Evaluating the impact of human rights work

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shedding a clear light on the desired and undesired changes brought about by human rights work, poses some serious challenges. The extent to which traditional tools and methods designed for impact assessment and evaluation are relevant to human rights work is disputed by practitioners.

Quantitative methods and indicators may help, but they often fail to provide the "bigger picture" on the impact that human rights interventions can have. These challenges, which are common to the human rights community, are also a concern for the APT.

An innovative project from the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) addressed these issues by gathering, in October 2011, a range of practitioners and experts from different fields (academia and researchers, human rights activists, evaluation and development professionals, donors) to share opinions and reflect on potential ways forward.

The ICHRP project helped identify good practices and the diversity in approaches to evaluation of human rights work. The workshop was particularly useful to engage the human rights movement away from a culture of evaluation or judgement, to a culture of continuous learning.
This project will constitute one of the last of the ICHRP, which will close its doors in February 2012.

The APT was very sad to hear of the news of the closure of a leading Centre of analysis whose inputs to the human rights community were much appreciated. The end of the ICHRP will leave a glaring gap. The APT sends good wishes to all collaborators of the organisation.

Link to the ICHRP project webpage

ICHRP Report: No Perfect Measure: Rethinking Evaluation and Assessment of Human Rights Work