Do no harm – How to minimize risks in international project work

New 2022 project from the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation

 

Web talks

Publications

In-person events
 


Summary

In January 2022 the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation launched the project “Do no harm – How to minimize risks in international project work. Rainbow expertise from input, awareness and networking in international LGBTI human rights work.”

“Do no harm” is a call to look closely. Good intentions do not always result in helpful practices. Yet at the same time, the fear of mistakes or criticism should not prevent us from taking action. The Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation (HES) is therefore sharing the experience gained from many years of project work. In large and small events, we are calling for know-how in international LGBTI work or “rainbow expertise” as we also call it to be concentrated. Together with experts from the global South we are developing questions and identifying risks. We are raising awareness and networking in targeted ways within Germany to ensure that the country’s development cooperation organizations do not inadvertently contribute to stigmatization, persecution or discrimination. Our newsletter, which has regular bilingual content, offers reports and background information as well as event invitations to around 1,000 subscribers. It is time to collect and discuss best practices – or rather first practices – in order to improve our efforts in the future. For our motto is “Do no harm – but do something”.

 

Project Description

Good intentions do not always lead to good results. “Do no harm” is a call to look closely. This is also why the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation’s 13-point paper for an LGBTI inclusion plan called for civil society in partner countries to play a central role in development cooperation projects and to be involved in all aspects of these projects.

We are pleased that the German government’s LGBTI Inclusion Strategy states: “The situation of individuals and groups in vulnerable settings – including LGBTI persons – must always be borne in mind in international human rights policy. […] Ensuring the safety and protection of vulnerable persons is an important maxim for the Federal Government, in keeping with the ‘do no harm’ principle.”

Help can also harm – but the fear thereof should not prevent us from taking action. Which is why the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation proposed “Do no harm – but do something” back in 2012 as the title for Germany’s LGBTI inclusion strategy. These two considerations are also emphasized in the 1999 book Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace – or War by Mary B. Anderson, a US-American economist, development scholar and president of the Collaborative for Development Action.
On the one hand: “Experience shows that even when it is effective in doing what it is intended to do to save lives or promote development, aid too often also feeds into, reinforces, and prolongs conflicts”. Yet Anderson also notes: “It is a moral and logical fallacy to conclude that because aid can do harm, a decision not to give aim would do no harm. In reality, a decision to withhold aid from people in need would have unconscionable consequences”.


Publications

Do no harm – How to minimize risks for LGBTI in international project work

Please find all contributions that have been published as part of the project “Do no harm” here. Moreover, this background article in the HES blog further explains the key motivation behind the project

  • Do no harm - harm reduction in development cooperation with LGBTIQ organizations. What can LGBTIQ-inclusive peace and conflict work with postcolonial perspectives look like?  Blog article (in German).
  • Doing nothing for fear of doing wrong is always wrong: The struggle of the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana against one of the most queer-hostile bills in the world. Blog article (in German).
  • Sparking change through words: Trifonia Melibea Obono in portrait. Novelist and activist Trifonia Melibea Obono gives a voice to lesbian and bisexual women in Equatorial Guinea. Blog article (in German).
  • “We did it and we did it together” - UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of UN expert on SOGI. LSVD lobbied for the mandate extension as a member organization of ILGA World. Blog article (in German).
  • Artivism - How to foster LGBTI acceptance through art? LGBTIQ activism in Tunisia: A conversation with Karam Aouini of the Tunis-based organization Mawjoudin about the powerful tool of artivism. Blog article.
  • How do good and sustainable projects with and for LGBTI people succeed in Latin America? Experience from ten years of exemplary project work in Nicaragua. What hope is there now for LGBTI work under an authoritarian regime? Blog article (in German).
  • Implementing the LGBTI inclusion concept now: Implementation mandate for the new federal government. What follows the adoption of the LGBTI inclusion concept? Demands and ideas of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation. Blog article (in German).
  • On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia: Webtalk of the GIZ Working Group on Gender/HIV/Wellbeing and the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, blog article.
  • “Help us amplify our voices through partnerships and direct cooperation”: how can Germany and the EU support LGBTI in Ghana? – Interview with the Director of IDNOWA Davis Mac-Iyalla.
  • Do no harm – What does it mean for LGBTI projects? Please find here the documentation of the kickoff event – a half-day practice-based workshop held at REFUGIO in Berlin in May 2022.
  • Successful projects by and for LGBTIQ+ in Latin America: what good practices do activists identify in development cooperation? Blog article (in German).
  • Humanitarian aif for LGBTIQ refugees: Humanitarian aid must not neglect the needs of LGBTI people - good examples from UNHCR, ORAM and regional networks. Blog article (in German).

Web talks

Successful projects by and for LSBTIQ+ people in Latin America
Do no harm – Activists describe good development cooperation strategies

Sarah Kohrt, Klaus Jetz, Mauri, Nicaraguan activist

See the invitation.

Especially high degrees of care and consistency are needed when working with LGBTIQ+ projects in many parts of the global South in order not to endanger project partners. Two cooperation partners of the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation from Nicaragua and Colombia describe what targeted project work can look like.
Online talk on 21 April 2022: Do no harm and best practice – LGBTI projects in Latin America.

