Collectively Authoring a Global Tool: MSMIT Training Manual

MSMGF and the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health (ECOM) are proud to announce a new resource for trainers of the MSM Implementation Toolkit. After a series of UNFPA supported grassroots workshops aimed to introduce community organizers and health providers to the MSMIT, ECOM and their partners in Eastern Europe and Central Asia recognized the need for a Training of Trainers (ToT) manual to help introduce the larger MSMIT tool to communities.

Ever since the launch of the MSM Implementation Toolkit (MSMIT), the tool has been utilized and adapted by communities of gay and bisexual men working at local and regional levels around the world. ECOM and their local community partners, supported by UNFPA, saw a need to adapt the MSMIT so that it was culturally specific enough to be utilized throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA)

Their adaptation includes an annex of case studies to be used in small group activities during trainings. The case studies address examples of police harassment, discrimination in institutional settings, and violence in public and family settings as well as from nationalist groups. The ToT manual developed as a set of thematic blocks, each of those can be used separately or in composition with other blocks depending on an event objective as well as specificity and expectations of participants.

By training new cadres of MSMIT trainers, the tool’s resources and possibilities are able to flourish. ECOM consultants Daniyar Orsekov of Kyrgyzstan and Denis Kamaldinov of Russia helped to create this new ToT manual, based in their experience leading two workshops to introduce MSMIT to participants from the EECA countries in Kyrgyzstan in 2016, and Dr. Ilya Zhukov provided recommendations grounded on the UNFPA experience of MSMIT introduction in other regions.

Finished in May 2017, the ToT manual is full of rich case studies and examples specific to the EECA region. The manual was originally crafted by ECOM in Russian to ensure access across the region and translated into English with support from MSMGF so that its lessons might also be made available to an even broader global community.

The MSM Implementation Toolkit (MSMIT) seeks to honor and support the legacy forged by men who have sex with men who have mobilized at the community level. Community-led organizations continue to innovate and evolve this legacy, even in places that are challenged by limited resources, legal barriers or ongoing stigma and discrimination. The MSMIT therefore gives particular attention to programs in contexts all over the world that are run or led by men who have sex with men.

Local Knowledge Shapes Our Global Movement

MSMGF’s partnership with ECOM to revise and provide feedback on this tool is particularly exciting because it shows that local and regional knowledge have global implications. Too often AIDS strategies are unilaterally forced by the North onto communities in the Global South and East.

However, all kinds of rich and robust knowledge are produced at local levels every d­­­­ay. Our histories show us that local communities of gay and bisexual men all around the world are the innovators in developing new and effective strategies for ensuring sexual health, and securing human rights.

The original MSMIT was the result of such local knowledge and best practices being aggregated and highlighted through a collaborative process. Dozens of local and regional leaders worked with the MSMGF and UNFPA to create the MSMIT. ECOM and  UNFPA then partnered to further drive the MSMIT’s adaptation and implementation in EECA, including consultations, rollout efforts and development of the ToT manual.  The MSMIT ToT manual thus embodies the strength of coordinated partnerships, whereby local and regional wisdom inform a shared and ever more interconnected global response.

The MSMIT was designed for use by public-health officials and managers of HIV, AIDS and STI programmes; NGOs, including community and civil-society organizations; and health workers. It may also be of interest to international funding agencies, health policy-makers and advocates. It is meant to cover implementation of interventions across the full HIV services continuum, including prevention, treatment, care and support interventions. Each chapter explicitly or implicitly addresses one or more of the 2011 Guidelines for HIV and STI Prevention and Treatment Among MSM or the 2014 Consolidated Guidelines for Key Populations.

A Tool for Training Trainers

ECOM’s ToT manual was developed to help the MSMIT be even more accessible for communities who intend to provide trainings to introduce the MSMIT. The goal of the module is to provide guidance on the structure, organization and contents of short-term workshops to introduce MSMIT.

The objective of the Training Module is to:

  • Offer trainers a system for consistent rendering of the topics contained in the Toolkit
  • Suggest to trainers which topics and issues they should focus on to encourage further independent study of MSMIT by workshop participants
  • Help trainers to define and present practical usability of the Toolkit at different levels and in various areas related to MSM and LGBT
  • Suggest techniques to modify the training program depending on the level of competence, needs and number of participants

Download ECOM’s Training of Trainers Manual in English and in Russian

Download the full MSMIT in EnglishFrenchPortugueseSpanish, and Russian.

The MSMIT is also available as a series of videos in MSMGF’s CPR Online Learning Platform