Mapping human rights or how to sieve governments’ words into the bowl of facts

mapI will be honest with you: I tend to dislike the idea of categorising human rights violations with numbers. If human rights are indivisible and interdependent, how can we say that the violation of this right deserves a “4” while the violation of that one will do with a “2”. Does that mean that two of the latter equal one of the former? It won’t be me telling that to the victim. Continue reading “Mapping human rights or how to sieve governments’ words into the bowl of facts”


A bit of self-criticism in the critiques to #Kony2012, please

Since Monday, more than 70 million people have viewed a film on Youtube about the living conditions of thousands of children in Uganda. According to the film, these children are victims of the violence and revenge of Joseph Kony. Mr Kony and other LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) leaders were charged in 2005 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity (murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, rape, and inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and war crimes (murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlistment of children). Despite the arrest warrant, Joseph Kony hasn´t been arrested yet. The film is the business card of a campaign propelled by Invisible Children, a charity that seems convinced that Kony will fall when the world (the American public, mostly) gets to know about him. A hashtag will make all the difference: #Kony2012. Oops, I almost forgot: They ask for money as well. Continue reading “A bit of self-criticism in the critiques to #Kony2012, please”

Self Impact Assessment: A Comparative Analysis of Development and Human Rights Non Governmental Organizations

Author: Koldo Casla

Published in International Affairs Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2010


In the last few years, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have accepted the responsibility of assessing their own impact to determine what actions and policies positively affect people’s lives. Many organizations have developed tools and good practices in this regard. NGOs in the field of international development began this journey several years ago. However, human rights groups have been slower in the task. For example, Amnesty International formally adopted in 2008 the same impact assessment methodology (Dimensions of Change) that Save the Children has been working with since at least 2003. This paper follows the comparative method of “Most Similar Systems Design” (MSSD). It compares different outcomes across similar units. The paper begins with a short presentation of the debate regarding the necessary conditions for a successful NGO and impact assessment as a matter of accountability. The paper will also present the progressive intersections between development and human rights NGOs. Finally, it will explain why development organizations have advanced more than human rights organizations in the assessment of their own impact.

FULL ARTICLE available here.