Exploring International Priorities & Best Practices for Collecting Data on Gender Minorities

On June 17th, 2016, researchers at the Williams Institute, along with a steering committee of advisers, convened an international meeting of experts in Amsterdam. The purpose was to consider the current lack of international standards for collecting data about gender minorities in official, large-scale surveys.

There were three primary objectives of the meeting:

  • Develop a network of academics and other experts who study the collection of data about gender minorities
  • Determine the desirability and feasibility of developing a set of international best practices for the collection of data about gender minorities
  • Consider what an international best practices model might look like and determine what additional considerations and steps are needed before beginning to develop these best practices

“Robust data about gender minorities can promote knowledge, increase visibility, and better inform the development of policy that impacts gender minority people,” said Jody L. Herman, Williams Institute Scholar of Public Policy. “The current lack of data collection about gender minorities internationally limits how much governments, communities, and researchers know about the existence and experiences of these communities.” In Exploring International Priorities and Best Practices for the Collection of Data about Gender Minorities, Report of Meeting, Taylor N.T Brown, Dr. Jody L. Herman, and Andrew Park describe the goals, discussions, and conclusions of the meeting. The report also outlines next steps for developing international best practices. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 24th Biennial Scientific Symposium of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which also co-sponsored the meeting.

Read the report.

Listen to a recording of our webinar on collecting data about gender identity.

View the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar.

The webinar explored the challenges in identifying transgender and gender minority people in large surveys conducted in countries around the world, such as those used by governments and development agencies.  Panelists discussed the “science of measurement” and gave examples of questions used on surveys to measure gender.  Examples of best practices were presented, along with cross-cultural and safety considerations which may require the development of further guidance for researchers and advocates.  The webinar was held on June 22, 2017.

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