East Africa Tries Holistic Approach in Organisational Development of LGBTI Groups

Published: February 28, 2012

The Ji-Sort Capacity Building Programme is an East African capacity building initiative that commenced in 2011. It works with LGBTI groups in the region in an effort to build their organisational capacity.
Melissa Wainaina of Behind the Mask spoke to Wanja Muguongo, the Executive Director of UHAI EASHRI, and a partner in the programme.

Below are excerpts:

Please give us a bit of insight on the Ji-sort Programme.

Ji-Sort is a joint partnership initiative between Hivos, UHAI – The East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative and EASUN. UHAI and HIVOS are funders in the region while EASUN has over 20 years experience in organisational development and capacity building in East Africa.

Part of UHAI’s mandate is to accompany our grants with capacity support and this program allows us to reach out to our groups in a comprehensive and interactive way.

So, what is Ji-Sort?

Ji-Sort is a capacity building programme that rolled out in 2011 which focuses on organisational development of LGBTI organisations in the region.

It was [a] competitive process that saw organisations respond to a call out to apply. In the debut cohort, we identified 25 organisations that will go through a three-year process of different aspects of organisational development.

We have eight facilitators who have vast experience with groups and organisations in the region who sit with their assigned organisations for a length of time and engage and interact with the groups providing advice and recommendations.

The basic methodology is one-on-one interventions with the groups. It is a more a personalised approach and creates an environment where both the facilitators and the groups learn from the process of identifying their group’s missions, strategic planning and so on.

This initiative was in response to existing organisational gaps of our grantee groups. Some of these gaps were brought to our attention through routine grantee visits or feedback from grantees. Some examples of commonly needed capacity include the identification of mission and goals, organisational structures, development of different roles and responsibilities, how work is resourced and so on.

Different approaches are carried out to steer this process for instance, organisational surveys, strategic thinking, and activist trainings within the groups, group manager trainings and so on.

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