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Undertaking the Human Rights Based Approach: Lessons for Policy, Planning and Programming

This report documents the lessons learned from six pilot projects that incorporated a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development. These projects addressed a broad range of rights issues including; land rights, women’s rights, rights and the media, rights to education and the right to clean water and sanitation in six countries across the Asia Pacific.  

The lessons learned from the programme have significant implications for policy planning and programming in UN agencies in the region. This report explores the challenges, capacity gaps and broad implications for UN policy and planning, highlighting the necessity for reinvigoration of a dialogue on embedding human rights based approaches in UN agencies.


The Human Rights-Based Approach to Journalism: Training Manual, Viet Nam

This manual provides a guide for both media training institutions and journalists in Viet Nam wishing to understand and embed human rights into their educational programmes and practices. The handbook explains human rights concepts and provides background on the international, regional and national human rights systems. It also provides practical advice on how to undertake a human rights based approach during the investigative and reporting cycle. The final section of the manual contains a basic course outline and examples of lesson plans and exercises for trainers to support the creation of stand alone or integrated human rights  training programmes for the media in
Viet Nam.


Case Studies on Lessons Learned from Human Rights-Based Approaches

Through a documentation of experiences from a selection of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, these case studies endeavor to demonstrate how the human rights-based approach (HRBA) to development and complementary strategies have been used by developmental agencies and civil society groups, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community- based organizations (CBOs) and citizens, to successfully demand and claim rights for poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups.


14th Case Study Uploaded - more details  

This study analyses the HRBA in a civil society-initiated project that focused on the protection of village forest management in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples (IPs). The project was based in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

Follow-up Case Study Uploaded on UNICEF Laos  and the use of Human Rights-Based Approach in the Water and Sanitation Sector. 

Practice Note

Social Audits for Strengthening Accountability: Building Blocks for Human Rights-Based Programming

The note has been written by Upala Devi Banerjee and is an attempt to analyze the instrumental value of social audits in guiding programming from the perspective of human rights-based approaches (HRBAs). In this note, the attempt is to analyze the use of social audits from the HRBA perspective includes setting boundaries on the definitions of social audits; offering a framework for categorization of different kinds of social audits; and then applying them via some illustrations and examples.


Practice Note

Documenting Emerging Lessons Learned for Human Rights-Based Programming: An Asia-Pacific Perspective

This practice note is based on lessons learned from documenting experiences and programmes that incorporated human right-based approaches (HRBAs) in several Asia-Pacific countries from the year 2004 to the present time. Targeted at HRBA practitioners – especially those involved in HRBA programming – this note aims to present lessons in terms of the approaches used in claiming rights, the tools used in the process, and the role of targeted capacity development strategies to effectively utilize such tools. It is hoped that this note will contribute towards the larger global discourse on practical examples on the application of HRBAs in development programming.

Lessons Learned Regional Consultation Report, 2005 (PDF 753 KB)
The UN Inter-Agency Asia-Pacific Lessons Learned Project (LLP) on the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to Development held a regional consultation in Bangkok in September 2005. This gathering brought together around 90-100 participants, including leading human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives, grassroots practitioners, academics, interested donors, UN agencies and independent advocates from countries in the Asia- Pacific region, as well as key staff from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) offices in Europe and New York to:

  • Take stock of the current integration of human rights in developmental programmes in the Asia-Pacific;
  • Present the lessons identified in the case studies documented throughout the Project under Stage Two;
  • Identify capacity and knowledge gaps within the UN and other developmental cooperation agencies that are preventing the integration of the human rights approach into the UN's development work in the Asia-Pacific;
  • Identify practical steps that can be taken by the Project to address some of these capacity and knowledge gaps; and,
  • Identify entry points through which to take the lessons learned forward.

Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Resources

General Resources

A resource page with documents, reports and websites which explore the human rights-based approach to development. This page is constantly being updated to bring you the latest from the field.