ESCALATE Technical Assistance

The ESCALATE TA program is designed to increase the capacity and readiness of RWHAP recipients and subrecipients to address HIV-related stigma within their organizations and communities. Activities are designed to create organizational-level change through targeted work plans.

TA will be offered in two forms: organization-specific and cohort-level. By having two forms of TA, organizations can build capacity and identify solutions through multiple pathways.

Apply for ESCALATE Technical Assistance

PDF of ESCALATE TA/LC Application

PDF of ESCALATE Technical Assistance FAQs

Application Process and Criteria

The Technical Assistance Program and Learning Collaboratives will share a joint application process. Stigma Reduction Teams within organizations may submit one application into one or both of the organization-level activities (TA and/or LC). Stigma Reduction Teams will represent diverse organizational levels, roles, and experience across organizations.

  • Shared criteria for across TA and LCs:
    • Demonstrated understanding of HIV stigma.
    • Description of HIV stigma challenges in organization and community.
    • Commitment to implementing stigma-reduction strategies into organizational activities, policies, practices, and behaviors.
    • Organization-level buy-in as evidenced by CEO letter of support, including
      • Commitment from leadership to allow identified staff to participate in TA/LC.
    • Identification of a change management sponsor/stigma champion to provide the visible leadership needed to drive a program forward, create a vision for change, and lend credibility to the change project.
    • Identification of a team with a designated responsibility for addressing stigma with:
      • training;
      • leadership support;
      • representation from members of the population of interest (or a means to receive input from that population).
    • Resources, including:
      • dedicated time for developing/implementing stigma-reduction program (to be defined by the organizations);
      • dedicated time for participating in the TA and LCs;
      • dedicated space/time to meet;
      • dedicated time/funds for training others at the organization;
      • dedicated funds for communications and media (as necessary, if the stigma-reduction program requires communication with the public/clients);
      • resources to participate in virtual learning (computer, smart phone, reliable internet access).
  • Criteria for TA:
    • Description of interest and commitment to tailored TA to address specific HIV stigma within the organization and community.
    • Identification of key staff to participate in TA who will serve as informal trainers to share tailored approaches with staff.

TA Process

Once organizations are accepted to participate in TA, they will be assigned a trained TA Coach who will deliver and implement a tailored TA plan for each organization and serve as the primary point of contact and ease the flow of communication and information. This plan will be refined in collaboration with the the TA team and organizational Stigma Reduction Team.

Organization-specific TA

  • 1-1 TA Coach and organization calls (conducted at least once a month).
  • 1-1 TA Coach trainings for each organization (organization-specific with frequency and duration determined by work plan).
  • Ad hoc TA Coach, organization, and Subject Matter Expert (SME) calls (organization-specific, with frequency and duration determined by work plan).

Cohort-level TA

  • TA affinity calls (where organizations with similar challenges can share ideas and strategies with each other).
  • Weekly open office hours (co-facilitated by a TA coach and by a SME, topics vary week to week. Informal opportunity to ask questions and share across organizations).
  • Basecamp-facilitated conversations and resource sharing.


TA will be offered in two, nine-month cohorts:

  • First cohort: Summer 2021
  • Second cohort: Winter 2022