United Nations Development Group Delivering Together for Development
Human rights-based approach to development programming (HRBA)

Human Rights carry normative value as a set of universally agreed values, standards and principles.

Every UN member state has undertaken international legal obligations for human rights. More than 80 percent of member states have ratified 4 or more of the 9 core international human rights treaties.

All UNCTs must use a human rights Based Approach (HRBA) to support country analysis, advocate for priorities in the national development framework, and prepare an UNDAF that demonstrates a strategic use of UNCT resources and expertise.

A HRBA leads to better and more sustainable outcomes by analyzing and addressing the inequalities, discriminatory practices and unjust power relations which are often at the heart of development problems. It puts the international human rights entitlements and claims of the people (the 'right-holders') and the corresponding obligations of the State (the 'duty-bearer') in the centre of the national development debate, and it clarifies the purpose of capacity development.

In the UNDG, implementing the human rights-based approach to development programming is the focus of the Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism (HRM). On the Website of the UNDG-HRM you can find out more about its members and activities and you will also find the latest version of the UN Common Learning Package on Human Rights-Based Approach.

In the sections below, you can find more information and links to relevant websites on the following 4 themes;

Policy and Guidance
Tools and Training
Examples and Experiences
Other Resource Material

Policy and Guidance

Click here to get to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) overview on publications.

Click here for the Practitioner’s Portal on HRBA website.

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The Human Rights Based Approach to Development Cooperation Towards a Common Understanding among UN
The UN Common Understanding was adopted by UNDG in 2003 to ensure that UN agencies funds and programmes apply consistently a Human Rights Based Approach to common programming processes at global and regional levels, and especially at the country level in relation to the CCA and UNDAF.
Concept paper on national systems of human rights protection
May 2005
Guidance note for UN country teams on Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies
May 2005
Guidance note for the UN country teams in establishing theme groups or other appropriate mechanisms on human rights
May 2005
Tools and Training

Click here to get to the Common Learning Package on HRBA.

FAQ on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation
by: OHCHR
2006
Examples and Experiences

Examples and experiences can be found in the Action2 Archives

and on the OHCHR website on Human Rights in the World.

Other Resource Material

Click here to find out more about Knowledge Management on the UNDG-HRM website.

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Report_Linking Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals: Theoretical and Practical Implications
by: UNDP Oslo Governance Centre
September 2006
Summary Report of UNDP Oslo Governance Centre workshop on Linking Human Rights and the MDG's
Principles and guidelines for a human rights approach to poverty reduction strategies
by: OHCHR
2006
Human Rights Guidance Note for Humanitarian Coordinators
by: IASC
2006