Monitoring and Evaluation for Human Rights Organizations: Three Case Studies

Published: January 2014

Type: Publication

This brief offers concrete examples of how to tackle the unique challenges of evaluating human rights work.


The promotion and protection of human rights around the world is driven by principles of transparency and accountability. These same principles drive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts. Yet, conceptual, capacity, and cultural barriers often discourage the use of M&E in human rights work.

These case studies profile the monitoring and evaluation efforts of three human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They are intended to support efforts within the human rights community to explore and tackle M&E challenges by providing concrete examples and transferable lessons about how to integrate M&E in useful ways. The cases emphasize both the methodologies used and the organizations’ efforts to build internal M&E capacity and support.

Cases include:

  1. The International Secretariat of Amnesty International‘s use of an internally developed impact monitoring framework, along with accompanying simple tools and processes, to plan activities and learn from campaigns.
  2. The International Commission of Jurists‘ adaptation of donor-mandated M&E requirements into useful, relevant, and internally operated systems.
  3. Crisis Action‘s systematic use of relatively easy-to-use M&E tools to support collaborative advocacy around conflict-related crises.

Organizations were candid about their M&E challenges and experiences. All three were motivated to participate by a desire to share learning with other human rights organizations and to contribute to the further development of useful evaluation practices.