In the second week of November AFEW International together with FLOWZ and Health[e]Foundation organized a three-day kick-off workshop in Kyrgyzstan for 24 participants came from 11 Eastern European and Central Asian countries. AFEW International is an international network of civil society organizations dedicated to improve the health of key populations, with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In order to intensify engagement of Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the International AIDS Conference 2018 in Amsterdam, AFEW/Health[e]Foundation/FLOWZ, with financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, developed a community based participatory research (CBPR) program. Health[e]Foundation developed the e-learning course that will be part of that program, with the goal to equip community based organizations and community members with tools and resources to conduct community based participatory research. We initially developed five e-learning modules on how to start up and design a community based participatory research project. In April three more modules will follow on data analyses, dissemination, translation and evaluation.
The workshop gave the participants the opportunity to head-start with their research plans, using the input of the facilitators and feedback of other participants. Health[e]Foundation took part in the workshop in Kyrgyzstan to familiarize the participants with its e-learning program.
Following the face-to-face and online e-learning training, AFEW International released a call for proposals for community-based organizations to conduct research that will benefit key populations living in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The proposals should contribute to improve the health of key population groups in the region. The awarded research projects will receive guidance and support throughout 2017 and 2018, with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of abstracts from Eastern Europe and Central Asia to be presented at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam.