The Inclusive Governance Initiative

Promoting an inclusive approach to sexual and gender diversity
that advances the SDGs and Agenda 2063 in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project overview

Status: Active
Project start date: 6 April 2020
Estimated end date: 31 March 2024
Grant value: 85,000,000 SEK
Geographic coverage: Africa region

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About the project

In adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Member States of the United Nations made a “pledge that no one will be left behind”. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 has similar commitments to including and prioritizing the poorest and most marginalized in development efforts.

The Inclusive Governance Initiative is a regional project that seeks to support countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region to become increasingly accountable to, and inclusive of, their entire populations, including sexual and gender minorities – who are often particularly marginalized and excluded.

This in turn will contribute to better laws, more responsive public sector services, and social norms that affirm rights and inclusion for all.

At regional and sub-regional levels, the Initiative’s key strategies focus on supporting influential champions for change to become as effective as possible in their work to support inclusion of sexual and gender minorities, and on widening the circle of such champions. In addition to working with State actors such as government officials and parliamentarians, the Initiative collaborates with key influencers from development NGOs, religious and traditional institutions, the corporate sector, and development cooperation officials.

The Initiative also supports more intensive engagement in countries from across the region, beginning with an initial cohort of Angola, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia. In each of these countries, UNDP convenes a cross-section of stakeholders from government, civil society and other institutions to develop a shared vision for progress at national level, to identify strategic windows of opportunity for positive change, and to identify short- to medium-term priorities for action. These priorities will vary according to the country context.

The Inclusive Governance Initiative is supported by Sweden and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project is managed through a secretariat at UNDP’s South Africa Country Office, under the guidance of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development team and UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.

Expected outcomes

By combining country level work with South-South cooperation, sub-regional activities, and engagement with regional institutions and networks, the Initiative contributes to the following five outcomes:

  1. Strengthening the commitment and capacity of African decision makers to include and respond to sexual and gender diversity issues in their work.
  2. Strengthening the capacity of sexual and gender diversity activists and allies from other SDG-focused social movements to understand and work with each other and to influence decision makers.
  3. Including sexual and gender diversity issues and activists in the development and implementation of laws, policies and programmes.
  4. Stimulating demand for and use of relevant ideas, evidence, and innovations.
  5. Sustaining and expanding international donor funding for evidence- and community-informed regional work in Africa that addresses sexual and gender diversity and/or key populations affected by HIV.

Learn more

The Inclusive Governance Initiative: Project Brief

English | French | Portuguese

The Inclusive Governance Initiative: Angola Baseline Report (Draft)

English | Portuguese

Social inclusion and human rights for sexual or gender minorities in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNDP 2020)


The Inclusive Governance Initiative: Namibia Baseline Report (Draft)


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