Reinventing Development?: Translating Rights-based Approaches from Theory into Practice

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9781842776490: Reinventing Development?: Translating Rights-based Approaches from Theory into Practice
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The recognition that the persistence of poverty is closely linked to the denial of human rights has propelled rights-based approaches into the policy and practice of many development NGOs, UN bodies and aid agencies. This book presents the practical experiences of development practitioners who have tried to apply a rights-based approach in their work. Its aim is to increase understanding of the approach by drawing on bottom-up insights, and to identify what difference a rights-based approach makes in practice. What is the 'value added' of a rights-based approach? What difficulties and tensions arise? The case-studies span development, humanitarian relief and conflict resolution. The book concludes that there is potential not only for human rights to reinvent development, but for development to reinvent human rights.

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Review:

'A timely and important contribution to the rights and development literature. While shunning pretences at easy answers, this book frames the issues coherently and articulately, based on practitioners' own experiences, against an engaging account of the philosophical underpinnings and history of human rights and rights-based approaches. The result is a critical and nuanced analysis that will appeal to practitioners, academics and policy-makers alike.' Mac Darrow, Human Rights Strengthening (HURIST) programme, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 'At last a book that digs deeply into what it means in practice for humanitarian and development agencies to adopt a political philosophy of rights as they respond to people suffering from poverty, war and disaster. The case studies are clear and revealing. The advantages and the risks of a rights-based approach are openly discussed.' Hugo Slim, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Geneva

About the Author:

Paul Gready is a senior lecturer in human rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. His publications include the edited volume Fighting for Human Rights (Routledge, 2004). Jonathan Ensor is a former lecturer in engineering with a doctorate from the University of York who now works for the Immigration Advisory Service. The contributors are development practitioners and researchers.

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