Over the course of 2017, we undertook a thorough assessment of our achievements to date and a consideration of future challenges and opportunities. We consulted with our partners and with civil society activists, lawyers, academics, donors and experts working to promote equality, speaking with stakeholders spread across the world, from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. We asked these people to reflect on our work to date – what has worked and what has not, what has been relevant and impactful, where and how we could make improvements. We also asked them to reflect on the world in which we operate today and whether, in their view, our approach is still fit for purpose. We have also analysed the findings from 35 internal and 11 independent, external evaluations of our projects, reflecting on what worked and the recommendations for developments or amendments to our way of working.
What came through most strongly from the impact assessment were recommendations to build on what our partners and stakeholders identify as the three key strengths of our work:
- Our legal expertise in the field of equality and non-discrimination, in particular in respect of developing the field and identifying best practice in the adoption and implementation of equality laws;
- Our global experience which enables comparative analysis and the sharing of knowledge and expertise among those working in different countries as well as strong international interventions; and
- Our focus on a unified, holistic approach to equality, which enables us to bring together equality defenders from a variety of interest groups and recognises that equality cannot be achieved in silos.
These three reflections inform the three goals which we have defined for the Trust over the coming five years: (1) Greater understanding of equality law and its centrality to rights and development; (2) Increased expertise and capacity among equality defenders; (3) A growing international network of equality defenders.