9 OECD Journal on Development, Volume 9 Issue 2

Measuring Human Rights and Democratic Governance: Experiences and Lessons from Metagora

image of OECD Journal on Development, Volume 9 Issue 2
On the occasion of the 60 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this special issue of the OECD Journal on Development focuses on robust methods and tools for assessing human rights, democracy and governance. These findings of the Metagora project formulate a response to these questions.

Metagora is the first international project on measuring human rights and democratic governance to undertake several pilot experiences in different regions of the world in an interactive fashion. This publication presents key results, policy relevance and methodological implications of these experiences. It illustrates the feasibility and usefulness of measuring human rights and democratic governance with combined quantitative and qualitative approaches. It provides decision makers, policy actors, analysts and civil society with first-hand materials and selected examples on how statistics and indicators can be created and used in this field.

This publication also presents a wealth of global lessons from the Metagora experiences. These include the need for involving a wide range of institutions and actors -- such as human rights institutions, research centres, national statistical offices and civil society organisations -- in the measurement and assessment processes. Metagora’s findings and lessons constitute a substantive and innovative contribution which usefully complements ongoing work by leading international organisations on governance and human rights indicators.

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Human Rights and Democracy Dimensions of Land Reform in South Africa

Metagora’s pilot experience on land reform in South Africa is a case study for measuring the realisation of democracy and human rights in a complex practical context. This pilot designed and tested a survey methodology to take into account the varied nature of the South African land question, as well as the relevant but diverging views of a range of stakeholders. It addressed the particular needs of policy makers and civil society for evidence-based information on citizens’ differing experiences, perceptions, attitudes and aspirations around land.The likely policy impact of this approach was to contribute with evidence-based information and analysis to the development of a land reform policy based on principles, standards and people’s expectations of democracy, realisation of human rights and good governance.

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