Child Rights-Based Approaches (Advanced Course)

26 April-11 July 2017 (E04217) | Registration starts in October
Instructor: Peter Dixon 

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

Participants will deepen their knowledge about project and programme development from a child rights perspective. They will learn how to apply the principles of children’s right to be heard, non-discrimination, and best interests, as well as about accountability to various phases of project planning and implementation. The course will focus on practical tools for child rights situation assessment, programme planning, implementation, child rights indicators, and monitoring and evaluation within the child rights-based conceptual framework.

Course structure

This certificate course involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructor, webinars and assignments, and is offered over an 11-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. The course instructor will provide individualised 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 completion. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Foundations: Introduction to the Core Concepts of Childhoods and a Human Rights-based Approach
Week 2: Children’s Rights Standards and Principles
Week 3: Child Rights Systems and Institutions
Week 4: Key Components and Principles of Child Rights Programming
Week 5:Child Participation – Children as Active Agents
Week 6: Child Rights Situation Analysis
Week 7: Programme Design and Implementation
Week 8: “Open Week”
Week 9: Child Rights Programming: Case Study
Week 10: Monitoring and Evaluaton
Week 11:Becoming a Child Rights-Focused Organisation

About the instructor: Peter Dixon

instructor photo_Peter DixonPeter Dixon has been an independent consultant and trainer on child rights and child rights programming since 2002 providing support and advice to national and international NGOs, and UN agencies in over 25 countries. Mr. Dixon has conducted numerous workshops on child protection and safeguarding, child rights situations analysis, child rights programming, human rights-based programming, and monitoring children’s rights and has been a lead author and contributor to the development of several internal and interagency child rights programming training and resource tools including Action for the Rights of the Child. From 1994 to 2002 Peter served as Country Programme Director for Save the Children in Sri Lanka and Nepal. He has been a trainer and course instructor for HREA since 2008, including for the e-learning courses Child Rights Situation Analysis and Child Safeguarding.

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff members of development and children’s rights/social justice organisations, including development NGOs and UN specialised agencies like UNICEF. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. It is assumed that applicants are familiar with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and with the basic concepts of programming (e.g. the programme cycle, including: situation analysis, setting priorities, implementation, monitoring and evaluation), and have a basic understanding of good practice in child advocacy or relief and development work. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 725 (after 1 February 2017: US$ 825); tuition for auditors: US$ 275 (US$ 350 after 1 February 2017). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank transfer (additional fee applies). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration opens in October 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.

Testimonials by course participants