Why we did it

We know communities hold the key to bringing about changes to the services, laws, policies, practices and mindsets that affect them. But a lack of understanding amongst governments and donors means the value of community-led advocacy is not always recognised.

PITCH sought to change this. The five-year, nine-country programme worked with four marginalised and vulnerable groups most affected by HIV to strengthen and connect community-led advocacy.

PITCH was the first large-scale HIV programme to invest solely in community advocacy.

It supported community advocates to:

  • Bring about equal access to services for HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Further equal rights for marginalised people
  • Develop and strengthen the skills, organisational structures and resources needed to carry out effective advocacy, generate evidence and improve policies and practices in the HIV response
© James Duong for Aidsfonds/2019

Our results

United movements have pursued landmark legal cases and convinced governments to shift from punitive to supportive policies.

Through advocacy wins, big and small, marginalised people have created more enabling environments, and their access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services has improved.

Community advocates have grown in skills and confidence. They are better equipped to conduct strategic advocacy, hold governments to account, capture and present evidence, fundraise and monitor progress.

Community-led coalitions have become increasingly organised, within countries and across national borders. By uniting and sharing evidence, communities have been able to influence regional and global policies on critical issues such as universal health coverage and human rights.

Marginalised communities are also wielding greater influence nationally – with parliament, government ministries, law enforcement, health, media and the general public. Communities are being more regularly consulted in national policy processes and are generating evidence-based, innovative policy solutions.

Read the end term evaluation report for a critical analysis of the programme’s contribution to evidence-based changes in relation to the PITCH theory of change. 

where and how we did it

PITCH worked in nine low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, all with high HIV prevalence – Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. It supported over 100 community-led organisations, networks and platforms, including regional partners in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Southern Africa. Our global advocacy partners included –  International Civil Society Report/Free Space Process, International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction International.

The people PITCH supported

  • Adolescent girls and young women
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and men who have sex with men
  • People who use drugs
  • Sex workers

PITCH helped individuals and organisations develop the technical skills, tools and strategies they needed to carry out effective advocacy.

Through training and mentoring it has built capacities in key areas, such as political campaigning, evidence gathering, fundraising, and communications for advocacy, introduced rights monitoring and response systems and provided tailored technical support.

PITCH has helped to build movements between population groups by encouraging coalitions to form and set joint agendas at regional and global levels.

Community advocates as a force for change

Within countries, PITCH enabled advocates to gain or improve access to existing advocacy mechanisms, including national AIDS councils, technical working groups, parliamentary committees, health, education and law enforcement bodies and village councils. It has done this by hosting workshops and sensitisations that show the lived realities of marginalised people, and by opening up constructive dialogues with decision makers.

Amplifying the voices of marginalised people

PITCH has also supported community advocates to mount effective public-facing campaigns with training in participatory photography to capture the lived realities of communities, working with journalists, social media influencers and celebrities to change hearts and minds.


PITCH – global themes

further reading

PITCH partners in Kenya share key successes from the programme and what more needs to be done to sustain change and ensure equal access to services for marginalsed people.  

  • Read more news of advocacy, insightful opinions and inspiring stories of change on adolescent girls and young women and sex workers from our PITCH partner, Aidsfonds.


Read global publications, annual reports and research, generated over the five-year programme.


PITCH logo

PITCH was a joint partnership between Aidsfonds, Frontline AIDS and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of their Dialogue and Dissent programme. It ran between 2016 and 2020.

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