The Human Rights-Based Approach: UN introduction

The UN Secretary-General’s Programme for Reform (1997), and its second phase, An Agenda for Further Change (2001), called upon UN Agencies to make human rights a cross-cutting priority for the UN system. In 2003, a group of UN agencies committed to integrating human rights into their national development cooperation programmes by adopting the Common Understanding on a rights-based approach.

Before 1997, most UN development agencies pursued a ‘basic needs’ approach: They identified basic requirements of beneficiaries and either supported initiatives to improve service delivery or advocated for their fulfilment.

There is a critical distinction: A need not fulfilled leads to dissatisfaction. In contrast, a right that is not respected leads to a violation, and its redress or reparation can be legally and legitimately claimed. A human rights-based approach to programming differs from the basic needs approach in that it recognizes the existence of rights. It also reinforces capacities of duty bearers (usually governments) to respect, protect and guarantee these rights.

Governments have three levels of obligation: to respect, protect and fulfil every right.

  • To respect a right means refraining from interfering with the enjoyment of the right.
  • To protect the right means enacting laws that create mechanisms to prevent violation of the right by state authorities or by non-state actors. This protection is to be granted equally to all.
  • To fulfil the right means to take active steps to put in place institutions and procedures, including the allocation of resources to enable people to enjoy the right. A rights-based approach develops the capacity of duty-bearers to meet their obligations and encourages rights holders to claim their rights.

Rights are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The human rights-based approach focuses on those who are most vulnerable, excluded or discriminated against.

The human rights-based approach constitutes a framework of action as well as a methodological tool in the context of reforms in a changing world. This approach is also expected to achieve results: sustained progress towards respect of human rights, development, peace, security, eradication of poverty, and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.


Rights-based Approach in Development (FAQ)

What are rights in development?

People are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. The international community has therefore pledged to eradicate poverty, to promote full and productive employment, and to foster social integration to achieve stable, safe and just societies for all.

What is development from a human rights perspective?

The rights-based definition of development in the Declaration on the Right to Development sees it as a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process.

What is a rights-based approach to development?

A rights-based approach to development is a conceptual framework for the process of human development that is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights.

Is there only one rights-based approach?

There is no single, universally agreed rights-based approach, although there may be an emerging consensus on the basic constituent elements.

Are rights-based approaches new?

While it has recently received unprecedented attention, the idea of rights-based approaches is not a new concept. Many of its elements have been tried and tested for years.

How do rights-based approaches differ and what is the value added?

Rights-based approaches bring the promise of more effective, more sustainable, more rational and more genuine development processes.

What are the main development concerns of indigenous peoples?

National development processes have often failed to include the free and meaningful participation of indigenous peoples.

What about the gender dimension of development?

Rights-based approaches to development emphasize non-discrimination, attention to vulnerability and empowerment. Women and girls are among the first victims of discrimination. In fact, it is consider also the inclusion of person with special needs, including person with disabilities to realize equal rights.


Rights Based Approach Society (Delhi) has adopted Rights Based Approaches to strive for a sustainable development of underdeveloped part of the Community.

Is One Woman Enough for Any Man?

Which best describes your relationship styles? Select one of the following:

(1) Monogamous
(2) Serially monogamous
(3) Ambiguously monogamous
(4) Mildly polygamous
(5) Polygamous

Relax. If you checked anything, you’re right. Evolutionary psychologists have never been to find the right language to describe our peculiar approach of mating. We practice mostly monogamy, but is that natural or are we boxed in by social and religious mores? Besides humans, only about three per cent mammals pair up. Anthropological surveys of traditional cultures conducted in the past century found that more than 80 per cent allowed polygyny. i.e., a man could take more than one wife, meanwhile polyandrous societies, in which a woman can take more than one man, are rare. The evidence is clear that we have evolved as “mildly polygynous creatures”, argue evolutionary psychologist David Barash and his wife, psychiatrist Judith Lipton in The Myth of Monogamy. However, even when polygyny is okey, few men partake. This is almost always out of necessity rather than by choice, Barash says — “Either they are’nt enough surplus women or a man lacks the fund and/or skill to negotiate and sustain the arrangement.

