RFP ‘Innovative Seed Grant’ – Community System Strengthening

Introduction – The Humsafar Trust

The Humsafar Trust (HST) is a community-based organization (CBO) working on health and human rights of LGBTQ since 1994. HST is currently implementing targeted HIV intervention projects focusing on HIV prevention and care and support. Besides HIV prevention and mental health programs, HST also undertakes advocacy activities focused on LGBTQ rights, including sensitization and awareness of employers, educational institutes, law enforcement agencies, and government bodies, Pride marches, and World AIDS Day.  HST has built capacities of Community-Based Organizations in 27 Indian states on HIV prevention, treatment, care & support, and advocacy for LGBTQ rights as part of GFATM projects Pehchan and DIVA. Kindly refer to the website https://humsafar.org/ for more details about the organization.


HST has been awarded a grant from the GFATM as a subrecipient to India HIV/AIDS Alliance as Principal Recipient (PR) to implement an innovative project called NETREACH until March 2024. The Project aims to accelerate national HIV response to reach the first 95 targets, by reaching key and vulnerable populations (High risk groups, at risk adolescents and youth, men and women with high-risk behaviors) through virtual platforms. Project NETREACH will harness online platforms to expand access to unreached key populations who are often vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and STIs, and develop sustainable linkage of the beneficiaries to health services. This project focuses on strengthening community led initiatives to address underline issues contributing to inequity in access, including gender related barriers to human rights and health services.

Community System Strengthening – Innovative Seed Grants (CSS-ISG)

The goal of community systems strengthening (CSS) is to develop the roles of key affected populations, community led organizations and networks to play a full and effective role alongside health and social welfare systems.  Innovative Seed Grants (ISG) aims at providing seed grants to community led organizations for innovative concepts, that encourages conducive environment at the local, state and national level. These initiatives could include highlighting issues at local, state and/or national level that are in violation of human rights, innovative approaches to reach the unreached and other strategies that focus on the health and human rights of MSM and FSW community. The objectives of the seed grant are following:

  1. Innovative program designs/implementation strategies/digital media and communication materials to upscale to reach the unreached and online at-risk population.
  2. Increase the awareness of local, state and/or national policy and decision-makers of issues related to MSM & FSW populations in particular those who are living with HIV.
  3. Highlight issues with local and/or national level policies that are in violation of human rights related to MSM & FSW populations.

CSS-ISG Priority/thematic Areas

The applicants should focus on one or more of these following areas that would benefit the MSM & FSW community, including PLHIV:

  • Facilitate linkages of unreached at-risk populations to HIV related services
  • Advocacy with different stakeholders to address legal and social issues of MSM & FSW communities.
  • Observe World AIDS Day and Human Rights Day
  • Advocacy to increase access to health & HIV treatment services for MSM & FSW communities.
  • Reducing stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV and among MSM & FSW communities.
  • Innovative approaches to increase testing and treatment adherence among unreached at-risk populations through social media
  • Data  Driven advocacy

Eligibility to apply for CSS-ISG

The grant will be open for registered MSM & FSW led CBOs in India.

Organizations who meet these following criteria would be eligible to submit the proposal for Innovative Seed Grants:

  1. The applying organization should be only MSM & FSW community-based organization (CBO), must be registered, should have a bank account and PAN card.
  1. Priorities will be given to those CBOs who possess minimum 1 years of experience particularly in community mobilization, local advocacy, social protection and right based activities working for the benefit of MSM & FSW including those living with HIV.
  1. The CBOs have been actively involved in HIV/AIDS response / social entitlements and able to demonstrate experiences in community-based activities for MSM & FSW communities.
  1. Has never been blacklisted or support for a program withdrawn by a donor /SACS for non – performance (financial and /or programmatic).
  1. Preference will be given to smaller CBO’s from semi-urban and rural areas.   

Non-eligibility to apply for CSS-ISG

  1. Individuals are not eligible for the grant
  2. Un-registered collectives are not eligible for the grant
  3. NGOs are not eligible for the grant

Please note the following:

  1. 2 MSM & 2 FSW CBOs will be selected through this RFP.
  2. A selection committee will be constituted to select the innovative proposals.
  3. This grant will support only for activities and will not support procurement of fixed assets/ equipment’s.

Grant award limit:

Each proposal is capped for a grant up to a maximum of Rs. 2.5 Lakhs for a period of three months.  

How to apply:

Organizations need to submit their application with the following annexures duly filled in all purposes:


The application must contain the following essential sections:

  1. Covering letter
  2. Proposal in the format given in Annexure 1 (Download)
  3. A detailed budget as given in Annexure 2 (Download)
  4. A copy of the Registration Certificate of the Organization
  5. PAN Card
  6. A declaration that all executive committee / board members are from the community they work for.
  • By submitting the application, the CBO unreservedly agrees to abide by HST terms and conditions as amended from time to time.
  • Incomplete application forms and non- submission of requisite documents will lead to rejection of the application.
  • The soft copy of completed application forms should be submitted to following Email ID: cssisg@humsafar.org
  • HST reserves right to reject/accept any or all proposals without assigning any reasons therefore.
  • Only shortlisted CBO’s will be contacted after 10th November 2024

For any queries, please contact Bhavesh Bommera – email id ‘cssisg@humsafar.org’

The last date for submission is 4th November 2024 at 6 pm.