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About the Advocacy Fellows Program

Informed, impact-driven, and focused advocates use evidence-based advocacy to accelerate ethical research and equitable access to HIV prevention options, and their oversight puts decision-makers on notice, furthering accountability so that interventions that work reach those who need them most.

The AVAC Advocacy Fellows Program, launched in 2009, fosters a network of deeply-informed, skilled and confident advocates to strengthen and expand advocacy for HIV prevention locally, regionally and globally. In the decade since its launch, 85 Advocacy Fellows from 14 countries in Africa and Asia have been through this program.

Overall Goal: The Advocacy Fellows program aims to expand and strengthen the capacity of civil society advocates and organisations to monitor, support and help shape HIV prevention research and rapid rollout of new effective interventions in low- and middle-income countries with high HIV burdens. The program identifies emerging champions, supports their efforts, helps them to hone their skills, strengthens the capacity of civil society to shape the agenda for HIV prevention research and influence how fast new interventions move into policy and programs. The Fellows program supports advocacy projects focused on HIV prevention research and implementation in the countries and communities of emerging and mid-career advocates.

Advocacy Fellows are housed by “Host Organisations” who are the fiscal and administrative grant partners. Hosts provide daily supervision to Fellows, ensure their projects are aligned with the organization’s goals and ensure that their activities and strategies are contextualized in the country/community.

AVAC provides technical and financial support to Fellows—both salary and project budget—for the duration of the Fellow’s year. The Fellows program is implemented through a close collaboration among the Advocacy Fellow, the Host Organisation and AVAC. Read about the program and application process in our information packet.

Theory of Change: The program is guided by the belief that effective, sustainable advocacy grows out of priorities and interests identified by country level organisations and the individual interests of passionate advocates who are motivated to bring change.

In the ten years of the program, we have seen a majority of Fellows go on to be key players in their communities, countries and beyond: leading advocacy campaigns and organizations, mobilizing and coordinating coalitions and being recognized as community and global health champions. Read more about the Fellows 10-year Evaluation here.