Governance and Inclusive Societies

Young woman holds sign at protest which reads: I fight like a gir lfor my rights

In a world marked by stark inequality and social exclusion, SDDirect works to realise the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ‘leave no one behind’ agenda by engaging with communities, civil society, government, business, and other critical players to foster a culture of active citizenship and accountability. We support citizens and communities, particularly poor and marginalised people, including in conflict settings, to hold duty-bearers to account, to exercise power over their own lives and development in both formal and informal spaces, and to build movements for systemic change.   

Key products and services include: 

  • Gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis, strategy development, training and implementation support in governance, voice, and accountability programmes 

  • Adaptable GESI tools to assess and advance progress on strategy implementation 

  • GESI-aware political economy analysis (PEA), including SDDirect’s Gender, Inclusion, Power & Politics (GIPP) analysis 

  • Disability inclusion mainstreaming, research, review, and analysis  

  • Development of ethical, ‘do no harm’ and safeguarding frameworks for governance and public service delivery programmes (including education, health, disability inclusion and sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions) 

  • Design, facilitation, and implementation support to learning platforms for adaptive programming in governance, voice, and accountability initiatives 

  • Stakeholder mapping, engagement, and facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogue, including in conflict settings 

  • Civil society and social movement strengthening, peer learning and accompaniment 

  • Bespoke support to women’s political leadership and girls' empowerment  

  • Design and implementation support to strategic grant-making facilities, citizen voice and feedback, and social accountability initiatives  

  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) for governance-related programmes, including relevant tools, independent reviews, and evaluations  

  • Applied research support 

If you would like to hear more about our work on Governance and Inclusive Societies, please reach out to Emma Haegeman, Head of Governance and Inclusive Societies Portfolio, at

Economic costs of discrimination against LGBTQI+ people

As a gay man in my thirties, I often wonder whether my sexual orientation has hindered my career at any point. I can remember being forced to come out on a work trip, a colleague commenting how I am “different” to other men, and a manager remarking on how my clothes are feminine. But have these attitudes and behaviour had any effect on my productivity and the economic output of the countries I have lived and worked in?