Beyond the Binary: A Guidance for Inclusion of LGBTI People in Development Activities

The purpose of this guidance is to identify key frameworks, language and resources for LGBTI inclusion specifically related to implementing global health and gender equality programming. It is hoped that the guidance contained in this note may be applicable and useful to initiatives working on gender diversity and inclusion within their development work, and more broadly, that additional future guidance will be available in this regard. 

As this guidance underscores, CanWaCH and the Gender Equality Working Group (GEWG) commits to deepening our knowledge, understanding and informed approach to gender transformative programming, which includes the meaningful integration of LGBTI people in our work. 

This toolkit has been developed for CanWaCH partners and other organizations seeking to include LGBTI people in development activities. We hope this toolkit will increase knowledge about LGBTI populations in order to help development practitioners create inclusive organizations that advance the health and rights of women, children, and adolescents in all their diversity. Here is what you will find:

  • PART I: sets out basic information about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), how they are defined, and how they can be assessed when collecting data about LGBTI people. Additionally, this section provides a brief summary of current empirical knowledge about the size of LGBTI populations. 
  • PART II: examines the impact of social and structural stigma on the mental and physical health of LGBTI people. Additionally, this section reviews sexual and reproductive health needs of sexual minority women and transgender people.
  • PART III: focuses on the benefits of engaging local LGBTI communities and suggests how to identify and safely reach out to LGBTI CSOs. This section also includes measures that non-LGBTI CSOs can take to ensure their activities are inclusive and responsive to the needs of LGBTI people.

This document also includes three appendices:

  • Appendix I: is a glossary of terms used in this document.
  • Appendix II: is a style and usage guide to the grammer and usage of pronouns, various forms of the abbreviation LGBTI, and terms such trasngender and intersex. This guide is useful for writing reports, proposals, and correspondence. 
  • Appendix III: lists selected reports, toolkits, and mapping documents related to specific areas of programming such as transgender health, refugee issues, legal standards, and diversity policies.

Download the guidance in English here.

Download the guidance in French here

Please reach out to Erica Fotheringham if you have any specific questions about this guidance document.

Webinar Recording: Integrating LGBTI people into development activities

In commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), CanWaCH hosted a webinar to introduce a forthcoming CanWaCH toolkit for integrating LGBTI people into work in developing countries. Panelists Liberty Matthyse and Andrew Park gave an overview of LGBTI populations, trends in data, health needs, organizational capacity and readiness to address LGBTI issues, and tips on how to move forward. 

About our Panelists:

Andrew Park is the former Director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, University of California Los Angeles, a leading research center for the study of LGBT populations, and is currently a consultant for UN agencies and LGBTI organizations addressing issues of LGBTI human rights, data collection, and the sustainable development goals.   He has worked in Africa and Asia with local LGBTI communities to support their work advocating for human rights, and earlier in his career served as an Administrative Judge for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and has taught gender, sexuality, and international development studies at several Universities in the United States.

Liberty (Glenton) is the Executive Director of Gender Dynamix, the first registered organization in Africa to focus on the transgender community. Gender Dynamix engages in research, public education, and community mobilization to realize the human rights of transgender people in South Africa and beyond.  Identifying as a trans non-binary person, she/they holds a Master’s Degree in Law (cum laude) from the University of the Western Cape, and qualifications in business management from the University of Cape Town. 

Download the presentation slides