Jonsson, Urban (2010). "A Human Rights-Based Approach to Development and Development Programming Based on Capacity Development" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.
The relationships between human development and human rights are far from clear. In principle five possibilities exist (1) Human rights are a sub-set of human development: (2) Human development is a sub-set of human rights; (3) Human rights and human development are overlapping paradigms; (4) Human rights and human development are identical paradigms; and (5) Human rights and human development are totally different paradigms (incommensurable). Based on an analysis of the five options a conceptual framework for a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to development is presented in the paper. It is based on the fact that development, in whatever way it is defined, always requires the simultaneous achievement of a desirable outcome (e.g. a MDG) and the establishment of an adequate process to achieve and sustain that outcome. From a human rights perspective human rights standards can be seen as representing the minimum acceptable level of a desirable outcome, for example universal primary education, universal access to basic health services, social protection, and all MDGs, while human rights principles, including equality, participation, accountability etc., specify criteria for an acceptable process. Human rights standards and human rights principles taken together can thus contribute towards ensuring a sustainable development process leading to sustainable development outcomes. Using this conceptual framework a human rights-based approach to programming (HRBAP) is then constructed, reflecting the third recommendation of the UN Common Understanding on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation (2003), “Development cooperation should contribute to the development of capacities of ‘right-holders’ to claim their rights and of ‘duty-bearers’ to meet their obligations”. The proposed approach is therefore focusing on identifying claim-holders and duty-bearers, their capacity gaps and the intervention required to contribute to closing these gaps. Capacity is central to this approach and is defined in a broader sense, including responsibility/motivation/commitment; authority/power; access and control of economic. human and organisational resources; capability for rational decision-making and learning: and communication capability.