Dis-orienting the Identification Problem

Authors: Petra Doan*, Florida State University
Topics: Development, Africa, Sexuality
Keywords: LGBTQ, Queer, Africa, Development plannig
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Galerie 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The issue of LGBT populations and planning in the context of international development planning and institutions has not been well explored.Two recent books have opened the door to a wider discussion of the place of LGBT issues within the field of human rights (Lind 2010 and Cornwall et al, 2008). In addition, Hilary Clinton’s December 2011 statement that LGBT QRights are Human Rights marked a definitive shift in US Foreign policy regarding the importance of considering LGBTQ populations in development efforts. Within a week USAID (2011) issued a recent Project Design Guidance document that mandates that all projects should consider whether LGBT people might be important stakeholders in every project. Other donors are grappling with similar issues (Anyamele et al, 2005 and Jolly, 2010) regarding shifting donor policy vis-à-vis the importance of recognizing the needs of LGBT populations. This paper addresses the challenges of identifying LGBTQ populations in African countries where LGBTQ identity is a politically charged and often highly contested subject position. The paper will review existing literature on the presence of LGBTQ individuals in Africa and consider how best to frame the delicate issues around stakeholder identification. Will identifying a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender sub-group as a stakeholder increase their vulnerability in what are at times distinctly unfriendly settings? How will this new mandate affect efforts to create more open and inclusive local development planning efforts?

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