Ebola runs rampant, Ukraine and Iraq are torn by war, America is being warned of an imminent ISIS attack and natural disasters abound while the Obama administration’s key aid agency expands “inclusion” strategies for lesbian, “gay,” bisexual and transgender persons.
The increased application of the LGBT-inclusion philosophy will help to transform agency hiring practices as well as the delivery of worldwide assistance programs, according to a procurement document WND located via routine database research.
The USAID Special Initiatives & Development Partners Division on behalf of the agency’s Office of Civil Rights and Diversity, or OCRD, awarded a sole-source, no-bid purchase order to communications-services provider Aptive Resources for LGBT-specific training.
As WND reported, USAID has criticized “conservative gender norms related to sexuality” and denounced “strong normative preference for heterosexuality” in foreign nations.
Such resistance to the administration’s LGBT agenda is viewed as a chief impediment to achieving U.S. policy goals.
USAID Administrator Ravi Shah recently said it is up to the U.S. to take action against legal restrictions against LGBT populations in 70 nations.
“We have to be the ones that stand up for those that are marginalized and for those that are not benefiting from their legal and social systems protecting their individual human rights,” Shah said at the unveiling of USAID’s “LGBT Vision for Action” plan in July.
“And in doing so, we have the best chance of ending extreme poverty, of supporting efforts to reduce hunger and suffering, of improving health and adequate nutrition.”
The LGBT inclusion plan will help govern various agency policies, including its National Action Plan on Women, Peace, Security; its Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Strategy; and even its climate change policy.
Shah also noted at the event that USAID has provided such training to more than 1,000 of its 9,600 employees.
“We will achieve our full target soon,” he said of this indoctrination, which is correlated with an expansion of Obama’s global LGBT “learning agenda.”
“We need to be able to understand and help countries and leaders see the benefits of standing up for and protecting basic human rights across the board.”
The agency’s Vision for Action endeavor is an offshoot of Obama’s Memorandum of Understanding on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.
Helping to bring about the policy shift at USAID is Senior LGBT Coordinator Todd Larsen, who came out of retirement from the U.N. to take on the responsibility.
Larsen spent two decades in various capacities at the global body and has been credited with bringing about reform favorable to U.N. employee same-sex marriage.
USAID justified its non-competitive award to vendor Aptive because of the company’s “deep familiarity with USAID’s workplace policies, employment structure, and programmatic approach to integrating LGBT considerations into international development programming.”
Aptive, which is run by Rachele Cooper, former aerospace engineer for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, created the first version of the “Introductory Training on LGBT Inclusion in USAID’s Workplace and Programming.”
Its “strong record of producing carefully messaged interactive online trainings on highly sensitive topics for diverse multi-cultural audiences,” likewise, was cited by USAID as justification for the no-bid project.
The company now will update the agency’s introductory LGBT training as well as develop an intermediate training program for USAID’s OCRD, which is led by acting Director Patricia Lamond, former deputy director of the Department of Labor’s Civil Right Center.
Lamond has touted the agency’s use of an electronic system to monitor human-resources data in search of barriers to adequate workplace diversity.
“We discovered that we have problems with our workforce data so we really don’t know where we need to do most of our work,” she admitted during a Department of State Diversity, Inclusion, and U.S. Foreign Policy “Wisdom Session” in 2012.
“We have some general ideas, but we really want to drill down into the data and do some more barrier analysis.”
The agency did not disclose the estimated cost of the recent Aptive work order. An additional search of the database produced zero records of past contracts with USAID.
Two separate federal awards to Aptive were found, however, including a million-dollar Department of Veteran Affairs contract in 2013 to provide health care-related communications support services and a potential half-million-dollar advertising and marketing contract through the General Services Administration.