ONSIDE LEARN


The ONSIDE Fund is committed to actively curating spaces for global knowledge exchange and learning. As part of this commitment, we bring together a variety of different stakeholders from across the gender justice sector including; ONSIDE grantees, funders, women's funds and sport for development organisations. 


In order to capture the valuable insights that emerge in these spaces, the ONSIDE Fund is excited to launch the 'ONSIDE Fund Thought Piece Series', a series of short articles, each written by different ONSIDE stakeholders, who share their unique perspectives after participating in these conversations. 

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Written by Machi Orime, Maitri Manjunath and Mwamba Nyanda


KEY TAKEAWAYS


Machi (Sport for Creating Pathways, Japan)

It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the situation of LGBTQIA+ people in different countries and the unique work carried out for the LGBTQIA+ community through sport. I could also see how cultural backgrounds affect the barriers that the LGBTQIA+ community face. It

reminded me that we must closely look at social issues from local perspectives. I've found various clues to expand our work for the LGBTQIA+ community, such as paying attention to intersexuality, increasing community engagement, and collaborating with other institutions.


Maitri (People's Ultimate League, India)

The 'We Are ONSIDE' panel discussion gave People's Ultimate League (PUL) a wonderful opportunity to interact with other groups with similar interests from all over the world. The experiences shared by the participants and the challenges they faced on field were valuable take home information for us; some were relatable experiences for us and the communities we are working with, making us realise the potential for future collaborations with these other groups. In addition, it was heartening to see the participation in the Q&A session. Queries and points raised there will be good learning points for our initiatives. We look forward to more such conversations, and in the process, learn more from each other towards achieving our goals


Mwamba (Tanzania Trans Initiative, Tanzania)

Participating in the 'We Are ONSIDE' conversation gave me the realisation that LGBTQIA+ people need to take and make spaces for themselves within sports. By collaborating with other organisations working with these communities, we can gain knowledge, ideas and strategies that will work to bring equality and inclusion to sport.



NEXT STEPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Maitri (People's Ultimate League, India)

In order to keep these conversations going forward, I would suggest we have sessions where each group focuses on their short term specific goals, what has worked and what hasn't worked for them. This could be a platform for all of us to brainstorm and benefit from each others' knowledge.


Machi (Sport for Creating Pathways, Japan)

I would love to have more inspiring conversations like this. It would be interesting to invite people from sports organisations and athletes to the discussion as well as groups working with LGBTQIA+ communities. I believe the perspectives from different sectors will allow us to extend the conversation and discuss how we can work together for LGBTQIA+ communities in and through sports.


Mwamba (Tanzania Trans Initiative, Tanzania)

I think it is vital that we remain connected with this network and continue sharing ideas, opportunities and learnings about working with and advocating for LGBTQIA+ communities within sports.

ONSIDE Fund Thought Piece LGBTQIA Voices
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Written by Caroline Rucah Mwochi - Executive Director, Western Kenya LBQT Feminist Forum


Is measuring success just another funder requirement?


Funny, I ask this after a conversation named ‘Democratising Philanthropy: Measuring Success’, which brought together ONSIDE Fund grantees and funders. These spaces that bring together key partners who work to create safe spaces and promote gender equality through the intersection of sports and feminism, which for a long time seemed like worlds apart, are very rare to come by. As I ponder this question, I cannot get over the fact that most proposals written have to have either a logic framework or a theory of change, outlining expected outcomes and always assuming positive impact.


Democratising Philanthropy: Measuring Success” curated a different type of conversation. A conversation that was seeking to decolonize and deconstruct knowledge, its acquisition, its use and its users. We were looking at historical measures of evaluation and how to enhance or replace constructs of monitoring evaluation and learning (MEL). This has been incorporated within the ONSIDE Fund learning grants for example. I believe that the participatory approach to MEL challenges the notions on what is considered evidence, who collects it, how and who uses it. There is also need to document all learning processes, be cognisant of the difference in contexts and the fact that we are in one way or the other a contributing factor to change and not attributing to the change.

How to measure success? What does change look like? Do you remember my question that began this thought piece? Funders have their indicators too. I am going to go ahead and say that in my thoughts, various projects need to work with the communities to customize the indicators to speak to them and the context in a participatory reflective process. Qualitative and quantitative indicators also need to be combined so that they can balance, strengthen and explain each other. For the case of movements, success can not only be measured by numbers and the evidence gathered should be that which empowers all those involved. Language is also as important when showing change. Cultural conceptualization of evidence and the success measured should be prioritized to shift the notion that only funders need to measure success. After all, the consumers of the change are the communities.

To measure success, we need to create room to learn, unlearn and relearn. Taking the shame out of ‘failure’ drives experimentation, innovation and diversified approaches to monitoring, evaluation and learning. Funders need to collectively think, pool together and take risks.


I am going to conclude with an excerpt from one of my poems, “The Forbidden Love by Rucahlitious Carole”, an excerpt that shows that despite risks, what we have is beautiful and we should stand by it.

"When with you, no one else matters It is you I want, no matter what they utter I don’t concur with them, you make me glitter Don’t waver boo, stay tight, don’t splatter Coz it’s you and me against the hate They say its forbidden love"

ONSIDE Fund Thought Piece by Caroline Rucah Mwochi
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