The assignment from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) was to provide a broad overview of tools and methods used worldwide to measure and report in the area of democracy and human rights, and to advise Sida on tools and methods for its own use. The report includes an overview of 36 indicator approaches, including those used by NGOs, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Bank. The report also advises Sida on how the indicators identified can be used in the design and management of result-oriented country strategies in six priority Sida subsectors: institutions and defenders of the human rights system, freedom of expression, the legal sector, public administration, political institutions, and local democracy.
There are many different approaches as to which indicators to use and how to use them to measure progress in the field of democracy and human rights. The project, an assignment from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), aimed first to provide a broad overview of approaches to measuring (progress in) democracy and human rights and secondly to provide advice on which approaches might be suitable for Sida.
The project began with a process of mapping indicator approaches by generating a long-list of known indicator approaches in the field of democracy and human rights, according to:
The differences between various approaches were analysed in terms of context, what the indicators measure and what the reasons are for the approach applied, resulting in an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the indicator approaches for Sida's sub-sectors. For each sub-sector a limited number of indicators were listed, capturing the achievements and progress in the sub-sector which would constitute a (measurable) improvement in the human rights situation.
Throughout the project there were various meetings with Sida staff to present the findings of the mapping, to receive feedback on analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches for Sida's policies in the subsector fields and to look at how the indicators suggested for the subsectors could add value to measuring progress in the subsector fields.
The project resulted in a final report that mapped 36 indicator approaches in the field of democracy and human rights from sources all over the world: NGOs, think tanks, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Bank and multilateral and bilateral donors.
It also describes and analyses for each major approach the specific characteristics and the advantages and disadvantages in terms of geographical scope and data availability, user friendliness, relevance to Sida's subsectors and validity and credibility.
The report includes six matrices, one for each subsector, with subsidiary goals for the subsector, indicators for these subsidiary goals, a reference to relevant indicator approaches and references to additional data sources.
The report includes five technical annexes: a) long-list of indicator approaches, b) list of manuals, guides and methodology reports, c) indicator approaches grouped by Sida subsector, d) topical (human rights issue) and geographical coverage and e) overview of types of indicators.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of indicator approaches in the field of democracy and human rights, a categorisation of the indicator approaches, as well as an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the major indicator approaches.
The description of pros and cons gives guidance as to what use can be made of the various approaches in further developing indicators in the field of democracy and human rights.
The matrices provide practical examples of how indicators can be developed for specific policies, as required by Sida.
Indicators in the field of democracy and human rights: mapping of existing approaches and proposals in view of Sida’s policy (2009 - 2010)
In partnership with The Danish Institute for Human Rights