amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

The amfAR GMT Initiative Mentoring Model: Strengthening Organizational Capacity and Impact Through Local Expertise

From 2007 through 2014, the amfAR GMT Initiative Community Awards Program provided small grants to nearly 200 grassroots organizations in over 80 low- and middle-income countries to help them improve and expand the HIV services they provide for gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals (collectively, GMT). These organizations were founded and are run by GMT individuals, who are most often pioneers in providing HIV services for GMT individuals within their communities—and who know better than anyone how to reach and meet the needs of these highly marginalized and often hidden populations.

However, these leaders often have little prior experience running an organization and managing its growth. In working closely with new grantees, amfAR recognized that these partners needed additional, targeted support to help strengthen their organizational capacity and secure funding from their national governments and larger donor agencies that support HIV programs. The GMT Initiative then developed a mentoring model that recognizes and capitalizes on local expertise by supporting a local expert—or mentor—in providing targeted guidance and training to grantee partners.

This report, made possible by generous support from Johnson & Johnson, provides examples of the capacity-strengthening activities employed by the mentors and their impact on five grantee partner organizations, one from each of the regions in which the GMT Initiative provides support: Africa, the Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It also outlines variables that grassroots GMT organizations can use to measure their own organizational growth.

The report is available here.