Mainstreaming as a knowledge process: new lessons from mainstreaming gender, disability and sexual diversity


  • Saskia C. van Veen
  • Petra Staal
  • Rob van Poelje


mainstreaming, development practice, gender, disability inclusion, sexual diversity, capacity building


Mainstreaming is a strategy to enhance citizen participation of marginalised groups. In development practice, various mainstreaming issues have caught the attention of development organisations that shows their commitment to initiate inclusive development practice. However, influencing societal change by inclusive practices is difficult and requires a knowledge process to co-create socially robust knowledge. This paper brings together the knowledge and experiences from existing literature and from three cases on mainstreaming, namely from gender, disability inclusions and sexual diversity. We show how capacity development and knowledge co-creation at non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can be a lever for the inclusion of marginalised groups in society. The lessons learned may help development practitioners to reinforce and strengthen their emancipating work.