Introducing the SHAPES LGBTQI Thematic Cluster

Introducing the SHAPES LGBTQI Thematic Cluster

The SHAPES LGBTQI to help address the low visibility of global LGBTQI perspectives within HSG and health policy and systems research more broadly.

Introducing the SHAPES LGBTQI Thematic Cluster

The SHAPES LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex) thematic cluster formed in January 2019 to help address the low visibility of global LGBTQI perspectives within Health Systems Global (HSG) and within health policy and systems research more broadly. The cluster is currently led by Aruna Bhattacharya Chakravarty (India), Benjamin Hanckel (United Kingdom and Australia) and Simon Lewin (Norway and South Africa).

‘What will the LGBTQI thematic cluster focus on?’

Based on two consultations with interested individuals in April 2019, we agreed to the following goals for the thematic cluster:

  • to build a network of researchers and decision makers;

  • increase the visibility of LGBTIQ issues; and,

  • contribute to fostering an environment within HSG that supports LGBTQI research and LGBTQI rights.

The cluster now includes 24 members. If you would like to join the group please email

We are planning several activities for 2019 / 2020 to help achieve the goals of the cluster. These activities are described below.


The cluster will put together newsletters from time to time highlighting planned activities. We would like the newsletter to also act as a forum for cluster members to share relevant LGBTQI information, with a specific focus on health policy and systems research and the UN SDGs. We are happy to include information on new publications, on forthcoming events such as seminars and webinars, and on relevant policy documents or changes. If you would like to share information through the newsletter, please send this to us via

Sharing Resources

We have setup an accessible online folder/space for resources and you can access this by joining the group. Members can directly share resources within the group and to the folder using the email

Virtual Journal Club

We will launch our regular virtual journal club on 22 November 2019, and this will take place via webinar. This will provide a space for those in Health Systems Global who are interested in LGBTQI issues to come together and discuss leading research in the field and/or new health systems policy developments that impact on LGBTQI people. The webinar will be a place to collaboratively discuss existing work, the dissemination of this work, and how we can build on the limitations of knowledge within the field.

The first webinar will be led by Aruna on the 22 November 2019, and will focus on LGBTQI inclusion and the UN SDGs. A registration link will be sent to all thematic cluster members – so please make sure you are registered by sending an email to

Future Focus of the LGBTQI thematic cluster

Following on from the earlier consultations, we are exploring ways of setting up longer term relationships and collaborations with other international groups. We also plan to have a more visible presence at HSG Symposia in the future and welcome ideas for workshops, presentations or other activities.

To keep in touch with our activities, or to share suggestions or ideas with the group, please email us at

Aruna, Benjamin and Simon
SHAPES LGBTQI Thematic Cluster Convenors

Photo by Tanushree Rao on Unsplash

One response to “Introducing the SHAPES LGBTQI Thematic Cluster”

  1. Shruti Ghosh says:

    Would love to join the conversation group 🙂

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