The toolkit was developed by the Alliance and FHI 360 for the USAID- and PEPFAR-supported LINKAGES project with an aim to help implementers of HIV programmes for key populations, who often operate in hostile and unsafe environments, to address safety and security challenges in their programme implementation.
It is designed for use in hostile environments; for example, where members of key populations are criminalized and face elevated levels of stigma, discrimination, and violence. It seeks to amplify good programming through identifying and cataloging promising practices and tools, making overarching recommendations to address safety and security challenges, and providing a systematic approach to identify and respond to one’s own safety and security gaps. It also clearly describes the context in which safety and security investments are needed and the importance of these investments for an effective HIV response.
The toolkit has three section: first is a review of safety and security challenges and their impact on HIV programming, and promising practices and recommendations to address these challenges. Secondly, three practical checklists help programme implementers systematically identify strengths and weaknesses in their efforts to protect organisations, individuals, and implementation sites. Last is an annotated bibliography of safety and security resources.
All tools in the toolkit use working definitions of violence, safety and security, and workers that are informed by the resources and positions of a range of civil society organizations (CSOs), security experts, donors, and United Nations (UN) agencies. A key principle helping to guide the toolkit’s development was the understanding that HIV programs for and with key populations must strive to “first do no harm” with the further understanding that safety and security considerations are essential for fulfilling this principle.
The toolkit focuses on four key populations as defined by PEPFAR and used in the LINKAGES program:
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Sex workers
- Transgender people