Because we humans remain with each partner for as long as we can after the romantic wears off, many scientists adopted the phrase “serial monogamy”. Helen Fisher, the author of Why We Love, likes to recall a story about Margaret Mead. When asked why her marriages had all failed, the fame anthropologist responded, “I beg you pardon, I had three marriages, and none of them were failure.”

Although US divorce data support the notion of seven-year itch, Fisher believes couple feel an instinctual urge to split after four years. That’s about the time, she argued, that a child born in a hunter-gatherer society is self-sufficient enough to join a communcal play group and raised by other members of the band. The father and mother can than search for new mates — he for someone younger, and she for someone older and richer — an bear children with a variety of genetic structures, increasing the odds that more of them will survive. The fact that most men dont flee is “a remarkable triumph of the female brain and will”, writes geneticist Anne Moir inBrain Sex, “In sexual and evolutionary terms, there is nothing in marriage for men”. So why do we stay? One argument is that we recognize widespread female promiscuity would make it harder to know if a child is ours. We also stick around because, unlike other primates, humans are born with underdeveloped brains so the skull can squeeze through a female pelvis, leaving our offspring so helpless they require two parents to survive. By the time a child can walk and talk, a few years later, and Daddy is ready to bolt, Mama may well be pregnant again. Where does the time go? Kids continue to weigh on a marriage as long as they are around; one study of 500 families found the lowest point of satisfaction arrives at Stage V, when the children become teenagers. However, in the next three stages — VI, VII and VIII, after the kids leave home — the ratings rise again. Hang in there.

Chip Rowe, Playboy USA Magazine, March 2008, p.100.

Secret of Success

A young man asked Socrates the secret of Success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met.

Socrates asked the young man to walk with him towards the river.

When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The man struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until he started turning blue.

The young man struggled hard and finally managed to get out and the first thing he did was to gasp and take deep breath. Socrates asked ‘What you wanted the most when you were there?’ The man replied ‘Air’.

Socrates said ‘that’s the most secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted air, you will get it. There is no other secret’.


Case # 1 : When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens would not work at zero gravity (ink will not flow down to the writing surface).

Solution # 1 : To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.

Solution # 2 : And what did the Russians do…?? They used a pencil.

Case # 2 : One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan ‘s biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty.

Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly Line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty.

Management asked its engineers to solve the problem.

Solution # 1 : Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee amount to do so.

Solution # 2 : But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution.

He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

· Always look for simple solutions.
· Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems.
· Always focus on solutions & not on problems

Religion between Discrimination and Tolerance

In a state of tolerance in America, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case Against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,”Case dismissed!”

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.” The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.” The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.”

The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.

Team Building WGBP

Setelah melakukan pengunduran jadwal sampai beberapa kali, pada akhirnya WGBP, salah satu mitra OXFAM GB di Aceh-Nias melaksanakan kegiatan Team Building bagi anggota komite kreatif, koordinator, lembaga penjamin dan staf-staf WGBP. Kegiatan berlangsung empat hari, akhir November 2008, di Gapang, Pulau Weh… atau dikenal sebagai Sabang.

Kegiatan dimulai dengan berbagai permainan outbound dan tes-tes psikologis. Dari hasil tes-tes dan berbagai permainan menampak bahwa bahan-bahan dasar bagi tim tidak muncul dan menampak kuatnya ‘individualisme’ dari masing-masing komponen.

