Thematic Review with Danish Institute for Human Rights

National Human Rights Institutions are recognised globally as critical partners in the protection and promotion of human rights”  

– Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights 2005  

In 2009, IHRN was commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to lead the Thematic Review of the overseas work of the Danish National Human Rights Institution, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).

This Thematic Review took place as part of the MFA-DIHR multi-annual co-operation agreement in support of the DIHR’s international programmes. Reviews are commissioned at intervals of four years, and intended to form the basis of the following multi-annual framework dialogue between MFA and DIHR.

The Institute works to promote the fulfillment of human rights in relation to a wide range of target groups and institutions, including parliaments, the civil service, courts, research institutions, educational systems, national human rights institutions, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and the business community, nationally and at global level.

In the on-going dialogue with the Institute, it was decided to carry out a review during spring and summer 2009 to follow up on the discussions on focusing activities, developing indicators and documenting results in the international development work etc. There was also a desire to look specifically at the Institute’s interventions and activities in view of aid effectiveness principles.

Working with colleagues from Nordic Consulting Group (NCG), the objectives of the review were to further optimize the efforts carried out by DIHR to promote and protect human rights in developing countries. In support of the Institute's process of organisational consolidation - and organisational learning from its experience, the immediate objectives were to:

1) Analyse and assess efforts by DIHR to achieve a further thematic and geographic focusing of activities financed by funds from MFA including assessment of the relationship between geographic and thematic focusing.

2) Analyse and assess efforts carried out to apply a regional approach.

3) Analyse and assess comparative advantages, capacities and achieved results of DIHR in the areas chosen as strategic priorities (freedoms and participation; access to justice and equal treatment; the rule of law; human rights and business).

4) Analyse and assess how DIHR applies the aid effectiveness principles on alignment, harmonization, ownership, donor coordination and management by results in activities in developing countries.

5) On the basis of the findings and assessments provide targeted recommendations with a view to optimize efforts carried out by DIHR to promote and protect human rights in developing countries.