The Use of Data to Better Understand and Respond to the Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community
Seth Davis, Programme Advisor, Community Systems Foundation
Aditya Shankar, Programme Associate, Community Systems Foundation
In the last several years, Community Systems Foundation (CSF) has proudly supported the LGBTQ+ community in joint efforts to promote acceptance and opportunity to promote acceptance and opportunity through the positive use of data to impact change.
As an organization that utilizes a human rights based approach to our programming, CSF recognizes that underserved populations, like the LGBTQ+ Community, may not as often have access to data oriented technologies due to access or financial limitations. In this regard, CSF provided pro bono or low cost support to UN Free & Equal and Out4Undergrad to help demonstrate how LGBTQ+ organizations can better leverage data to create meaningful insights that drive decisions and action.
Out4Undergrad (O4U) is a non-profit organization that aims to connect LGTBQ+ undergraduate students with individuals and companies in the business, engineering, marketing and technology sectors. Each year, O4U hosts four conferences to gather students from across the world and provide them with a space to network, learn and grow in their respective fields.
Since early 2022, CSF has partnered with O4U to configure and roll out Data For All (DFA) Monitoring, an online results based management tool that is helping decision-makers within O4U streamline strategic planning processes and better understand the status of their organizational goals, leading indicators and interim goals.
Through this collaborative process, O4U was able to expand on the structure of their results framework, create stronger and more meaningful indicators and visualize, in an online space, targets they have set and the reported data that has been generated.
Establishing their strategic plan in DFA Monitoring has now enabled O4U to visualize their results on a monitoring dashboard. With the aim of greater accountability, collaboration and transparency among internal and external stakeholders, O4U’s dashboard clearly and concisely lays out the impact of the work and their vision for the years to come.
Notably, their mission drives O4U to create meaningful experiences for students that are curated to consider various contexts, backgrounds and identities. In turn, the dashboard highlights the backgrounds of these students, particularly around the distribution of demographics and geographical location.
CSF is proud to have partnered with O4U and recognizes the impact that DFA Monitoring can have on small non-profit organizations that aim to better plan and monitor their strategic priorities.
UN Free & Equal
UN Free & Equal (UNFE) is the leading United Nations initiative fighting for equal rights and fair treatment for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people everywhere. As a part of the United Nations Human Rights office, UNFE aims to advocate for inclusion from LGBTI+ persons, all the way from grade school to national legislation and policies.
Globally, LGBTI+ individuals face discrimination, stigma and violence due to dangerous national legislation. This is especially the case in over 70 countries where discriminatory laws criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships. This puts LGBTI+ persons at risk of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment – and even in some cases, the death penalty – for simply loving another person. 
To support UNFE, CSF partnered with them to develop an interactive map that visualizes the evolution of discriminatory national policies from 1799 to 2019. This map depicts the reality for LGBTI+ persons and showcases how important it is to continue advocating and fighting for inclusive and representative legislation around the world.
CSF remains firm in our commitment to support the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the work of UN Free & Equal.
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