European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Creating Opportunities

From 2015 to 2017, ILGA-Europe will implement the project Creating Opportunities. The project is supported by Arcus Foundation.

What does Creating Opportunities do?

This programme creates a central resource for the European LGBTI movement in order to be better able to respond to opportunities or threats.

In a way, Creating Opportunities is ILGA‐Europe's response to an increasingly organised and strengthened opposition towards the LGBTI movement, which has led to attempts to block positive developments in some countries; and even to approve hostile anti‐LGBTI legislative proposals in other countries.

But the programme is also an instrument to support the LGBTI movement where it is facing significant opportunities that affirm or strengthen LGBTI rights. An example may be the discussion on a positive legislative proposal or an opportunity to ensure that such proposal is formulated in a satisfactory manner. The inclusion of LGBTI issues in the political agenda during a campaign for national elections could be another example

The purpose of this innovative programme is to support mobilisation and campaigning activities. These activities could help prevent a backlash against pro-equality messages or use opportunities to drive strategic progress for LGBTI communities in Europe. Creating Opportunities allows ILGA‐Europe to consolidate its knowledge, skills and resources. In turn, this experience can leverage the efforts of groups operating on the ground through strategic planning, community mobilisation and social change influencing efforts. The programme effectively links to existing areas of ILGA‐Europe’s work, such as: advocacy, litigation, communication, and movement building. It also helps to make optimal use of best practices, through documenting and disseminating positive case studies (for instance, the Yes Equality campaign in Ireland in 2015), and to encourage peer to peer learning.

Through this programme ILGA‐Europe also contributes to strengthened coordination efforts for donors and other relevant stakeholders in order to better plan actions and align efforts to support the movement’s activities.

How does Creating Opportunities work?

To serve the European LGBTI movement most effectively, ILGA-Europe issues a set of guidelines that help to identify the most appropriate situations.

Situations that could be supported should fit in the following description:

  • National movements face threat or a significant opportunity to drive progress
  • There is a spill over risk or opportunity to other countries
  • Members identify weaknesses in the movement that could impair the ability of adequately tackle the threat/opportunity and supranational assistance is required
  • ILGA-Europe targeted intervention is expected to bring strategic impact to existing efforts and capacity of the movement.
  • Half of the programmes supported are located in Eastern Europe.

ILGA-Europe also identifies certain situations and actions that fall out from the scope of Creating Opportunities programme and that therefore will not be supported in its framework:

  • Advocacy work run by the national movements on a regular basis
  • Support situations in which local movement has access to considerable resources and/or its resources (e.g., knowledge, finances, network) would be sufficient to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity.

ILGA-Europe’s contribution to the identified country situations will mainly consist in building and disseminating knowledge on best practices, supporting members with strategic advice and giving access to networks, improving fundraising and coordination with donors. In this context ILGA-Europe will not act in its role of re-grantor and financial support provided within the programme will be very limited.

How to benefit from Creating Opportunities?

We invite you to evaluate whether your case could fit into the Creating Opportunities program.

If the answer to all the questions below is ‘yes’ please contact Laura Piazza, Campaign & Programmes Officer, to explore the possibility of obtaining support.

Please note that only LGBTI organisations, or organisations with proven record of comprehensive work on LGBTI issues, from the European region (Member States of the Council of Europe + Belarus and Kosovo) can benefit from support under Creating Opportunities. A list of eligible countries can be found here.

  1. Is the national movement or LGBTI community in your country under threat or is there a significant opportunity to drive progress?
  1. Is this situation time-sensitive, momentum-bound, and bearing strategic relevance for the national movement?
  1. May this situation imply a spill over risk/effect to other countries?
  1. Does national movement lack access to sufficient resources (e.g., knowledge, finances, network) to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity in terms of mobilisation / communication / constituency engagement?
  1. Would ILGA-Europe’s targeted intervention to support strategic advocacy and/or campaigning bring strategic impact to existing efforts and help strengthen the capacity of the movement?