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Course 5E04: Rights-Based Programming
22 March-30 May 2004

Instructor: Predrag Zivkovic

This distance learning course introduces staff members of (international) development agencies and NGOs to rights-based programming. A human rights-based approach is a conceptual framework for the process of human development that is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights. Essentially, a human rights-based approach integrates the norms, standards and principles of the international human rights system into the plans, policies and processes of programme development.

Participants will deepen their knowledge about project and programme development from a human rights framework and learn how to apply the principles of equity, empowerment, participation and accountability to various phases of project planning and implementation. Participants will also gain sensitivity to how programs can integrate non-discriminatory practice and give attention to vulnerable groups. The course will focus on practical tools for human rights situation assessment, programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation within the rights-based conceptual framework.

The course involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructors/facilitators and assignments, and is offered over a 10-week period, beginning on 22 March 2004. E-mail will be the main medium for the course, although participants will need to have periodic access to the Web (part of the readings/assignment will be distributed via CD-ROM). The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning. Course facilitator will provide individualized feedback where appropriate. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to be an auditor of the course.

Course outline

Weeks 1-3: Introduction
Week 1. The Human Rights Framework
Week 2 Overview of Programming Phases
Week 3. Key Elements of Rights-Based Programming

Weeks 4-7: Elements of Rights-based Programming
Week 4. Situation Assessment and Rights-Based Programming
Week 5. Program Design and Rights-Based Programming
Week 6. Program Implementation and Rights-Based Programming
Week 7. Accountability and Rights-Based Programming (Monitoring and Evaluation)

Weeks 8-10: Examples of Rights-based Programming
Week 8. Analysis of Rights-Based Programming: Example 1
Week 9. Analysis of Rights-Based Programming: Example 2
Week 10. Rights-Based Programming and the Future of Human Development Work

About the instructor/facilitator

Predrag Zivkovic works as Human Rights Officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the area of capacity development for human rights protection and promotion. Prior to joining the United Nations he worked with human rights and development NGOs. He studied philosophy, social anthropology and international human rights law at the universities of Zagreb, London and Essex.

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff members of development and human rights/social justice organisations. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


The course tuition fee is € 525 (tuition for auditors is € 200). A limited number of scholarships is available for applicants from Africa, Middle East, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe/Newly Independent States, Latin America/Caribbean.


The deadline for applications wass 23 February 2004. We are no longer accepting applications. This course will be offered again in 2006.

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