Foreign aid to the justice sector (2000)
This report examines the factors that make aid programmes successful or not. Based on interviews with beneficiaries in four countries, it examines aid programmes to the justice sector. The information gathered suggests that such aid has facilitated constitutional development and legislative reforms, helped strengthen justice systems, and introduced human rights concepts to the public and into public institutions in societies where such notions were once seen as subversive. At the same time, badly conceived and implemented programmes have sheltered repressive regimes from scrutiny, wasted vital resources and distorted domestic institutions. Donors sometimes promote inappropriate models and put their foreign policy interests before human rights. They can be unreliable partners, subject to quick fixes and too much attention on “exit strategies”.
The report suggests that success depends on many factors, and makes recommendations that may be useful to both donors and beneficiaries looking for ways to strengthen the impact of human rights assistance.
Biographical affiliation was accurate when research took place.
David Petrasek, Research Director, ICHRP, 1998-2002. For more information on this project, please contact Fairouz El Tom, Outreach and Publications Coordinator, ICHRP.
Craig Mokhiber, wrote this report during a sabbatical from his post with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right. He is an international human rights lawyer who has extensive experience in the design and implementation of human rights assistance programmes. He has written several human rights manuals and handbooks for the UN and conducted human rights needs assessment, advisory, and training missions for the UN in many countries. From 1996-1998 he was Legal Advisor to the UN Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, where one of his chief tasks involved coordinating human rights assistance to the Palestinian National Authority. Prior to joining the United Nations, he worked as an attorney at the New York Bar and as an activist with a number of non-governmental organisations.
Niels Dabelstein, Head, Evaluation Secretariat, DANIDA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
Patricia Feeney, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam.
Marcia Kran, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of British Columbia.
Daniel Ravindran, founder, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia).
Justice E. M. Singini, Judge, High Court of Malawi.
Renate Weber, Co-President, Romanian Helsinki Committee, and Director, Open Society Institute in Romania.
Frank Frank La Rue, founder and Executive Director, Centre for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH).
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“It is extremely interesting and challenges us to think about our programmes in a holistic way.” Mary Ndlovu , Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe
“The report is excellent. I only hope that donors and beneficiaries alike will pay close attention to it.” Rick Messick, World Bank