SOGIR: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Rights – Being LGBT in Africa





Project Objectives


Programme area Capacity Strengthening
Region BotswanaCameroonLiberiaNigeriaSenegalSouth AfricaTanzaniaZambia
Year/s 20172018


The  Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights [SOGIR]  Project  is  part  of  a  joint United Nations Development Plan [UNDP]  and  Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [OHCHR]  initiative,  which  builds  upon  the  lessons-learned  from  the  UNDP  and  USAID  initiative ‘Being LGBT  in  Asia’ and  the  OHCHR-led UN

‘Free  &  Equal  public  information  campaign’.


The project is aimed at enhancing knowledge, partnerships, and capacities of the LGBT community, civil society and States to reduce human rights violations and negative attitudes towards LGBT people in Africa.

The  project  also  draws  on OHCHR’s experience combating homophobia and  transphobia  at  the country  level,  including  in  Africa,  and  lessons  learned  by  OHCHR  from  its  innovative Free  and  Equal global public information campaign.

Project  countries  are  from  West,  Eastern  and Southern African sub-regions and include Botswana, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.


The project draws on UNDP’s work on human rights in Africa in the context of HIV and experience in designing and implementing a similar ground-breaking regional initiative, ‘Being LGBT in Asia.’

This project has 2 major components:

Strengthening data and stakeholder engagement in LGBT rights: This component focuses on  enhancing  the  capacity  of  governments,  national  human  rights  institutions, civil  society  and  LGBT  groups  to  address  and  reduce  inequality, exclusion,  violence  and  discrimination experienced  by  LGBT  persons,  including  through  engaging  in  relevant  national  and  regional  processes.

Countering stigma and encouraging a shift in public attitudes: This  component  focuses  on  ways  to  counter  stigma  and  encourage  a  shift  in  public  attitudes  towards members  of  the  LGBT  community  in  each  of  the  countries  concerned  and  more  broadly  in  the  region.


  1. Establishing Multi-Sectoral National Committees: UNDP will work in partnership with AMSHeR to strengthen the capacity of civil society to advocate for the rights of  LGBT A  small  group,  led  and  owned  by  LGBT  people  will  be  established members trained in thematic areas relevant to the project, including documentation, shadow reporting and targeted advocacy.
  2. National LGBT Inclusion Index: UNDP’s LGBT Inclusion Index will  be used  in  each country, in conjunction with  the national  assessments  of  LGBT  rights  (based  on  relevant  sections  of  country  scorecards), to  provide information for monitoring and to inform policy. UNDP’ s Index focuses on four broad areas – Economic Well-being; Political and Civic Participation; Health; Personal Security and Violence.
  1. Conducting National Political Scans: To assist civil society to use information from  the  LGBT  Inclusion  Index  and collected  evidence  to influence  policy  and  law  review,  a  scan  of  political  processes  will  be  conducted  by  UNDP  for  each country that does not already have one. The political scan will outline the dates for policy/strategy review and opportunities for promoting  law reform.
  2. Capacity strengthening activities carried out for key national stakeholders on the rights of LGBT peopleUNDP  and  OHCHR  will  work  with  LGBT  organisations  to  conduct  human  rights  training,  capacity strengthening   activities,   outreach   and   consultations   with   parliamentarians,   national   human   rights institutions, relevant policy makers, senior law enforcement and the judiciary.
  3. Capacity strengthening of LGBT Organisations Working with AMSHeR and its affiliates:  UNDP  will  use  established  methods  to  assess  and  strengthen the capacity of LGBT organisations in areas such as: Organisational Governance, Financial Management, Programme   Management,   Monitoring   and   AMSHeR   brings   in   the   consortium   the organisational capacity  assessment  tool  (OCAT)  used  to  assess  the  maturity  status  of  USAID -funded organisations and draw corresponding capacity strengthening plan.
  4. Strengthening engagement of Key Regional Institutions: Building on previous engagement by OHCHR and UNAIDS with the African Commission on Human and People’ s Rights including the 2015 joint dialogue on “Ending violence and other human rights violations based on sexual  orientation  and  gender  identity”  hosted  by  the  African  Commission  and  with  the participation of experts  from the  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and  the United Nations.