Untuk itu penelaahan masalah dilakukan dengan mengkaji barier-barier psikologis dengan pelacakan mind map. Dalam pelacakan ini ditemukan bahwa akar masalah ada pada semua komponen yang ingin mengedepankan diri sendiri ketimbang semangan kelompok dan kebersamaan. Dan pada saat yang sama tidak ada ‘roh’ kepemimpinan yang dapat memimpin arus tidak menentu ini. Ini memunculkan pertanyaan mendasar mengenai apa yang bisa dilakukan bersama untuk mengantisipasinya.

Kegiatan berakhir dengan membuat rencana bersama dan pribadi mengenai apa yang bisa ‘aku’ lakukan bagi WGBP. Dan fasilitator/trainer yang merupakan seorang psikolog profesional memberikan advis-advis.

Terima kasih kepada Fattah Hidayat, M.Psych. dah Ustad Fachrurozi yang memberi kekuatan tim ini.

Lokatulis Penyusunan Program WGBP

Lokatulis Penyusunan Program WGBP dilaksanakan mengingat kegiatan WGBP kerjasama dengan OXFAM akan berakhir (2008) padahal WGBP masih harus melaksanakan kegiatan seterusnya.

Lokatulis ini diikuti oleh 10 peserta dari 10 lembaga partisipan antara lain SORAK, Sabda Medan, IDEP/YPA, Tim GSM, Koalisi NGO HAM, Bytra Lhokseumawe, YRBI, Mer-C, Logos Institute dan PKPA Nias. Akan tetapi semua peserta mewakili sebagai individu dan tidak lembaga di mana mereka berasal.

Proses fasilitasi dimulai dengan memperkenalkan SEFT (Spiritual-Emotional Freedom Techniques) sebagai metode healing, happiness, success dan greatness. Pengantaran SEFT pada healing kemudian dilanjutkan dengan Luck Factor dan Deep SEFT for Success. Untuk mendapatkan informasi lebih lengkap mengenai SEFT dapat dibuka informasi online di SEFT Center ataupun di Logos Institute.

Bagian berikutnya lebih ke vocational penyusunan program dengan pendekatan antara lain

  1. Menganalisis data-data dan menyusun latar belakang sebagai narasi awal pemetaan masalah. Data yang diperoleh dari pembelajaran program yang telah dilakukan sebelumnya, disusun ulang, disistematisasi dan kemudian dinarasikan. Lesson learned yang dapat diambil menjadi bahan bagi penyusunan program berikutnya. Nalar PCM (Project Cycle Management) diperkenalkan ulang di mana pemrograman haruslah berbasis pembelajaran yang telah ada sebelumnya. Manajemen/pengelolaan daur proyek memberikan panduan bagaimana best practices dapat direplikasi dan lesson learned dapat dijadikan bahan bagi pemrograman. Secara vocational sains mengenai diksi dan komposisi diperkenalkan agar narasi lebih berbasis fakta-fakta (evidence based) dan menghindari jargon maupun slogan-slogan teoritis.
  2. Melakukan scoping atau peneropongan isu-isu utama untuk mendapatkan fungsi esensial yang menjadi core isu. Peneropongan dilakukan dengan menganalisis bahan-bahan best practices dan lesson learned yang telah disusun sebelumnya. Dengan mendapatkan fungsi esensial kita dapat menemukan isu kunci utama untuk menentukan intervensi apa yang akan kita lakukan dan menentukan objective dari proyek.
  3. Setelah itu menyusun objective dengan kerangka yang SMART (specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, time-bound). Di sini harus dijelaskan dan membedakan antara bahasa kategori, bahasa tujuan dan bahasa indikator.
  4. Dengan mengetahui objective kita dapat mencari tujuan-tujuan antara atau outcome dari program/proyek. Dengan menentukan outcomes dan indikator-indikator pencapaiannya kita dapat melakukan analisis asumsi.
  5. Penyusunan outputs atau keluaran-keluaran proyek dilakukan dengan menderivasikan outcomes ke dalam bahasa yang lebih derivatif atau bahasa outputs yang indikatornya lebih spesifik dan “kongkrit”.
  6. Berbasis pada outputs di atas kita dapat menentukan aktivitas-aktivitas apa saja yang dibutuhkan agar tercapai output-output. Dan berbasis itu pula dapat ditentukan sumberdaya apa saja yang dibutuhkan untuk memenuhinya baik dari sisi sumber daya keuangan (penganggaran), sumber daya manusia (rekrutmen) maupun pendayagunaan aset-aset.
  7. Untuk itu penyusunan anggaran, penyusunan organisasi dan mandaftar aset (untuk melihat kebutuhan aset baru) dilakukan kemudian.
  8. Dari keseluruhan susunan di atas dapatlah dibuat narasi proposal. Sebagai tambahan pada bagian strategi intervensi dapat dilakukan penyusunan atau pengkategorisasian aktivitas intervensi ke dalam berbagai kelompok strategis dan disusun ulang sehingga menampakkan strategi pendekatan atau strategi intervensi.

