Resources on Effective Development Cooperation
A New report reveals development partnerships for SDGs still weak in human rights-based approaches
Manila, 9 March 2018 – Development cooperation actors must ensure human rights-based approaches (HRBA) particularly in working to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or programmes and projects risk resulting to have grave and consequences including the loss of shelter, hindrances to livelihood opportunities, and health hazards, according to the latest report of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and Ibon Institute for International Development.
The report is a collection of critical papers written by 14 member organizations of CPDE. In their contributions, our members have analyzed how human rights are upheld or disregarded in policies, practices as seen in various projects and multistakeholder partnerships (MSPs).
Due to the increased levels of resources needed to foot the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda calls for a “revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. Specifically, SDG 17 calls for governments and stakeholders to revitalise this Global Partnership through development cooperation, mobilizing finance, technology, capacity building, open trade and policy coherence. MSPs will be critical in rallying these resources until 2030.
This research, however, revealed that lack of meaningful civil society participation in MSPs and the dearth of effective redress mechanisms to ensure the accountability of duty-bearers to rights-holders.
Only eight donor-countries account for 78% aid allocated to human rights purposes and 71% allocated to participation and civil society indicating poor support of donors for HRBA. The current flows of resources are not particularly helpful in a situation where half of the world’s population live in countries that have not ratified conventions granting human rights such as the freedom of association or the right to organize.
Although advocated for in statements of the United Nations and most particularly in the Agenda 2030, only a few countries –regardless of whether they are donors or recipients of aid– are known to implement HRBAs in their development policies.
The report also shows why the traditional approach to development partnerships is failing to bridge the gap in development between the rich and the poor and how adopting an HRBA is the only way forward to achieving effective development cooperation. From Latin America to Africa and South-East Asia, including global bodies on development cooperation, this in-depth research features studies on a number of development areas characterized by the absence or presence of HRBA and how this affects the project outcomes, with a particular focus on communities directly affected by these activities.
HRBA represents a paradigm shift crucial in achieving the SDGs as it affirms the agency of the poor and marginalized people to chart their own destiny by empowering them as rights-holders instead of beneficiaries of charity.
In summary, the report presents the following policy recommendations to reinforce rights-based partnerships for sustainable development:
Analyse human rights in the context of power relations
Empower rights-holders, especially women and the most marginalized, and the most marginalized, by fully respecting their right to organize.
Institutionalise participation of rights-holders at all levels of governance
Allow local actors to take the lead in defining priorities and strategies for the development agenda
Build the capacity of duty-bearers to fulfill human rights
Enhance transparency of development partnerships
Conduct rights-based audits
Improve the accountability of duty-bearers by strengthening a range of mechanisms