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Rights-based approach to development

Rights-based approach to development

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Rights-based approach to development is a strategy used by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reduce local communities' dependency on aid by improving government capacity. This practice blurs the distinction between human rights and development. There are two stakeholder groups in rights-based development, the rights holders, or the group who does not experience full rights, and the duty bearers, or the institutions who are obligated to fulfill the rights of the rights holders. Rights-based approach aims at strengthening the capacity of duty bearers and empower the rights holders.

Human rights into development discourse


Human rights came into global discourse after the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 in 1948. This was the first global recognition that all humans are inherently entitled to rights. Then in 1976 the UN signed the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, officially endorsing democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. However, the United Nations endorsement of democracy had little to do with the UN's stance on development. Human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 became one of the major debates between the West and Communist states during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. Cold War dichotomy of right versus left defined power of the state and of the individual in aspects of society based on political affiliation. The end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet bloc left Western values and ideas, which remains one of the main ideologies of the world.

Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 and Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, use to focus primarily on documenting human rights violations on the civil and political level. No longer do these organizations focus solely on human rights violations, but also on social, economic, and cultural rights. The evolution of human rights organizations and development organizations and the western idea that rights are asserted through responsibilities, duties, transparency, trust, and accountability have led to the development of the rights based approach. In 1993 the UN held the World Conference on Human Rights
World Conference on Human Rights
The World Conference on Human Rights was held by the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, on 14 to 25 June 1993. It was the first human rights conference held since the end of the Cold War...

 in Vienna. During this conference they developed the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, also known as VDPA, is a human rights declaration adopted by consensus at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria...

, where they linked democracy, human rights, sustainability and development. This made the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 division of Civil and Political Rights and Economic Social and Cultural rights interdependent. This further led to the linkage between human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 and enabled policy makers and developers to incorporate a rights-based approach into their policies.

In 1997, the Secretary General to the United Nations called to mainstream human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 into all work of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Then in 2003, various organizations and agencies met to develop a "Common Understanding" of a human rights based approach. Giving six main principles:
  • Universality and inalienability
  • Indivisibility
  • Inter-dependence and inter-relatedness
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Participation and inclusion
  • Accountability and rule of law


The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 developed this guide due to the significant changes occurring in the international development
International development
International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development — the development of greater quality of life for humans...

 community with the adoption of human rights in development work. Since the UN has published their standards and steps to a rights based approach to development, many bilateral donor agencies, such as CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency
The Canadian International Development Agency was formed in 1968 by the Canadian government. CIDA administers foreign aid programs in developing countries, and operates in partnership with other Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors as well as other international organizations...

 and DFID, and international NGOs such as CARE and Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 have taken similar steps.

Transition away from welfare model


The welfare model
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 has been rooted into Western developmental practices since the 20th century. In the welfare model, poverty is defined as the absence of a public good or knowledge. If the state or another vehicle such as a nongovernmental organization provides the absent good, then poverty can be alleviated and development will occur. Billions of dollars have been poured into this approach, however despite some achievements there has not been success with this model. The gap between the rich and poor is widening and according to the World Development Report, nearly half of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day.

This model lacks a way to hold governments accountable for their actions or inaction. Fails to address governments inability to fulfill their citizen's rights either because of funding or knowledge. It also constructs the poor as objects of charity, predetermining their roles in civic society.

Due to the failures of the welfare model
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

, nongovernmental organizations reevaluated and turned to transition more towards a rights-based approach to development. In this model, instead of the poor being constructed as charity they would be constructed as actors or rights holders. Non government organizations role is to help the poor overcome obstacles blocking their rights and give governments tools and training to provide these rights.

Human rights


The transition of human rights into development discourse has also brought along a certain language of rights. This brings a moral resonance to development rhetoric and makes it hard to avoid in today's discourse. Rights are defined as entitlements that belong to all human beings regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic class. All humans therefore are the rights holders, and it is someone’s duty to provide these rights. Who is responsible to give these rights, in other words the duty bearers, has been largely debated. In rights-based approach it is the person’s government that assumes the duty bearer position, but most of the time the said government does not have the resources to fulfill this role. This is where non-governmental organizations come and try to help these governments fulfill their roles and duties to their people by giving them resources. These resources can be monetary or more sustainable such as training to government officials.

