Document Type: Policy Makers Tools

Three Tools for the Evaluability of Public Policies for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

13 August 2021

Three Tools for the Evaluability of Public Policies for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Framed by the research that is carried out in different countries, Protection International has been designing conceptual and practical tools to better monitor, analyse and promote best practices for public policies that protect the right to defend the human rights and human rights defenders.
Although protection policies have been expanded in several countries, there is still very little certainty about what key state actions should be. Although there are some studies critical of protection programs and policies, the existing protection policies have not been subjected to impact evaluations that reveal both the gaps in the design and the bottlenecks in the implementation. There is also a lack in continual learning for the improvement of the policy’s quality of implementation, nor are there many exchances between countries or programs that work towards increasing accountability.

PI has been working to fill that gap. Based on the research carried out by PI and byobserving certain cases monitored in various countries of operation, it can be noted that, before evaluating any complex intervention, it is necessary to carry out an evaluability analysis to determine “the degree to which a program or policy can be credibly and reliably evaluated.”

That is why we have designed three practical and relatively simple tools, which serve as the initial steps for analysing and obtaining credible and useful technical data.With these tools, it will be possible to address the evaluability of policies and programs for the protection of the right to defend human rights and the human rights defenders, and they are applicable to countries where these types of mechanisms exist:

Tool 1: A questionnaire for characterising (based on the ‘wicked problems’ approach) the complex problem that the policy or programme is to address—the protection of the right to defend human rights and of HRDs themselves—which is likely to require complex intervention given all that it implies.

Tool 2: A questionnaire for performing an evaluability assessment of the public policy for protection, which comprises two parts:
the evaluability criteria in relation to the design of a public programme or policy;
the evaluability criteria in relation to the evaluation of a public programme or policy.

Tool 3: A guide for reconstructing and assessing the (explicit or underlying) hypotheses and theories of change of a programme or public policy for the protection of the right to defend human rights.

The production of these tools was carried out by the Policies, Research and Training Unit (PRTU) and the Protection International team in Colombia, in coordination with FOCUS: The Observatory on Public Policies for Human Rights Defenders, and through the support of the German Foreign Office. On November 2021, the tools were presented in Colombia before national institutions, international organizations, Colombian human rights platforms, grassroots organizations and embassies.
We invite all people and organizations to get to know, utilise and apply these tools. Please note that Protection International is available to accompany and carry out this necessary analysis in the various regional, national and international contexts.

Download the document “The evaluability of public policies to guarantee the right to defend human rights and the protection of defenders” which contains the three tools in Spanish, English and French.

You can also find two documents in Spanish that correspond with the application of the three tools in the Colombian context:

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