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. However, deadline for submitting applications for 2021 has been passed. 
  • 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.
  • Please note that the deadline for submitting applications for 2021 has been passed.

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.

Further info

As part of our work to support the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia, ILGA-Europe, in cooperation with TGEU, launched 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 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

Please note that the deadline for submitting applications for 2021 has been passed. 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.

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.

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

For any questions regarding the programme do not hesitate to contact us via email at laura@ilga-europe.org

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

For any questions regarding the programme do not hesitate to contact us via email at laura@ilga-europe.org