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Regional Trans Leadership and Learning Institute

 The Regional Trans Leadership Institute (RTLI), hosted by GDX, aims to support the emergence of a strong, vibrant and sustainable trans and gender diverse movement in Southern Africa through providing technical support to equip regional partner organisations to better meet their organisational development and programming need.

The Institute seeks to cultivate strong and vibrant leadership, especially at a time where many trans and gender diverse leaders and activists are leaving and/or contemplating leaving the sector in pursuit of other opportunities.


The past two years have shown that the Institute’s relevance is found not only in its ability to create a mutual learning space for leaders, but also in the transference of institutional memory and cultivation of collaboration. However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has made it exceptionally difficult to truly explore the transformative potential and impact which the Institute may hold for the region.


Since 2020, GDX has facilitated capacity enhancement activities with regional partners designed to working with organisations at various stages of their development, and collaboratively co-create a process that culminates in organisational strengthening of the participating organisations. The programme approach is rooted in an emergent methodology to respond to the different geo-political-legal and socio-economic contexts that defines the realities that confront trans and gender diverse organising at an in-country level across the region.


The first step of the process is an assessment phase, using a capacity needs assessment tool, which collects information on the organisation’s “Ability to Be” (exploring the organisation’s policies, governance and management structures) and “Ability to Organise/Manage” (exploring programming, activity implementation and community engagement). Based on the outcomes of the assessment, GDX and the participating organisations co-develop a training programme, which is implemented by experienced trainers and followed by a mentoring phase in which organisations receive additional support to assist with the implementation of organisational tools and strategies covered during the training. During the training process organisations exchange organisational tools, which in turn form the basis of the learning and knowledge exchange that occurs.

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