21. ON MORALITY, FREEDOM, CHOICES, JUSTICE AND THE NEED FOR PEOPLE’S POWER. »

In development work, living without a cause is living without a reason to be.As opposed to those who do not, those of us who have choices ought to have morals.

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22. VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY THE CHILEAN WRITER ISABEL ALLENDE. »

Some of us have for too long lived surrounded by four walls, in an immutable environment, where time rolls in circles and the line of the horizon where we are heading to in our work is barely perceptible. We have grown up professionally inside an impenetrable armor of good manners and conventionality.

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23. ON STATISTICS.* »

Statistics create subjects; they tell stories and shape cultures. Over the past five decades, development practitioners have prided themselves on successfully creating more sophisticated ways to measure and compare. Statistics have become crucial, if not the most crucial of, development tools.

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24. FOOD FOR NGO’S DEEP THOUGHTS. »

In the 2001 World Development Report devoted to poverty, it is stated that there are limits to a micro-level approach to poverty, and a macro-level approach is advocated for.

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25. FOOD FOR DONORS DEEP THOUGHTS »

It should be clearer to many of you by now that focusing on sustainable poverty alleviation is inseparable from bringing about greater respect of Human Rights and greater equity.

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26. CAVEAT EMPTOR: A PARTICIPATORY APPROACH IS NOT A HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH! »

Beware: The fashion is out. Everybody wants to jump into the bandwagon of Human Rights. It is coming to our attention that to be ‘up to the times’ a number of donors and NGOs are telling us that their programs have incorporated participatory approaches to their development, health and nutrition programs.

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27. DEVELOPMENT AND RIGHTS: THE UNDENIABLE NEXUS. »

For this issue of the Reader, I find it fitting to excerpt and adapt from Mary Robinson’s (High Commissioner of Human Rights’s) statement to the Copenhagen Plus Five meeting in Geneva in June 2000.

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28. ON THE ROLE OF THE STATE, THE UN AND CIVIL SOCIETY. »

A country becomes State Party to a convention or covenant once it has ratified it. The same is then binding and the state is obliged to take what are considered appropriate steps. As the duty bearer, the state is now considered to have a contractual relationship with the rights holders.

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29. ON VULNERABILITY, ACCESS AND DISCRIMINATION »

Is there sufficient attention being paid to the most vulnerable groups? Is there equal access to services?

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30. POTPURRI »

The key question is: Who gets to do these needed analyses and who the calling to account? It sometimes sounds much too much as if it is some outside authority who is going to do these things for us and, ‘with a lightning bolt call the sinners to account’.

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