Applying a HRBA to Developing Cooperation and Programming (UNDP, 2006)


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edit  ·  Toolkit Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to Water Governance
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Detailed documentation: Background | Regional aspects | Regional Programme | Methodology
PHASE 1: Checklist (Bosnia and Herzegovina | Georgia | Moldova | Tajikistan | Turkey | Ukraine)
PHASE 2: Country Sector Assessments and Proposed Projects (Bosnia and Herzegovina | Tajikistan | Kosovo | Serbia) | Bibliography

Legal Framework: The Rights to Water and Sanitation in International Law | Regional Law | National Law
WaterWiki-resources:Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook for Activists | UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Water and Sanitation | UN Recognises Access to Clean Water as a Basic Human Right | Human Rights-Based Approach | Applying a HRBA to Water:A Case Study | Water-related Legislation and Conventions | The Right to Water - WHO Publication | A UN Convention on the Right to Water - An Idea Whose Time Has Come | International Conference on the Right to Water and Sanitation in Theory and Practice | Q&A: The Right to Water | General Comment 15 (2002) | Q&A: Water Governance | Water and Health | Equitable Access to Water and Human Rights | European Union Water Framework Directive | Essay: What exactly is “The Right to Water”? | Protocol on Water and Health | Protocol on Water and Health/Q&A | Lessons Learned From Rights-Based Approaches in the Asia-Pacific Region | Human Rights-Based Approach Strategies adopted by UNICEF Laos | Utility Privatisation through the Lens of Human Rights | The Right to Water - From Concept to Implementation | The Human Right to Water:Translating Theory into Practice | Report of the Seminar on Human Rights and MDGs, May 2009
External resources: HRBA and Water Governance Fast Facts - UNDP | Applying a HRBA to Developing Cooperation and Programming (UNDP, 2006) | COHRE Manual on the Right to Water and Sanitation | Protocol on Water and Health - Full Document) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | Sub-commission guidelines for the realisation of the right to drinking water and sanitation (2005) | UNFPA - A HRBA to Programming, Practical Implementation Manual and Training Materials (2010) | Operational Guidelines for Implementing a Rights-Based Approach in Water and Sanitation Programming (CoHRE,2008) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | FAQs on a HRBA to Development Cooperation | The Human Rights-Based Approach to Development - The Right to Water | UN Independent Expert Report on the issue of human rights obligations related to water and sanitation 2009 | UN Independent Expert Report on MDGs and right to water and sanitation 2010
Websites: The Rights to Water and Sanitation Information Portal | UN Independent Expert on Right to Water and Sanitation Webpage

Publication Title

Applying a HRBA to Developing Cooperation and Programming

Publication Type

UNDP Capacity Development Resource


Publication Date



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The recognition of human rights as the ground rules for development and development programming stems from the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, the first and second UN Reform programmes of the UN Secretary-General, and the Millennium Summit of 2000. Its culmination has been found in the 2005 World Summit Outcome document, in which Member States unequivocally and unanimously stress their support for the further mainstreaming of human rights throughout the United Nations system. As stated in the document, “We resolve to integrate the promotion and protection of human rights into national policies and to support the further mainstreaming of human rights throughout the United Nations system, as well as closer cooperation between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and all relevant United Nations bodies.”

The 2005 World Summit Outcome highlights the fundamental nature of human rights by stressing that peace and security, development and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. In the context of the Outcome Document, human rights are intrinsically linked to all the major issues on the agenda of the United Nations: development, peace and collective security, democracy, terrorism, domestic resource mobilization, migration, the special needs of Africa, transnational crime, human security, and other issues.

Applying a human rights-based approach to development will enable UNDP, the UN system, and its partners to enhance the effectiveness of their work through a focus on equality and nondiscrimination, accountability, justice, and transparency as the core of human development results. In this context, this Guide comes as a response to the need identified by UNDP for an applications-based resource on human rights and human development (HD). The content relates to the different UNDP practice areas and promotes an approach that is easily adaptable to particular regional and national settings, drawing upon the experiences, challenges and opportunities of the UNDP Regional Bureaux and Centres. The Guide, therefore, seeks to assist UNDP staff and other development practitioners in the practical application of a human rights-based approach to development policy and programmes.

Conceptually, the Guide is framed by the United Nations Common Understanding on a Human Rightsbased Approach (HRBA) to Development Cooperation2 and seeks to enhance the capacity of UNDP staff to effectively adopt and implement the Common Understanding in the tasks that they are called upon to perform in their day-to-day work.

As far as the tasks relating to the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) are concerned, the Guide draws upon and seeks to complement existing United Nations Development Group/United Nations Executive Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (UNDG/UNECHA) initiatives developed within the UN Action 2 realm. The primary focus is on UNDP’s policy and programme contribution within this larger process.

This Guide seeks to illustrate how human rights standards and principles should relate to UNDP engagement on the development agenda at country level, and influence advocacy, policy and programming initiatives, in all phases of the development planning and implementation process. It provides guidance and not instruction, and gives an overview that may be adapted to particular country needs. The given sections/modules can be used together or separately, according to local need. UNDP staff may use these guidelines with state and non-state actors and partners on the national and local level toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Thus, depending on the specific context, an HRBA will be designed and implemented accordingly.

A significant change is taking place in the international development community, reflected in relationships between governments and donor agencies, and in ways that development programmes are funded, implemented and managed. This Guide identifies the ways in which the HRBA adds value and links into this changing context. UNDP must proactively take this UN-initiated process forward and facilitate the process of recognizing and acting upon its implications. It would not only be the right thing to do, but also the most effective thing to do in order to achieve concrete development outcomes for all and not just a few.


See also


External Resources


 Applying HRBA To Development Programming.pdf

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