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


Project Objectives

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

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.


Programme Area





2017 / 2018



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.
  3. 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.
  4. Capacity strengthening activities carried out for key national stakeholders on the rights of LGBT people: UNDP 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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