Currently there is a under fulfillment of human rights, which has been directly linked with poverty. Poverty includes the assessment of standard of living, health, and well being. These are social and economic human rights, also known as second-generation rights, which have just recently been included in development discourse. First generation rights, or civil and political rights, have dominated public policy in the past. However with poverty on the rise and public policy failing, social and economic rights are becoming increasingly important in development of policies.

Affluent or rich countries feel they should help the poor out of charity or humanity. Rights based approach works to shift the paradigm away from charity
Charity (virtue)
In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others.The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving.- Caritas: altruistic love :...

 and towards moral duty imposed on the world through the international consensus of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. Non-governmental organizations are adopting the “full spectrum” of human rights into their development policies. Using human rights as their driving force they are using rhetoric to develop a modus operandi
Modus operandi
Modus operandi is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "mode of operation". The term is used to describe someone's habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning...

 that made political human rights effective.

Capacity building


Capacity building
Capacity building
Capacity building also referred to as capacity development is a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing...

 is the ability of individuals, institutions, and societies to perform functions and solve problems. A goal of rights based approach to development is to increase the capacity of both the duty bearers and the rights holders.

Key principles to increase capacity are seek to build upon existing capacities, ensure national engagement and ownership, and adjust to countries needs as development occurs. In this method, the duty bearers and the rights holders both have an active role in development. The duty bears are accountable for respecting, protecting, and fulfilling human rights. While the rights holders need to ask what they should do to help promote and defend their freedoms. This action keeps their governments accountable creating sustainability.

Capacity building is an ongoing process, and is often intangible. This is why many nonprofit organizations have not been able to engage or transition more towards capacity building. Donors like to see tangible results or they like to see where their money is going. Also the success of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations is shown through tangible results, leading organizations more toward service delivery than capacity building.

International law


The international recognition of human rights has been largely debated; there is acknowledgment but not institutional enforcement. Non-governmental organizations that use rights-based approach in policy decisions have a large problem with gaining legal status or enforcement of the human rights they are defending. They rely on publicly criticizing countries who make these violations.

There have been many international legal documents developed by the United Nations on behalf of human rights issues that all members of the UN have to abide by.
  • The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCER)
    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976...

  • The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976...

  • The Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
    The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is a United Nations convention. A second-generation human rights instrument, the Convention commits its members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding among all races...

  • The Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
    The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women is an international convention adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly....

  • The Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC)
    Convention on the Rights of the Child
    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children...

  • The Convention Against Torture (CAT)
    United Nations Convention Against Torture
    The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights instrument, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture around the world....

  • The Convention on Migrant Workers and Their Families (MWC)


Since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 the international community has developed a legally binding framework for the protection of human rights. These legal documents have created norms and standards internationally.

Social contract theory


The social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

 theory proclaims that rights such as life
Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

, liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, and property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

 belong to the individuals and not to society. These rights existed before individuals entered civil society and by entering civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

, one is agreeing to a social contract. In this contract, the state has the right to enforce natural rights
Natural rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

. The state breaks this contract if the rights of the people are broken or not secured. Today, social contracts come in the form of national constitutions, which provide rules explaining and protecting individual rights.

These rights are inherent, they are not granted by authority or any overriding principle. Human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 are recognized by all people making it universal and fundamental.

Downward accountability


Within the realm of rights-based approach there is a theory in relation to downward accountability in relation to development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

. This theory states what the rights are, who deserves the rights and what actors are responsible for ensuring these rights are enacted. In development there is a focus on the responsibility of actors. Therefore in relation to downward accountability it creates a power dynamic in development aid. NGDOs (non- governmental development organizations) focus on downward accountability to ensure the intended beneficiaries are being allowed their rights.

Practice


Since the mid- 1990s there has been a trend for NGOs and development donor agencies to combine the idea of development and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 into the human rights-based approach to development. Although there has been an undertone of development with the association with human rights earlier than this time. It has been since the end of the 20th century when there were known links of combining development and human rights into the same efforts. This practice includes NGOs that are geared towards development as well as human rights. The donor agencies are now helping to fund this combination of human rights with development to become as effective as possible. Even human rights-based approach to development theories were involved with the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 (MDGs). MDGs are the goals set forth by the UN member states to all work for alleviation of extreme poverty, fighting disease, and other global problems.