Demikian tersusunlah sebuah program besar WGBP yang meliputi bidang penghidupan/livelihood, yang fokus pada microfinance dan pertanian organik, bidang pengembangan akuntabilitas lembaga dan bidang pengembangan atau pengarusutamaan gender dalam lembaga.

Terima kasih kepada tim SEFT, tim mengo, dll.

Gender Scanning & Mainstreaming

Kegiatan GSM (Gender Scanning – Mainstreaming) adalah kegiatan yang dinisiasi WGBP (Working Group Beusaboh Pakat, Kelompok Kerja Peningkatan Kapasitas Lembaga Masyarakat Sipil) Aceh-Nias. Rangkaian FGD telah dilakukan untuk memulai wacana mengenai gender dan pengarusutamaan gender dalam tubuh Lembaga Masyarakat Sipil dan LSM di Aceh dan Nias.

Kegiatan meliputi beberapa rangkaian FGD mengenai gender dan pengarusutamaan gender, mengidentifikasi masalah-masalah kontekstual dan menyusun draft-draft tools untuk scanning dan mainstreaming sekaligus tools-tools untuk melakukan proses coaching.

Kemudian sebuah lokakarya/workshop dilaksanakan di Hotel Pade, Banda Aceh, 7-9 November 2008 menghasilkan antara lain:

1) 4 Coachs yang siap mengawal dan melakukan proses scanning dan pengarusutamaan kepada organisasi partisipan dan lembaga lain pada umumnya.

2) Adanya tools yang dikembangkan dan aplikabel penerapannya

3) Adanya tim GSM yang solid untuk melaksanakan kegiatan GSM dan menyusun rancangan GSM ke depan.

Pendekatan yang dilakukan menggunakan berbagai aspek masukan pengetahuan seperti: Rights-based Approach, Pengantar instrumen HAM dan CEDAW, Pengembangan tools, Peran dan citra lembaga masyarakat sipil, Neuro-linguistic programming, dst.

Selamat dan sukses tim mengo dan tim GSM.

Mengenai coaching dan mentoring dapat dibuka link di wikipedia berikut ini: dan

Semoga bermanfaat

Presentation & Negotiation Skill Training

CARDI (Consortium for Assistance and Recovery towards Development in Indonesia) program di Aceh akan tutup 2008 ini. Untuk exit strategy mereka melakukan rangkaian kegiatan assessment dan lokakarya pembangunan gampong bekerja sama dengan CENTRALs Aceh.

Salah satu agenda adalah pelatihan presentasi dan negosiasi untuk memampukan mitra-mitra KSM gampong yang telah menyusun proposal dapat bernegosiasi dan mempresentasikannya kepada donor bagi pembangunan gampong mereka.

Ini juga salah satu inisiasi untuk mengakses ADG (Alokasi Dana Gampong) dari Pemerintah Provinsi NAD (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam). Kegiatan berlangsung di Jantho, Aceh Besar, October 2008

Terima kasih atas kerjasamanya Basri Unoe dan Harley A. Muin.