Hivos International


How do marginalised communities use tech for transparency and accountability (T4T&A) work?

This research report, by the Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech), presents reflections and learnings from two studies of about how marginalised communities – lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people in Nairobi, and economically marginalised housing and urban development rights activists in Johannesburg – use technology to demand their rights and hold their governments accountable.

T4T&A (tech for transparency and accountability) initiatives intend to make the public functioning of government visible, and states accountable to citizens for their actions. This summary presents findings and reflections from two studies of how marginalised communities use technologies commonly applied in T4T&A work, and the limits of this use. The research is intended to inform communities of practice around T4T&A initiatives: technologists, managers, donors, community-based activists and researchers.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees are part of a sizeable and dynamic workforce with unique professional insight and qualities. Workplaces around the world are becoming aware about LGBT issues, an increasing number of global organisations are creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace culture as top priority, many of them have globally inclusive policies that include LGBT. 

However, in local contexts where homosexuality is a social taboo and same-sex conduct is criminalized, it becomes a challenge to implement inclusive global diversity policies. 

One of the most prevalent statements by religious leaders in Africa when asked for the ways in which they deal with sexual minorities in their communities has been that "there are no homosexuals in their communities!" The existence of Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) is, therefore, particularly important in making the statement: "Not only are ‘homosexuals’ present in Africa, they are present in religious communities in Africa as well!" The existence of religious oriented LGBTI people is a reality.

The first idea for this mapping on sexuality, human rights and the role of religious leaders emerged in autumn 2013, when HIVOS and the Knowledge Centre Religion and Development participated in a couple of events that all addressed the challenges around religion and sexuality.

1 The ‘Open for Change’ conference organized by HIVOS is an example.

The book is a rich collection of articles, essays, stories and photographs that highlight a growing understanding of LGBT rights struggles and realities on the African continent. Seventeen scholars, activists and writers from across Africa contributed to the book. What the contributions have in common is audacity and boldness, not accepting the status quo of suppression by conservative values, severe criminalisation or increased religiosity. In short, these contributions are “boldly queer”.

Urgency Required focuses on urgent issues of gay and lesbian liberation, taking a historical perspective and reflecting worldwide geographic diversity. Employing the term ‘LGBT-persons’, the acronym used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, it explores concepts and strategies for taking steps towards decriminalization and equal rights and treatment regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

The LGBT movement in Peru

What are the dynamics of the Peruvian LGBT movement and what has been the influence of national and international actors in its functioning? This is the main question that Marten van den Berge, hosted by the Programme for Democracy and Global Transformation (PDGT) in Lima, will explore in the next 9 months.

LGBT activists oppose cutting of aid to enforce sexual rights

The British government’s threat to withhold aid from countries with  homophobic policies has received critical responses from LGBT activists themselves. In a public statement, more than 150 African social justice activists argue that aid conditionality does not result – in and of  itself – in improved protection of the rights of LGBT people.