Understanding the Impact of Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children: A European Study

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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This article reports a study of the impact of independent human rights institutions for children, using methods drawn from critical realism and appreciative inquiry. A survey of member institutions of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children enquired into the contexts, mechanisms and outcomes of their work. The results showed wide variation in the situation, aims and methods of working of the institutions, along with some strong commonalities. The survey was followed by two in-depth case studies, to explore how staff and external stakeholders understood and evaluated the impact of their work. A conclusion was that the impact of such institutions has to be understood in a grounded way, and pre-designed general indicators are therefore of limited value. One product of the research is a template, developed collaboratively with the institutions, which can be used to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of their work.

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