Tracking progress on Human Rights and Policy-Making status

by Jul 24, 2019

Ever since I evaluated a UN agency 5-years Country Programme for the first time and I realized how many factors are at play in order to make progress in Human Righst fulfillment, I had this idea that it would be great to have an overview of the status of all those elements / steps / conditions / drivers at once. First to better understand the situation, but also to track progress over time and to allow compairisons accross countries.

The UNICEF MoRES determinants framework (UNICEF, Briefing Note: Enhanced Programming and Results through Monitoring Results for Equity Systems (MoRES), 2013) has been a useful reference for me to understand and articulate those elements. According to it, root causes of bottlenecks (and programmes to address them) can be classified in 4 areas: Enabling Environment (elements that affect the rights and services), Suply (services provided by the country to facilitate the rights fulfillment), Demand (populations’ initiatives to demand and exercise those services and rights), and Quality (the standards and quality of those services).

So let’s imagine the organization has three main Outcomes they are working to achieve globally (in the example, the three Transformative Results of UNPFA). In that case, Country Programme Evaluations could systematically include a standarized rubric-based dashboard like this, that could allow tracking progress across time, by country, region and globally:

This dashboard allows to have a quick overview of the situation of the different determinants regarding each of the results. Icons represent whether the status of the determinant is favorable/sufficient/”good” (green), or partially achieved (yellow), or far from being considered as achieved (red). Besides, each element could include a “trend” icon too so it is shown if the element is improving or in ways of improving (arrow pointing up), the issue is not evolving much (arrow pointing right) or if there are regressions and the situation is getting worse due to social, political or economic reasons (arrow pointing down).

Regarding this, as pointed out by Batliwala and Pittman (“Capturing change in Women’s Realities“, AWID, 2010), in occassions advocacy efforts (raising relevant voices to promote better fulfillment of human rights) can produce regressions due to resistance to change that make the situation worsen as a result. The dashboard should also allow to show these regressions as partial achievements, instead of penalizing the organization’s contributions.

In case this version is too high level, each of the outcomes could be broken-down into intermediate outcomes (in this case, the columns include key issues within Outcome 2), and each of the 10 MoRES determinants can be further broken down into intermediate steps or achievements (rows defined in the second column):

In order to compare progress about the same issue accross different countries in the same region or by some other criteria, the dashboard could look like this:

These are different formats for displaying similar information:

I acknowledge these ideas may be simplistic/reductionist and not succeeding in capturing the complexity behind this type of issues, but at the same time, evaluations of country programmes often leave me thinking “So how are they doing? Progress made led them where – in their efforts to improve each of these important questions…?”. I miss those deep and wide evaluations to have a more transparent, straight-forward way to communicate how the situation is in the country…

So as usual, hoping this is somehow useful – and to be back to more regular posting soon. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

New posts coming up:

(published every two weeks-ish 🙂 )

  • ToCs series
  • Visual summary of impact designs
  • Visual summaries of other criteria designs
  • Ideas to make Bibliographies more informative
  • Ways of mapping beneficiaries
  • My favorite pre-attentive features
  • Ideas for reports (series)
  • Some day: iterations with the Periodic Table of Evaluation

And more!

Stay tuned! 🙂

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