The evaluation aimed to assess whether and how financing human rights projects contributes to achieving the overall human rights policy goals in Dutch relations with other countries. Human rights projects in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were reviewed through desk studies and missions to these countries. The assessments and missions for Kazakhstan, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were carried out by Human European Consultancy.
The main aim of the project was to assess the contribution made by funding human rights projects to the implementation of the 2007 Human Rights Strategy, "Human Dignity for All", in terms of Dutch foreign policy.
Human rights projects in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were reviewed through desk studies and missions to these countries.
The evaluations focused on:
Human European Consultancy carried out the desk studies, assessments and missions for Kazakhstan, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs carried out an overall desk study and the mission to Nigeria and wrote the synthesis report for the project.
Prior to the missions, detailed terms of reference and a reporting format were developed by the Human European Consultancy project team and detailed project evaluation reporting formats were designed in close cooperation with the IOB. Project assessment reports for each project were attached to the country reports. The Human European Consultancy project leader also contributed to the writing of the synthesis report.
The reports from the missions to the countries included in the evaluation were working documents for the IOB, informing the synthesis report, and are therefore not publicly available.
The synthesis report is available here.
The terms of reference and the letter with which the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent the report to the Dutch Parliament on 15 February 2013, including the main findings of the study, can be found here (in Dutch).
The support for human rights projects has contributed to achieving the goals of the 2007 Dutch Human Rights Strategy 2007, "Human Dignity for All". Specific results were identified that contributed to the protection of human rights defenders, improved respect for the rights of women and LGBT people, ensured freedom from torture and led to improvements in freedom of expression.
Moreover, the Netherlands can be seen to play a prominent and often leading role on human rights issues, both in the context of the EU and bilaterally. A coherence was found between political efforts to promote and protect human rights through diplomacy and the support given to human rights projects. In some cases it could be demonstrated that political efforts enhanced the effectiveness of projects.
Issues for improvement identified during the evaluation included the sustainability of project outcomes. Often projects included no arrangements for follow-up or for using the project outcomes after the end of the project. In addition, the technical quality of project proposals needs improvement, especially the description of results that a project wants to achieve, need improvement.
Evaluation of Dutch support to human rights projects 2008-2011 (2011 - 2012)
Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, the Palestinian Territories, Zimbabwe