LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Creating Opportunities

Since 2015 ILGA-Europe have been implementing the project Creating Opportunities.

Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the European&Central Asian LGBTI movement’s campaign and mobilisation activities, when significant threats or opportunities arises.

In 2021 Creating Opportunities is focusing on developing strong narratives to counter attacks on trans rights and identities.

Key points:

  • The focus in 2021 is on developing narratives to counter attacks on trans rights and identities. If your threat or opportunity is not related to this, you may benefit from our other strategic communications resources or you can still contact us to see if there is some other way we can support you.
  • Our initial application process assesses your group’s potential to develop narratives rather than finalised plans. It does not require the submission of project activities and budget at this stage. A full proposal including activities and budget will be finalized as part of the project itself, by mid-April, based on exchanges with other partners, talks with experts and individual coaching sessions.
  • You can apply by sending the application form to Laura Piazza, Senior Campaign & Programmes Officer. Please note that the deadline for submitting this is Sunday 21st February 2021.

    Further info

    As part of our work to support the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia, ILGA-Europe, in cooperation with TGEU, is now inviting you to apply for a thematic call of the Creating Opportunities programme to support the development of narratives and communication activities to deal with transphobic discourse.

    In the last few years ILGA-Europe worked on various fronts to better understand the anti-gender movement and its impact on public discourse and the lives and rights of LGBTI communities. We collected research, monitored country situations, talked with activists, allies and researchers to better understand the phenomenon and its implications.  We have worked closely with member organisations, allies and policy makers in responding and resisting attacks through our advocacy work but also contributing to build the movement’s capacity in this area. Some information on the work ILGA-Europe developed with the movement are available on our website. 

    Anti-trans discourse is spreading in many countries of our region and constitutes an insidious manifestation of the broader anti-gender rhetoric. The focus of this opportunity is to connect and support activists in Europe and Central Asia in their efforts to tackle anti-trans discourse, to develop successful counter-narratives that can inform the work of the larger movement, and to share successful methods for working with allies in institutions and policymaking to build trust and understanding and counter anti-trans efforts.

    The last day to submit applications is 21 February 2021.

    What we offer

    The call aims at addressing some of the needs LGBTI groups and organisations in Europe and Central Asia face when undertaking narrative development, and particularly when dealing with anti-trans discourse, such as the affirmation that trans identities are a threat for children or for gender equality.

    While transphobic discourse is increasingly present even in more progressive countries, there is a lack of research and narratives development available on the topic. In addition, while many groups and organisations are exploring how to best deal with anti-trans discourse, the connections among them and the opportunities for peer learning have been so far quite limited.

    Therefore, ILGA-Europe has designed a call that makes available a combination of various ingredients to successfully tackle anti-trans discourse:

    • Peer-learning among partners in various phases of the development of the project, including for the initial design of activities;
    • Sessions with guest speakers, experts, professionals, practitioners (to be identified with partners depending on their needs and priorities); 
    • Coaching on narrative development, message framing, communication;
    • A grant of approx. 5000 Euro to cover staff costs related to the participation to the project and other expenses related to narratives development and communication (a non-exhaustive list is available below);
    • Grant management support.

    How to participate

    The longstanding work ILGA-Europe developed on strategic communication makes us aware that one of the most challenging aspects of developing narratives is to decide how to get started.

    This call does not intend to rush organisations into planning activities when the internal reflection is still ongoing and the strategy yet to be defined. The programme aims at supporting organisations in the preparatory phase and accompany them, with the support of their peers and external experts, in the identification of activities that can best respond to their needs.

    Groups and organisations willing to participate will submit the application form by 21 February 2021 to Laura Piazza, Senior Campaign & Programmes Officer.

    The application form assesses the potential of groups and organisations to counter existing discourse rather than finalized plans. It does not require the submission of project activities and budget at this stage. A full proposal including activities and budget will be finalized as part of the project itself, by mid-April, based on exchanges with other partners, talks with experts and individual coaching sessions. 

    Projects are expected to start by 30 April and will end by 31 December 2021. 

    Detailed timeline of the project

    21 February 2021 Last day to submit your application
    By 8 March 2021 Communication to applicants
    11 March 2021 at 11am CET First peer learning session for successful partners
    8-26 March 2021 1-1 coaching calls
    25 March 2021 Second peer-learning session
    11 April 2021 Submission of final list of activities and budget
    By 30 April 2021 Signature of contracting documentation and start of projects
    By 31 December 2021 All project activities must have finished
    By 15 January 2022 Submission of final narrative and financial report
    Throughout the project 3-4 (individual and group) meetings organised by ILGA-Europe in the first 6 weeks and then every 1-2 months, depending on the needs

    Activities that can be supported

    Final project proposals can include a broad range of activities aiming at tackling transphobic discourse. Staff costs can be included. Here a non-exhaustive list of eligible costs: 

    • Research, surveys, focus groups;
    • Analysis of public discourse;
    • Production of videos;
    • Creation of media content;
    • Campaigning activities online and offline; 
    • Development of educational materials such as publications or trainings;
    • Meetings or events for strategic planning or alliance building; 
    • Any other activity that is in line with the priorities of this call.

    Who can apply for this funding opportunity?

    Trans groups, unregistered groups and LGBTI organisations in Europe and Central Asia can apply for this call. We also welcome applications from unregistered groups. If your group is not registered you can partner with a registered organisation and have them applying with you and supporting the project administration. 
    We will also welcome proposals for projects to which ILGA-Europe would contribute part of the funding of a larger project. The one requirement is that this would be supporting important activities that would not happen without this funding.

    All applicants need to have some experience in running projects, including financially. ILGA-Europe also provides support in grant management in the form of webinars and meetings aimed at explaining the financial management requirements for the project.

    Main selection criteria

    ILGA-Europe will prioritize applications based on the following criteria:

    • Understanding of the impact of anti-trans narratives in public discourse;
    • Ability of the applicant to influence the debate;
    • Countries where there is an emerging / growing / spreading presence of anti-trans discourse; 
    • Proposals that are led by trans groups or in cooperation with trans groups; 
    • Availability to engage with the peer learning component of the programme;
    • Commitment to share learning with ILGA-Europe.

    What has Creating Opportunities done so far?

    Since 2015 Creating Opportunities is a central resource for the European&Central Asian LGBTI movement, strengthening organisations’ abilities to respond to opportunities or threats.

    Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the LGBTI movement where it is facing significant opportunities that affirm or strengthen LGBTI rights. An example may be the opportunity to ensure that a legislative proposal is formulated in a satisfactory manner, the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the political agenda during a campaign for national elections or an awareness-raising campaign to stop anti-LGBTI hate speech.

    But the programme is also 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.

    The purpose of the 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 to identify and make optimal use of the movement’s great wealth of knowledge and skills around campaigning, through documenting and disseminating good practices and encouraging peer to peer learning.

    The production of a video, the work of a social media expert, public opinion polls, focus groups, the design and printing of posters, the organisation of an event are just some examples of the activities supported  in the 40+ projects funded under the programme since 2015.

    For any questions regarding the programme do not hesitate to contact us via email at