Application of a Human Rights Based Approach: Approach, Results and Lessons Learned



Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation, SIDA, has applied a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) since 2003. It is a compulsory approach in Sweden’s development cooperation. The implementation has followed the UN Common Understanding and good international practice but is has also been a process of ‘learning by doing’. Tools have been developed and training for staff has been implemented. A recent evaluation shows that the application of a HRBA has led to a number of important results. Moreover, it emphasises that SIDA staff and implementing partners need better knowledge of the approach to be able to systematically apply it in a comprehensive way. 

In this webinar, SIDA's Lead Policy Specialist Democracy and Human Rights, Birgitta Weibahr, and Senior Programme Manager/Specialist, Charlotte Ståhl, will discuss SIDA's human rights based approach to development and the results of the recent evaluation, drawing insights for its future application.

Dr. Axel Marx

Deputy Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven

Axel Marx is Deputy Director Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven. The Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the KU Leuven (University of Leuven) The Centre was founded in 2007 and I have been involved as a research manager and senior researcher since its foundation. It was set up to promote, support and carry out high-quality international, innovative and interdisciplinary research on global governance. In addition to its fundamental research activities the Centre carries out independent applied research and offers innovative policy advice and solutions to policy-makers on multilateral governance and global public policy issues. Since 2010, the Centre has been recognized as a KU Leuven Centre of Excellence and since 2016 as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

He has managed over 50 funded research projects including multi-team and international FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects and acted as a consultant to several national and international organizations including  the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, International Labour Organization, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards, UNCTAD, OECD, IDEA, several national and regional governments and several private actors. His academic publications (200+) have appeared in five dozen leading international peer reviewed journals and 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Chinese). He recently developed a Massive Open Online Course on the Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Trade on the EdX-platform. As a guest lecturer he taught inter alia at European University Institute, China University of Political Science and Law and several European Universities. He is currently the co-chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards, a member of the Evidensia Research Council and a member of the steering committee of the ILO Labour Provisions in Trade Agreements Hub. His research interests include voluntary sustainability standards, sustainable development, human/labour rights, global governance, corporate social responsibility, governance through trade, EU trade policy and comparative case methods.

Université de Liège

Lead Policy Specialist Democracy and Human Rights, SIDA

Senior Programme Manager/Specialist, SIDA


Event Type: Webinar

Date: March 10, 2021

Venue/Location: Virtual