There have been three growing trends in relation to NGOs and the rights-based approach to development that have been implemented into practice. The first trend is focusing attention onto a rights-based approach to development. The second trend is the joint advocacy by development NGOs and human rights NGOs to work together towards a common goal. The third trend is to expand the attention to economic and social rights as well. Human rights gives an international benchmark that states can have related and common ideas. To have internationally understood human rights it creates NGOs, governments, and corporations to be held accountable to their actions. This change to focus on human rights-based approach to development challenges the market-dominated view that was popular during the 1980s into a view focused on the relation between human rights and development.

These new trends have a significant impact and a possible paradigm shift. From looking at development as a gift shifted to development as a human right puts the responsibility on the government. However, this is not just the home country, but the responsibility of development resides in the hands of wealthy countries as well. To switch to a rights-based approach to development would then lead to using internationally agreed upon human rights as a responsibility of governments to provide. In this theory development will no longer be viewed as a gift or a need, but rather a right that states and governments are held accountable.

NGOs involvement


NGOs that have implemented rights-based approach to development have done so with four main principals to follow. These principals are human rights-based approach design of their programs, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 about rights-based approach, rights to participation, and accountability. Human rights-based approach design of their programs begins with analysis of the unfulfilled human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. It then commits programs and funds to fulfill these missing human rights. The design of these programs also stresses the donations are not a gift but rather the people are finally receiving the human rights treatment they deserve. Education of human rights and the programs that are being implemented is important. The education is to inform the beneficiaries of their human rights as well as the ways in which NGOs and other organizations are attempting to increase their human rights. Education is also to inform the governments, international organizations and donor agencies that are dealing with human rights their roles and responsibilities. Then there is the principal of rights to participation. This deals with the idea that beneficiaries should be included when implementing programs on their behalf. Organizations should include the beneficiaries to help empower
Empowerment
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, racial, educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities...

. Then there is the principal of accountability which is designed to have standards on human rights and development. It is also designed for NGOs, international organizations, donor agencies and governments to be held to a higher standard of responsibility.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 are two NGOs that have been involved traditionally with advocacy in relation to human rights. These NGOs have expanded to from traditional political rights to expand to ESC rights, which includes economic and social rights as well.

Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 is an NGO that has adopted the rights-based approach to development. Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 vowed to continue to provide relief while also addressing the structural causes of poverty and injustice. This approach combines poverty, human rights, development and trade all within the same realm. Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 focuses a broad approach to the causes of poverty and injustice. This NGO also would like to put economic and social justice at the top of the world agenda.

The shift towards a rights-based approach to development forced Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 to reexamine its funding, a deeper examination into the state's role as a duty bearer, and using civil society as a vehicle for citizens to empowered to stand up for their rights. Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 also had to evaluate their development practice and business model.

There has been a shift from focusing upon civil human rights to human rights of social and economic areas. There are many NGOs that are now focusing upon the ESC (economic and social rights) while creating and implementing programs. Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 is one of these NGOs that has implemented a focus on ESC rights. These rights focus on alleviating poverty and implementing equal social and economic rights on all levels within society.

NGOs that are implemented these ESC rights are focusing much of their attention on increasing the standard of living to be healthy and safe. This includes ideas of water rights in areas that lack clean drinking water and health rights that include availability of medicine and doctors. This would increase the impoverished peoples' standard of living by increasing basic living needs and access.

Donor agencies involvement


Beginning in the late 1990s when rights-based approach to development began to be a popular discourse many aid donor agencies began to support this view towards development. Their intentions are to implement support for programs to incorporate both development and human rights in an interdisciplinary fashion.

Major donor agencies that have adopted the rights-based approach to development include UNICEF, UNDP (United Nations Development Program), Swedish Sida, Norwegian NOrad, British DFID, and the Australian aid agency. Other UN programs have also adopted the rights-based approach to development. This new development framework leads to moral legitimacy and social justice.

UNDP The United Nations Development Program began in the late 1990s to raise awareness about this new rights-based approach viewpoint to development. UNDP specifically focused upon the interactions of social and economic rights. Their focus was to help develop policy decisions related to social and economic rights in association with development. In 2000 UNDP published "Human Rights and Human Development" a document that provided their intentions and strategies based on their implementation of rights-based approach to development. UNDP was also present at UN- sponsored conferences in relation to rights-based approach to development that included the UN Millennium Summit. UNDP also provides tools for governments and donor agencies to support the rights-based approach to development.

