Comic Relief’s HIV, Diversity and Dignity Initiative Opens to Applications

Comic Relief is offering funding to UK based organisations working with partners in nine Sub-Saharan African countries to address the needs of marginalised population groups who are disproportionately affected by HIV.

The new initiative is open to UK based organisations working in partnership with organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa who are either capacity building organisations that support community groups of Key Populations, or working directly with organisations led by Key Populations, or their networks.
Comic Relief is offering grants of up £250,000 (representing between 25% and 100% of the projects total cost) to start new activities according to identified needs of Key Populations, or to strengthen existing work.

To be eligible for funding, both UK organisations and local partners must have a demonstrated record of working with Key Populations of at least five years.
They must also be delivering projects with the following outcomes:

  1. Programmatic Outcomes – Comic Relief will invest in programmes that include some combination of the following elements, according to the main needs of the programme beneficiaries and the ability of the programme to deliver different types of activities:
  2. An increase in access to appropriate user-friendly and high-quality services leading to improved health for Key Populations.
  3. Inclusion of Key Populations in the community and society as a result of reduced stigma and discrimination and/or more beneficiaries having relevant coping and life skills, leading to Key Populations participating in life within their families, communities and countries.
  4. Good quality support to improve and secure livelihoods for Key Populations, through savings and/or developing income sources, particularly for beneficiary groups that are relatively poor or who experience large fluctuations in their income.
  5. New and stronger partnerships between Key Population organisations and potential allies in society, such as existing providers of health and other services, community leaders, law enforcement, and other relevant sources of support.
  6. Empowerment of Key Populations leading to their voices being heard and strengthening legislation and policies for an improved policy environment, and to create lasting change.
  7. Systems enabling key populations to report on quality and accessibility of services are established.
  8. Strengthened technical capacity of organisations led by Key Populations and their networks leading to high quality community-based activities for Key # Populations and linkages with friendly services and other relevant stakeholders.

Organisational Development Outcomes – Comic Relief will invest in programmes that:

  1. Strengthen leadership and governance of organisations led by Key Populations (ie where the majority of Board members are from Key Populations)
  2. Strengthen management systems and processes of organisations led by Key Populations leading to stable and secure organisations, diversified funding and lasting change.
  3. Strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning resulting in documentation and sharing of lessons and best practice, and scaling up of activities that reach more Key Populations with high quality user-friendly services.

Funding is available to support rights-based activities that:

  • Are led by key populations or actively involve key populations in governance and / or Programme implementation.
  • Are innovative and creative and demonstrate measurable results and outputs.
  • Reflect a strong focus on community participation.
  • Build on and leverage existing impact.
  • Fill a clear and demonstrable gap/niche in the country HIV response.
  • Value learning and sharing of lessons.
  • Leverage funding and support from government and other local partners.