocates on your own channels to make sure their voices are heard

Explore community advocacy in action

Through a range of stories, reports and case studies we demonstrate the impact community advocates have on their communities and the global AIDS response.

Measuring impact

The Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH) was a strategic partnership between Aidsfonds, Frontline AIDS, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) from 2016-2020. It aimed to strengthen the advocacy skills and capacities of civil society organisations working with those most affected by HIV and AIDS in nine countries.

This evaluation, conducted by ResultsinHealth, is a critical analysis of the programme’s contribution to evidence-based changes in relation to the PITCH theory of change. 

PITCH end evaluation report PITCH end evaluation report

Story of change

Young people challenging child marriage in Indonesia

Advocacy from a coalition of community organisations, including PITCH partners, saw the Indonesian government increase the legal marriage age for women from 16 to 19, bringing it in line with men.

In this change story, youth-led network Inti Muda explains how it has worked with marginalised young people in the rural province of Papua to ensure the amended law is helping to change practices in communities where it matters the most.

Indonesia partner Indonesia partner

Story of change

Building connections for drug law reform in Nigeria

Nigeria’s highly draconian drug laws require minimum jail sentences of 15 to 25 years for all drug-related offenses. In recent years, judges have used their discretion to reduce sentences and shorten terms for drug offenders.

Then, in 2016, a new bill was tabled in parliament to remove this leeway for leniency. PITCH partner YouthRISE Nigeria spearheaded a rapid advocacy campaign to block the bill. 

PITCH partner PITCH partner

Story of change

Reporting LGBT rights violations – a journey to lasting change

Community advocates in Zimbabwe began documenting human rights violations against men who have sex with men and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Since then, meticulously collected evidence is helping to create change in people’s everyday lives and an increasing number of policy makers have started to listen to their requests.


Story of change

How a growing civil society coalition in Indonesia is changing attitudes
When debates on amending Indonesia’s century-old penal code began gathering pace in parliament, a coalition of conservative groups proposed a range of amendments that included the criminalisation of extra martial sex, and ‘obscene’ same-sex sexual acts. Community advocates joined forces to advocate against the proposals. 


Story of change

How a battle over biometrics opened the doors to Kenya’s government

When the Kenyan Government announced it would be bringing in biometrics, where body measurements and calculations are used to identify individuals and collect data on key populations, some viewed it as a sign of progress.

Fearing a backlash that would push key populations underground and away from HIV services, community advocates embarked on a multi-layered advocacy campaign to reverse the decision.

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