UNICEF is another donor agency that has implemented the rights-based approach to development and its ideas. UNICEF has a more narrow focus on women and children rights. However, it has still implemented rights-based approach strategies with the programs UNICEF is helping to fund.

Application of rights-based approach in NGOs


Nongovernmental organizations transitioning to rights based approach have to redefine missions, test new methodologies, reallocate funding, and train staff. To do this there are a few steps nongovernmental organizations have to take in developing programs and campaigns around rights-based approach.

First NGOs need to create program ideas. These are created based on an analysis of rights within a certain country. The analysis is necessary to identify and give priority to those the most deprived in society. It is then the goal of a rights-based approach to empower those people. This step also identifies and reviews the capacity
Capacity utilization
Capacity utilization is a concept in economics and managerial accounting which refers to the extent to which an enterprise or a nation actually uses its installed productive capacity...

 of the duty-bearers. It also tries to understand the relationship between the rights holders and the duty bearers.

The next step is to educate both the rights holders and the duty bearers by articulating the rights of citizens and duty of the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

. This is an important step so both parties are knowledgeable about their individual rights, responsibilities, and roles in society. This enables effective communication necessary between rights holders and duty bearers.

After an extensive situation analysis
Situation analysis
Situation analysis is a marketing term, and involves evaluating the situation and trends in a particular company's market. Situation analysis is often called the "three c's", which refers to the three major elements that must be studied:* Customers...

, a project or program is developed. The program needs to address human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 deficits related to certain groups, communities, or countries facing abuses or discrimination
Discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

. Baselines and benchmarks are set, which create transparency and accountability
Accountability
Accountability is a concept in ethics and governance with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as responsibility, answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving...

 in the project. Goals are also created during this step in order to analysis the programs effectiveness in a human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 context at the end of the project. Finally, NGOs encourage control over the project by the affected peoples, utilizing the right to participate principle.

To determine the effectiveness of a project, it is essential all inputs, outputs, goals, and outcomes are assessed through a human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 lens. The results should then be organized in a logframe, to show the clear results of the project.

Criticism


This new developmental theory of rights-based approach has been met with positive feedback as well as criticisms. There are thoughts that incorporating the language of human rights with development is just a change of terminology and doesn’t change the programs being implemented. The ability for a state to implement public policy has been hindered due to the need to comply with economic and social rights (ESC rights). Development practices without combining it with human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 has been more effective in implementing and monitoring programs. Therefore, the need to combine human rights with development is not necessary for the beneficiaries.

While there still is more positive feedback when dealing with rights-based approach to development there are still criticisms surrounding the focus on combining human rights with development. These criticisms stem from changing the terminology will not increase the NGOs productivity or even necessarily the NGOs programs that are being implemented. Just by stating that the government and corporations should now be responsible for development as an issue of human rights does not mean any changes with proceedings will occur.

Another criticism that has been brought up is that there has been many NGOs that have combined the ideas of human rights along with development before the term "rights-based approach" to development was coined. There has been a natural linkage between development and rights and there has frequently been pressure on states and governments to be involved with issues of human rights as well as development. Therefore, in many cases changing the terminology will not increase the effectiveness of the state.

There have been other criticisms of the rights-based approach to development because the ideas and theories have not been narrowed. Rights-based approach is a vague term that doesn't clearly represent a set of ideas. There is a multiplicity of explanations about rights-based approach that poses problems when discussing how NGOs, donor agencies or UN programs will try to implement these ideas into their programs.

One example of implementation is within the realm of Gender and Development
Gender and Development
The Gender and Development approach is a way of determining how best to structure development projects and programs based on analysis of gender relationships...

. Women's rights
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

have long been fighting for equal rights and by implementing rights-based approach to development it changes some of the effective ways equal women's rights were being implemented into society. There have been two main paths of relating to inequalities of gender. These include human rights organizations that focuses on equal women's rights and organizations focused on gender and development. By converging these two different ideas it can create problems with the experts needed and the way programs are being implemented.

There is also disparity between NGOs in the north and NGOs in the south between their viewpoints and ideas in which to implement programs in relation to development and human rights separately. By trying to combine these two discourses across the globe can create problems of fragmenting of ideas and programs. If fragmentation were to occur it would be the opposite intentions of the NGOs that were trying to combine human rights and development into similar programs.

External links