United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Center Colombo (RCC), 2007-2009

With support from the United Nations Development Programme-Regional Center Colombo (UNDP-RCC), ACHIEVE, Inc. coordinated and conducted a multi-country study on the HIV vulnerability of women migrant workers in Gulf Countries. Seven countries were involved in this study. Four were migrant-sending countries, namely, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; and three were destination countries – Bahrain, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, focusing on Dubai.
 
As part of this project, ACHIEVE produced the Philippine report: “Unveiling HIV Vulnerabilities: Filipino Women Migrant Workers in the Arab States”.
 

Levi Strauss Foundation, Inc., 2007-2009

ACHIEVE worked in partnership with migrant workers and spouses living with HIV to design a capacity development plan that would respond to their capacity building needs as HIV activists and educators. The plan included the conduct of a series of workshops, which aimed to deepen their perspective on issues of migration, HIV-related stigma and discrimination, gender and sexuality and build their skills in communication, peer education, public speaking and advocacy. The plan also called for sustained mentoring activities and fielding of the trained migrant and spouses educators and advocates in various practicum activities such as conducting HIV orientation seminars for OFWs, speaking at HIV conferences locally and internationally, and participating in ACHIEVE’s projects and activities. 
 
Monthly community meetings were conducted in 2008 as a venue for the migrants and spouses to share their knowledge and insights related to their involvement in various local and regional activities. In order to assess their performance and determine their additional learning needs, the project conducted two annual assessments. Included in these assessment activities were the feedback that the community provided on ACHIEVE’s programmes and activities.
 
The project also supported the conduct of two seminar-workshops that aimed to enhance capacity of medical practitioners in reducing HIV-stigma and discrimination in handling HIV cases in the hospital setting. These seminar-workshops were done in partnership with the National AIDS/STD Prevention and Control Programme of the Department of Health (NASPCP-DOH), San Lazaro Hospital STD/AIDS Central Cooperative Laboratory (SACCL), Bureau of Health Facilities and Services (BHFS-DOH) and the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC). Medical personnel from a total of 16 government hospitals attended the seminar-workshops.

Development Bank (ADB) through PRIMEX, 2007-2009

In association with the lead consulting firm, Pacific Rim Innovations and Management Exponents (PRIMEX), Inc., ACHIEVE Inc. participated in implementing Component 2 of the said RETA, which involved the conduct of research and capacity development activities on HIV and migration issues, targeting the OFW sector. For Phase I of the project, the following studies were undertaken:
 
Situation Analysis and Response (SAR) Report which included a comprehensive mapping of the country’s Response to HIV and Migration through a mapping of stakeholders, programs and policies;
 
(i)            An Examination of the Full Migration Cycle and its Links to HIV Vulnerability;
(ii)          A Study of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) of Seafarers and their relationship with the seafarers’ HIV risks and vulnerability;
(iii)         Study of Seafarers’ Spouses, delving on their knowledge and attitudes about HIV and HIV risk perceptions;and
(iv)         Case Studies of Seafarers Living with HIV, focusing on care and support issues.
 
ACHIEVE was principally responsible for the generation of the SAR report (i) and write-up of Case Studies of Seafarers Living with HIV (v), while it supervised the conduct of and provided inputs to the other studies. For Phase II, ACHIEVE coordinated the conduct of three trainings on Case Handling of HIV among Migrant Workers for personnel of government agencies such as FSI-DFA, DOLE, POEA, OWWA, and DSWD from the national office and Regions I, III, IV-A and XI.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) through PRIMEX, 2008-2009

This pioneering study on female seafarers was carried out by ACHIEVE, through the Lead Consultant, PRIMEX, Inc. The study aimed to identify the risks and vulnerabilities of female seafarers to reproductive health problems, especially to HIV infection and identify the gender-related barriers as well as opportunities to promote reproductive health among the females in the seafaring industry, and to come up with recommendations that will enhance the gender-responsiveness of current policies and education and advocacy programs and services for seafarers and other migrant workers.
 
The initial results of the research showed that health and medical benefits are not responsive to the reproductive health needs of women e.g. absence of contraceptives on board; there are work-related gender biases, such as the lack of a toilet for females in cargo vessels; female seafarers also engage in risky sexual behaviors, e.g. unprotected sex.

Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM)

2007-2008
 
ACHIEVE, with support from Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) through the Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) and the Department of Health (DOH), conducted an operations research entitled, “A Qualitative Study of the Risks and Vulnerabilities of Filipino Seafarers to HIV Infection and an Assessment of Current Intervention Policies and Programs.” The study aimed to identify the different sexuality and reproductive health risks and vulnerabilities of seafarers and assess the adequacy and effectiveness of current policies and programs for seafarers.
 
The study looked into the life and work at sea e.g. beliefs, norms and practices of male and female seafarers that put them at risk and vulnerable to HIV infection and other reproductive health problems. The findings validated the results of past studies about the types and extent of risks and vulnerabilities of seafarers to HIV infection. The study shows that there is no difference in the level of knowledge on HIV/STI prevention between those who received the information prior to deployment and those who did not. Misconceptions and wrong information on HIV and STI is still glaring, especially on the modes of transmission.
 
The study also assessed the existing programmes for seafarers being implemented by government, NGOs and unions of seafarers.It recommends that Information, Education and Communication and Behavior Change Communication (IEC/BCC) materials should be developed to enhance safer sex practices and healthy lifestyles among seafarers. The study strongly recommends that seafarers should have regular access to health and medical information and services on board. Laws and policies that protect seafarers should be popularized and disseminated. Lastly, systems of monitoring the activities and practices of manning agencies and other service providers should be improved.

International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2005-2006