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Gender & LGBTQI+ Resources

Here are resources to support strengthening an organisation’s engagement with the LGBTQI+ community and promoting gender equality.

Key principles for engaging with an excluded group

Plan to invest more time and resources in group-specific, friendly, peer-based and gender-sensitive outreach. Invest time in understanding why groups and excluded and understand group dynamics and how this cohort is affected by existing systems and structures. To identify and attract a specific group of people to your programme, involve the target group themselves in the targeting and support their own representatives to do that. Community and parental engagement are also vital, especially when reaching girls or young people. You should consider setting targets which allow for slower progress in the first year.

When organising a group of people into a cohort, one core principle is that groups should be self-selecting within a community. However, you should consider that a marginalised group may have very different needs, reflecting their backgrounds and life stages. The formation, management and quality of the group can be strengthened by focusing on a more homogenous membership (similar age, life stage, goals) and make sure you cater for the specific needs of the group (access issues for persons with disabilities). Care should be taken not to exclude particularly marginalised and vulnerable people and be aware of the intersections, for examples a person who is a minority and LGBT.

Conduct an initial needs analysis, followed up by consultation at regular intervals as the groups you work with gain more experience and they are able to identify their (evolving) preferences and needs more clearly with time. Adjust your approach accordingly. 

 

Working in communities involves risks; take steps to protect women, girls and vulnerable people from the outset by identifying how you will consider safeguarding – promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights, reporting and dealing with disclosures – at every stage of the programme.  

Your intervention can provide a strong platform for tailored training and support to help build your group’s skills. Provide training in numeracy, managing finances, as well as enterprise, vocational and life skills training, to help young people develop sustainable livelihoods. Ensure it is friendly, interactive, effectively delivered and supported by regular refresher training. Consider including mentoring and coaching too.

Encourage your cohort to set aside a social fund (e.g. for school fees, health emergencies, funeral expenses) or start a voluntary savings group to provide an additional buffer for the group and a safety net for individual members. 

Link responsibly to formal institutions and networks in country. It’s a logical and attractive next step so your cohort can access services and facilities provided by other departments or NGOs. Check government policies which affect the group you are working with and consider how services are provided by government around their needs. Some policies are discriminatory and may create disincentives to engage. 

Ensure your cohort take on a participatory or lead role in designing their activities, as well as implementing and managing them. Where possible and appropriate, connect your groups to other similar bodies at district, regional and national levels, to enable their voices and interests to be heard. Your group could influence public stakeholders to ensure that they are represented in national and local policy and programme initiatives.

Embed monitoring and evaluation tools into all elements of the programme from the start, and ensure that the data collected can be disaggregated by age, gender and disability, at a minimum.  Follow the principle of ‘Nothing about us without us’. To increase ownership and sustainability, include your people in the development and delivery of monitoring and evaluation systems; and build in regular reviews to take in their feedback and adapt the activities accordingly.

Framework for gender equality at home and in society

To challenge gender inequality in our our institutions, our access to resources, our cultural norms at home and socially, and in our own psyche; Gender at Work have produced a conceptual framework to demonstrate the areas of change and the possible relationships between them.  Use this framework to assist your understanding of the factors affecting gender and ways in which gender norms can be challenged.

Read the framework here