Advocating for LGBTQI Inclusion in the Finance and Private Sector in Asia
To achieve its goals, the strategies and components of Finance Inc included:
As working with the finance sector and the private sector are new to APCOM and our country partner organizations, the initial phase of Finance Inc was devoted to partnerships building.
This component included initial meetings with the Asian Development Bank at their headquarters in Manila, Philippines, and through meetings at their resident missions in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Lao PDR.
This component was to present the project to ADB and discuss possible ways forward.
Engaging the Asian Development Bank
APCOM is convinced that as a multilateral development institution operating in the region, the ADB is crucial as inclusion can improve access to economic and social services specifically health, education and financial resources and services for SOGIESC people.
Furthermore, engaging the ADB on LGBTQI inclusion can contribute to achieving the long-term goal of improving access of SOGIESC people to these economic and social services, by ensuring their participation in the development process.
An entry point for engaging the ADB for LGBTQI inclusion was ADB’s Strategy 2030 which is anchored on ‘…a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific’ (ADB, 2018) 
APCOM and our country partners actively engaged with the ADB headquarters through advocacy meetings, online discussions and brainstorming sessions, and panel discussions.
 Strategy 2030. Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific.
ADB. At: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/institutional-document/435391/strategy-2030-main-document.pdf
Engaging the private sector for LGBTQI inclusion is relatively new for LGBQTI organizations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and the Philippines. Aimed at strengthening capacities of LGBTI organizations in the four countries to engage with the finance and private sectors, Finance Inc. conducted one workshop per country with LGBTI participants. These workshops were informed by the research, sensitization, advocacy and other project components. Workshops were conducted in October-November 2019.
In response to COVID19, APCOM and our country partners also embarked on a series of online learning workshops to on how to effectively use online platforms for advocacy and campaign activities as physical gatherings and conduct of offline activities have been limited due to government responses to address COVID19.
An online training was also conducted on process documentation.
Engaging the Private Sector on Diversity and Inclusion
- Regional discussions on diversity and inclusion during the APCOM Community Summit last November 2020. This was a whole day hybrid virtual/offline panel discussions titled “Perspectives, Experiences and Possibilities: Towards and Inclusive Private sector in Asia and the Pacific”. Resource speakers included Finance Inc country partner organizations, thought leaders and practitioners on human rights, LGBTQI issues, private sector/businesses with diversity and inclusion programs.
- LGBTQI Thailand Biz Forum 2020 during the APCOM Community Summit 2020. It aimed to discuss LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the private sector in the context of Thailand.
- Virtual session during the Out Summit 2020 (December 10) titled ‘Are We Leaving No One Behind? LGBTQI Inclusion/Exclusion in Select Countries in South East Asia’ where APCOM and our country partners discussed the highlights of the in-country research conducted under Finance Inc. OutSummit was organized by OutRight International.
Finance Inc. partner organizations designed pilot projects which they implemented in their respective countries. The designs of the pilot projects were anchored on the Theory of Change which APCOM and country partners developed during a project evaluation and planning session last December 2020.
The pilot projects aimed to engage the private sector in their countries on LGBQTI inclusion. The pilot project aimed to give insights, lessons learned and possible ways forward in scaling up engagements with the private sector in the future.
Pilot projects were implemented by country partner organizations during the last phase of Finance Inc.
The research component of Finance Inc was instrumental as they contributed to evidence on LGBTQI experiences of social and economic inclusion and exclusion. These community-led evidence building were very helpful in other project components as they illustrated the situation which needed to be addressed and the what can be done to address these gaps.
Finance Inc conducted 5 research initiatives resulting in 6 research reports including a regional scoping research, 4 in-country research reports, and one regional synthesis report.
The research reports were integral in other project components including capacity strengthening and sensitization workshops, advocacy, and linking and learning.