Williams Institute Hosts Precedent-Setting Meeting on International Development

wash_centerHundreds of international advocates, government officials and human development practitioners attended a day-long series of presentations and discussions in Washington, D.C. focusing on the role of sexual orientation and gender identity in international human and economic development.  This meeting featured experts from the World Bank, the United Nations, representatives from some of the major donor government,  as well as several well-regarded research institutions for discussions about how international assistance programs can better support the lives of LGBT people.  One attendee from an international development agency commented “it is extremely relevant to the international programmes that [we are] running, mostly in the area of development. [Our] government is more and more asking for quantitative indicators of movement building and empowerment. Moreover, we are looking at developing our understanding of poverty of LGBTI people and how to combat that.”

Andrew Park, Director of International Programs, presented an overview of LGBT International Development issues.  Andrew Flores, Public Opinion Project Director, and Gary Gates, Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director, led the presentation on methods of demographic data.  Lee Badgett, Williams Distinguished Scholar, launched a study of the relationship between discrimination and economic growth in emerging economies, and Tom Smith, Senior Fellow, NORC, launched a study of global opinion about LGBT people and issues.