Written on Thursday, August 9, 2012 by Steve Peacock
A U.S.-funded global analysis of “gender differences and social relations” – including those of transgendered persons – could cost American taxpayers $74 million.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) soon will issue a Request for Proposals seeking bids from contractors to carry out this worldwide endeavor, which will focus on the systematic gathering and analyzing of gender data over five years.
The Obama Administration through USAID will leverage this information to help it develop future foreign aid programs, according to a presolicitation notice that Patriot Update obtained via routine database research.
USAID says the data collection will enable the agency, in various situations, “to identify and understand” the different roles of male, female, and transgendered adults and children. Those situations might include how labor and resources are divided, as well as the “constraints, needs, opportunities/capacities, and interests of different groups.”
The roles and status of these groups in their communities and households – as well as in the political sphere and the workplace – potentially affect how USAID carries out it work, the document pointed out. Devising U.S.–funded projects require the agency to answer the question, “How will the anticipated results of the work affect women and men differently?”
It is not new for USAID and other governmental entities to require contractors – regardless of the endeavor – to design measures aimed at benefitting women and other targeted groups. The Obama Administration’s multi-billion-dollar global portfolio of “climate change” and environmental resource-management programs often refer to the impact that such situations pose for women.
USAID’s recently launched $700 million project known as REPLACE – Restoring the Environment through Prosperity, Livelihoods and Conserving Ecosystems – specifies, for instance, that contractors must recognize the necessity of finding “solutions to natural resource issues specific to gender and marginalized groups.”
Up until recently, however, the explicit referencing of transgendered persons for special consideration has been limited to health-related domestic initiatives.
Indeed, according to an exhaustive search of the FedBizOpps database, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are the only federal organizations that have outsourced programs targeting transgendered populations.
Besides the Gender Equality project, the only other USAID solicitation explicitly referring to transgendered persons involves a recruitment effort for a privately contracted Gender Advisor.
The agency’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance says the temporary advisor will “provide technical advice and assistance for the analysis of appropriate integration of and attention to gender considerations for all phases of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.”
This would include serving as a Support Relief Group liaison with gender-focused USAID entities “including the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning Gender Advisor, USAID’s Senior Advisor on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, the Gender and Development Office, the Gender Champions Team, [and] the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Team.”