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Assisting our members with capacity assessments

Graphic: Kabul, Afghanistan

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The Capacity Assessment Project is an APF initiative to build strong and effective National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

It supports our members to identify the capacities they have and those they need to develop in order to fulfil their mandate to promote and protect rights at the national level.

It is a joint project of the APF, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

"Overwhelmingly, the experience has been increased morale, increased cohesion and a strong sense of commitment to improving the capacity and the effectiveness of the institution."

Chris Sidoti, APF NHRI Expert Consultant

Each capacity assessment is based on a self-assessment process that draws on the expertise and insights of those within the NHRI, including Commissioners and all staff.

It is a forward-looking process that identifies both the current capacities of the NHRI and those that need to be developed or strengthened over the following five year period.

The report following each capacity assessment proposes strategies to strengthen the NHRI as a whole, to develop the capacities of staff individually and collectively, and to make the internal processes of the NHRI more effective and more efficient.

Feedback from our members and other NHRIs in the region has been positive and constructive. They say the process has led to significant changes within their NHRIs, often with additional financial and other support from governments and international donors.

Capacity assessments and capacity assessment reviews have been conducted with the NHRIs of Kazakhstan (2023), Turkmenistan (2022), Bahrain (2021, review), Fiji (2020), Timor Leste (2020, review), India (2018), Myanmar (2018), Uzbekistan (2018), Philippines (2018, review), Samoa (2018, review), Maldives (2018, review), Indonesia (2018, review), Pakistan (2018), Malaysia (2017, review), Bahrain (2017), Bangladesh (2017, review), Sri Lanka (2015, review), Timor Leste (2015), Indonesia (2014), Oman (2014), Bangladesh (2013), Nepal (2013), Philippines (2012), New Zealand (2012), Australia (2012), Sri Lanka (2012), Mongolia (2011), Afghanistan (2011), Palestine (2011), Jordan (2010), Thailand (2010), Maldives (2009) and Malaysia (2008).

Graphic: Commissioners and staff of the Australian Human Rights Commission

Capacity Assessment Manual for National Human Rights Institutions

Outlines the key elements and steps to conduct an effective capacity assessment of NHRIs (updated October 2019)

Image credits

  1. Kabul, Afghanistan - Farin Sadiq on Shutterstock