''We don’t do a lot for them specifically'': diverse SOGIESC (aka LGBTIQ+) inclusion in social protection and cash-based assistance


Sign Language Interpretation and Captioning were provided live.

Many people with diverse SOGIESC (aka LGBTIQ+ people) have pressing social protection needs, borne of multi-layered discrimination and marginalisation in all aspects of their lives including around employment, health, and education. Evidence suggests that most social protection and cash programs established as a response to the COVID-19 crisis have not recognised or addressed such needs. While diversity of SOGIESC is sometimes mentioned in policy and practice documents, this rarely translates to substantive changes in practice. While diverse SOGIESC CSOs have filled some gaps by undertaking data collection, direct service delivery, and advocacy, this has often been done without significant donor support. As a consequence:

  • People with diverse SOGIESC are being unequally impacted by the social and economic aspects of the pandemic
  • Pre-COVID-19 marginalisation may be exacerbated during the eventual recovery.

This learning event explored the barriers for people with diverse SOGIESC to accessing government and non-government social protection programs in response to COVID-19 and in normal times.   

Edge Effect worked with CSO partners Bandhu, Rainbow Pride Foundation, and CRM to undertake case studies in Bangladesh, Fiji, and Indonesia. We heard from these organisations on experiences during these COVID times.

The webinar provided participants with:

- An overview of key frameworks for including people with diverse SOGIESC in social protection programs, including the ASPIRE Guidelines developed by the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. 

- Information on key barriers to accessing cash-based assistance for people with diverse SOGIESC, and steps that can be taken to overcome these barriers.

- Reflections on engagement with people with diverse SOGIESC and through CSOs within their communities. 



Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Emily Dwyer, Edge Effect

Anna Arifin, Edge Effect, and Edison Butar Butar (CRM)

Shale Ahmad, Bandhu Social Protection Society

Lavetanalagi Seru, Consultant


Moderator: Felicity O Brien, DFAT