Culturally Sensitive Approaches

Guiding Principles for Working from Within

In the decade since the International Conference on Population and Development, UNFPA has initiated culturally sensitive approaches in diverse cultural and social contexts. Through this work, a number of common themes have emerged, which are examined in more detail in the case studies themselves. For example, we have learned that:

Decades of UNFPA experience with the faith-based sector have gone into producing these Guidelines for Engaging Faith-Based Organisations as Cultural Agents of Change. They outline a framework of partnerships, including principles, the strategies and operationalization at national, regional and global levels.

Culturally sensitive approaches include

  • Cultivating an understanding of the cultural context in which projects are implemented
  • Creating a positive negotiating environment with partners and stakeholders
  • Being patient
  • Respecting the cultures of others
  • Honouring commitments
  • Promoting universally recognized human rights in ways that enable communities to own these rights.

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