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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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20. ON DEVELOPMENT, THE REAL WORLD, POWER GAMES AND THE UGLY FACES OF GREED »

Words no longer make much of an impression on many of us. You can take what follows any way you please: as a 'cri du coeur', as a lament or as an ode to hope. I look at it as one way to come closer to the truth about what I do. I will admit to one feeling though -- a faint feeling of anger; I foster it because it keeps me warm.

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19. HEALTH SECTOR REFORM AND THE UNMET NEEDS OF THE POOR: A CRITIQUE »

I have been re-reading some of the Health Sector Reform (HSR) and health and poverty literature. I have been amazed by the ambiguity, lack of clarity and of a sense of direction, and even some misconceptions I have found in an otherwise serious literature.

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