Creating an Enabling Environment
Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and other (LGBTQI+) people live in environments that do not affirm or accept them. Consequently, they experience anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination, prejudice, and violence in different spheres of society. They generally receive poor quality of care or experience barriers to healthcare, lack access to fundamental human rights, experience discrimination in the education system, and struggle to access justice, among other challenges. This stigma and discrimination places LGBTQI+ people at higher risk of having adverse socioeconomic outcomes.
The Creating and Enabling Environment (CEE) programme was developed to address this challenge and assist individuals, families, community-based organisations, political leaders, community leaders, religious leaders, traditional leaders, healthcare providers, educators, and others to understand and see the value of incorporating key enabling and affirming environment components into their respective environments so that LGBTQI+ people can live their lives without fearing anti-LGBTQI+ stigma, discrimination, and violence. Enabling environments are defined as environments that promote affirmation, non-violence, equality, and non-discrimination where all people, including LGBTQI+ people, can live fulfilling lives and thrive.
People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, or other (LGBTQI+) traditionally face challenges accessing their fundamental rights. These challenges intersect to expose them to violence, substance use and abuse, poverty, homelessness, adverse health and socioeconomic outcomes. These disparities are more pronounced for LGBTQI+ people living in low-income rural communities.
The outreach programme was designed to improve the quality of life for LGBTQI+ people and ensure equality through community building, health services, psychosocial support, economic development, skills development, personal development, awareness raising, movement-building interventions, and creating safe spaces at the grassroots level.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning
Monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) are all vital to the mission of Uthingo Network to advocate for the rights and inclusion of LGBTQI+ people so they can live their lives without fearing stigma, discrimination, and violence.
MERL informs Uthingo Network’s continuous evidence-based learning that is purposefully used to ensure that current and upcoming strategies and interventions are aligned with our mission and vision. It also helps us contribute to resource development within the LGBTQI+ sector and queer academia.
This ensures that our work is documented, disseminated, and used to guide and strengthen our performance and help us, our donors, governments, programme staff, our partners, and other stakeholders to develop research; encourage reflection and learning; identify best practices in the implementation of work; contribute to academic movement building, as well as policy change processes.