Please find more information about the online talk here (in German).


“Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”


Online talk with the GIZ Working Group “Gender/HIV/Wellbeing”
GIZ South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini Gender HIV/AIDS & Employee Wellbeing  Working Group invites you to an MS TEAMS event on the 17th of May 2022 from 10:00 till 11:30 am to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The 17th of May is the day back in 1990, where the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified “homosexuality” as a mental disorder.

This year’s theme is “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”, which many forms of advocacy are possible to remind us that many “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and all other people with diverse sexual orientations and identities” across the world experience high levels of violence, hate and discrimination due to their sexual orientation.
Please find a summary of the online talk here.


In-person events

Do no harm — What does that mean for LGBTI projects?


The Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation (HES) invited participants to a practice-based workshop on this topic on 10 May 2022 in Berlin-Neukölln. The Federal Ministry of Justice (BMZ) is funding the HES project “Do no harm – How to minimize risks in international project work”, and the workshop with a discussion between activists from the global South and representatives of German development cooperation. Questions were raised such as: Should international donors engage with countries that criminalize LGBTI people by doing anti-discrimination training with their police forces – or is it the wrong approach to work with state representatives like the police?

Projects that help the movement in some countries can lead to harm in others. Workshop participants repeatedly emphasized that visibility is a security risk. Real names and photos should be treated with care. It is also important to ensure the long-term security of activists who receive funding, and to modify the usual donor publication requirements if necessary to address safety considerations. Individuals who are “out” need to be able to protect themselves when their projects come to an end.

In general it is important to conduct risk assessments both before and during a project, which means evaluating the situation on site and in detail with local LGBTI organizations, and to give project partners the maximum leeway if security conditions change. German administrative bodies have a fair amount to learn here. The workshop was a successful kick-off for the project, under the guiding principle of: Do no harm, but do something!

Do no harm-Projectwebsite with all texts and events.

The workshop was held on 10 May 2022 at REFUGIO in Berlin-Neukölln. 

For more information on the kick-off event see the following links: 

All texts for the practice-based workshop “Do no harm – What does that mean for LGBTI projects?” are in the HES blog under “Kickoff 22”: blog.lsvd.de/tag/kickoff-22/


“Artivism is a compelling way to combat hostile attitudes toward our community, and a beautiful alternative and powerful means of raising awareness for greater acceptance of LGBTIQ people”, says Karam Aouini, organizer of the first Queer Film Festival in Tunis and member of the Mawjoudin LGBTIQ organization in Tunis. Details of the event are here and in the HES blog under DNH-2022.

Karam Aouini from Mawjoudin — a partner organization of the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation in Tunisia ‒ talks at an event in Berlin about his activism and his “artivism” which revolves around art. A summary of the talk is available here.


Meet IDNOWA from Ghana

13.06.2022: Meet delegates from the Interfaith Diversity Network of Westafrica (IDNOWA)

Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation cordially invites you to a networking event with activists from the Interfaith Diversity Network of Westafrica (IDNOWA).

When: Monday, 13 June, 2–3:30 PM CEST
WhereLesben- und Schwulenverband Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD), Kleiststraße 35, 10787 Berlin

“Our goal is to create an international solidarity movement in the face of a controversial bill currently being debated in the Ghanaian parliament in Accra”, says Davis Mac-Iyalla, executive director of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa IDNOWA. Davis, member of the Anglican Church, has testified against the bill at a hearing of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. He calls for international support.

Please find more information here.

Website IDNOWA


LGBTIQ-activism and artivism in Tunisia

Meet Karam Aouini from our partner organization Mawjoudin from Tunis.

When: Friday, 8 July, 4–5:30 pm CEST
Where: Lesben- und Schwulenverband (LSVD), Almstadtstr. 7, 10119 Berlin

Guest: Karam Aouini, Mawjoudin, Tunis
Moderators: Sarah Kohrt, Klaus Jetz, Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung

“Artivism is a compelling way to combat hostile attitudes toward our community, and a beautiful alternative and powerful means of raising awareness for greater acceptance of LGBTIQ people”, says Karam Aouini, organizer of the first Queer Film Festival in Tunis and member of the Mawjoudin LGBTIQ organization in Tunis. Details of the event are here and in the HES blog under DNH-2022.

Karam Aouini from Mawjoudin — a partner organization of the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation in Tunisia ‒ talks at an event in Berlin about his activism and his “artivism” which revolves around art. A summary of the talk is available here.


Would you like invitations to events? More information? Opportunities to get involved?

Everyone interested is warmly invited to contact us.

New project from the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation: “Do no harm — How to minimize risks for LGBTI in international project work”.

See background articles in the HES blog.

Project Manager:

Sarah Kohrt, Projektleitung
Sarah Kohrt, Project Manager
Almstadtstr. 7
10119 Berlin
Email: sarah.kohrtthou-shalt-not-spamhirschfeld-eddy-stiftung.de

Subscribe to the newsletter from the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation.


A report on the project: “Do no harm – How to minimize risks for LGBTI in international project work” from the Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation (HES). All project texts are in the HES blog under „DNH-2022″.

Gefördert durch:

BMJ

HES