In April 2008, 70-plus activists, academics, donors and development practitioners from more then 25 countries gathered at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK to explore the complex linkages between sexuality and the development industry. For three days, people traded stories, strategies and struggles, raised questions, challenged assumptions, made plans and built alliances.
Participants came from a range of professional, activist and academic backgrounds, with varying degrees of identification with the topics on the table. Amidst this diversity, those who attended were united by a desire to look critically at how the development industry addresses sexuality, and to identify entry points for bringing development policies and practices – including efforts to address HIV and AIDS – into closer alignment with the complexity of people’s desires, struggles and identities.
This report aims to capture the spirit and the energy of the workshop, and to share some of the central themes and the contradictions that arose during three invigorating days of discussion and debate.