This EU-wide research project identified all the equality bodies set up under the Race and Gender Equality Directives in the EU Member States and the three EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. A qualitative and quantitative comparative analysis was undertaken of all the bodies identified, including overviews of competences, independence, resources and visibility. The conclusions and recommendations to the Commission, Member States and equality bodies themselves provide advice on how equality bodies can improve their effectiveness and efficiency and realise their potential.

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The assignment was to assess the level of coherence between the Embassy’s human rights project portfolio, which included rule of law and preservation of Tibetan culture projects, with the priorities of the bilateral human rights policy and EU policy. Furthermore, advice was required on the effectiveness and efficiency of the deployment of people and resources in managing the project portfolio. The assessment resulted in recommendations on how to streamline the portfolio and how to improve the system related to project proposal reviews, appraisal and project management.

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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. 

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The project involved the production of reports and studies on legal issues around the promotion and protection of fundamental rights in the European Union on the request of the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights. Human European Consultancy was charged with reporting from an EU/international perspective, as well as from a comparative perspective and on the EU Member States (except Germany, Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia). During the project’s lifetime reports on more than 11 different topics were prepared for the EU Member States and at EU/ international level.

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The assignment entailed provision of expertise to the Embassy of the Netherlands in Sudan on monitoring the implementation by Dutch and Sudanese partners of various projects relating to the rule of law. The topic of the projects monitored was the provision of training in international law to Sudanese judges and prosecutors, Ministry of Justice staff and diplomats and Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff.

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About our projects

Multi-annual & multi-country EU-wide networks

A major strand of our work in the field of non-discrimination and equality is the multi-annual and multi-country EU-wide networks, established and coordinated by Human European Consultancy for the European Commission. These are the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), managed with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, and the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination law, managed with the Migration Policy Group and the University of Utrecht. Over the years, these networks have continually produced ground-breaking national, comparative, synthesis and thematic reports.


Our research is geared to providing policy-relevant and evidence-based information and analysis that supports respect for and protection of internationally recognised human rights. For example, for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) we have conducted research on access to justice in discrimination cases in the EU and undertaken a study of data collection on the social situation of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. Through FRA’s research network, FRALEX, we provided reports at the international and EU level and for more than 20 EU Member States on a wide range of topics, such as child trafficking, homophobia, data protection and national human rights institutions. Within the framework of the FRALEX successor, FRANET, we have produced reports on the principle of non-refoulement (prohibition on returning refugees to persecution) and on the social inclusion of migrants. For the European Commission we have analysed and assessed the establishment of equality bodies in the EU Member States and EFTA countries. We have also carried out a mapping project on the legal and policy framework for anti-discrimination in Turkey and the Western Balkans. In addition, we have conducted extensive research on the feasibility of harmonisation within the EU of legislation combating violence against women and children and violence based on sexual orientation.

Training and awareness-raising

Our evidence-based analysis and advice, together with target-group-specific approaches, are the key elements of our training and awareness-raising projects. For the European Commission we have organised good practice exchange seminars on all discrimination grounds for representatives of the governments of the EU Member States. We have also run anti-discrimination and diversity training for NGOs and trade unions. These were later followed by awareness-raising seminars in the area of non-discrimination and equality, targeted at civil society organisations in general.

Impact assessment and indicator development

Donors require evaluations to assess the impact of the projects they fund. Evaluations we have undertaken include projects funded within the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, a global review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights technical cooperation programme and various evaluations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In addition to the evaluations themselves, we contribute to the development of methodology for evaluations, such as developing indicator approaches and frameworks. Examples include outcome indicators for human rights interventions for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dutch organisation Cordaid. More recently we supported FRA in developing statistical outcome indicators for Article 19 CRPD (on independent living).

Our office

Wilhelminapark 61
3581 NP Utrecht 
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 232 64 30

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