The recent 'rise of rights' has sparked much critical reflection, one of the key concerns being 'What is different this time'?. Can this emerging focus on rights within development help bring about favourable changes for poor and marginalised people?
This issue of the IDS Bulletin addresses diverse perspectives and questions across a spectrum of current thinking, policy and practice. Why the rights-based approach and why now? Whose rights count? 'Rights' work has evolved from an historical focus on human rights violations and concern for legal protection, but its future depends on direct engagement with civil society causes.
Development needs rights as much as rights need development. Illustrated here are struggles for rights within specific contexts (tenants associations in Kenya; children's organisations in India): the perspective of marginalised groups alters how formal rights are given meaning. Using rights in practice is challenging and filled with contradictions and tensions. The struggle for rights is happening and it is not simply an agenda of the powerful.
What emerges from this IDS Bulletin is a vibrant picture of often diverse meanings and strategies pursued throughout the world. If the current enthusiasm for rights in development can open thinking spaces and result in appropriate action, rather than serving as a one-size-fits-all export, then rights bases approaches are to be welcomed. Moving beyond old debates and recognising that rights must be claimed and realised by real people, the development community can discover what rights will ultimately mean in context and practice.
Table of contents
- Introduction: Developing Rights: Discourse to Context and Practice (pdf), Jethro Pettit and Joanna Wheeler
- 'Why Rights, Why Now? Reflections on the Rise of Rights in International Development Discourse', Andrea Cornwall and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights-based Approaches and Bilateral Aid Agencies: More Than a Metaphor?', Laure-Hélène Piron
- 'Rights-based Development: Linking Rights and Participation - Challenges in Thinking and Action', Valerie Miller, Lisa VeneKlasen and Cindy Clark
- 'An Actor-oriented Approach to Rights in Development', Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights-based Approaches: Recovering Past Innovations', Valerie Miller, Lisa VeneKlasen and Cindy Clark
- 'Rights and Power: The Challenge for International Development Agencies', Alexandra Hughes, Joanna Wheeler and Rosalnd Eyben
- 'Can a Rights-based Approach Help in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals?', Salil Shetty
- 'Living Rights: Reflections from Women's Movements About Gender and Rights in Practice', Cindy Clark, Molly Reilly and Joanna Wheeler
- 'Small Hands, Big Voices? Children's Participation in Policy Change in India', Emma Williams
- 'Operationalising the Rights Agenda: Participatory Rights Assessment in Peru and Malawi', James Blackburn, Mary Ann Brocklesby, Sheena Crawford and Jeremy Holland
- 'Defining Rights from the Roots: Insights from Council Tenants' Struggles in Mombasa, Kenya', Samuel Musyoki and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights and Citizenship in Brazil: The Challenges for Civil Society, Almir Pereira Júnior, Jorge Romano and Marta Antunes
- 'Beyond Approaches and Models: Reflections on Rights and Social Movements in Kenya, Haiti and the Philippines', Mwambi Mwasaru
- 'Transforming Rights into Social Practices? The Landless Movement and Land Reform in Brazil', Zander Navarro
The report is the result of research into the impact of children's participation on development programmes and how such participation can be facilitated. The report also assesses how large international organisations with complex systems and hierarchical management structures can respond sensitively and flexibly to the challenges that will emerge when children are given a voice. It brings together the findings of a literature review of current thinking about children's participation and its evaluation with a field study undertaken in three different countries (Ecuador, India and Kenya). It is also enriched by discussion at a one-day conference in London in November 2003, which was hosted by Plan UK to review findings from the research. The report raises questions about the way that participation is understood by development agencies, arguing that the conceptualisation of children's participation by each organisation will reflect their underlying philosophies. It also focuses on the changes - both positive and negative - that children's participation may bring about, and discusses various issues relating to evaluation. Possible tools and methods are described and consideration is given to the manner in which evaluation activities are conducted. Particular emphasis is also given to ethical issues in relation to evaluation practice. The report considers the challenges for agencies in seeking to develop children's participation further, and the introduction of a participatory approach to evaluation itself.
GROW is an indigenous NGO operating in the Mokhotlong district of Lesotho. The focus of their programmes have shifted in recent years to address the issue surrounding HIV/AIDS. This article presents a participatory, community-based approach to possible strategies of alleviating the burdens faced by orphaned children. Members of the GROW health and nutrition team initially met with 27 people identified as caregivers of orphaned children to discuss needs and possible solutions. The article looks at how a support network was developed and how this empowered both the children and the communities in the challenges they faced.
This article looks at the issues of cost and sustainability of one of Save the Children's principle interventions in Morocco: the establishment and support of a major residential institution for physically disabled children. The issues that emerged concerned representation of disabled people, a 'hierarchy' of acceptance relating to disabled people within disabled people's organisations themselves, and the limited timeframe to carry out the research than had originally been planned in order to establish trust with people.|The findings were that the expenses spent on the facility could have been extended to a much wider net of beneficiaries if more community based programmes had been developed. This led to much criticism by officials and project participants. However, no easy solutions emerged to address difficulties in the project, given the complexities involved in discrimination against disabled people.
Putting child rights and participatory monitoring and evaluation with children into practice: some examples in Indonesia, Nepal South Africa, and the U.K.
This paper presents a range of initiatives the authors are involved in within the field of children's rights and participation. It begins by defining the rights based approach and needs based approach to development and goes on to give details of three projects. The first project is PLAN International Indonesia's training and capacity strengthening for its field staff aimed at promoting a shift towards addressing child rights in its programmes and projects. The paper outlines the tangible benefits for the children and the impact on their lives, for example in family relationships.|The second project is a DFID Innovations Fund research one looking at the ways in which the impacts of development projects on children are addressed in monitoring and evaluation systems, with pilot projects in Nepal and South Africa. It discusses the use of organisational mapping in both these pilot projects and the findings to come out of them|The final case study is about the monitoring and evaluation of the Saying Power Scheme in the UK. Rather than happening at the end of the projects, the monitoring and evaluation process runs parallel to it. The article describes the confidence lines and ôHö method used and concludes with challenges the projects faced
This book focuses on civil society's role in international policy debates and global problem solving. Increased citizen action over the last 10 years has enabled citizens groups to be a major force in nonstate participation in the global system. Against this background, case studies from a number of movements and NGO networks are presented, including: campaigns to reform the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; the Jubilee 2000 Campaign, the movement against Free Trade, the Landmine Campaign as well as several other human rights, social justice and environmental movements. The book finishes with a section on lessons learned and challenges for the future. A synopsis of the book and abstracts of each section can be viewed at http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/particip/research/citizen/globcitact.pdf