Received by e-mail:
From: Dignity International
Date: 28/07/2009

Dear Friends and Colleagues, We are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for our Annual Global Linking & Learning Programme – Human Rights-Based Development is now open. Please help circulate this announcement:  

  • WHAT? Annual Global Learning Programme on Human Rights-Based Development
  • WHEN? 1-10 December 2009
  • WHERE? Netherlands
  • WHO? Organisers: Dignity International in collaboration with the European Anti Poverty Network Support from: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and Oxfam-Novib
  • WHY? Human Rights-Based Development – Human rights provide a moral, authoritative and a legal framework to tackle root causes of poverty – the deep rooted structures of discrimination – the global processes of impoverishment. A human rights framework has the potential to deal with not only legal justice, the primary preoccupation of traditional human rights organisations, but also economic and social justice which is central to development work.

Realising this potential, many development actors – development organisations, donors and governments – are now actively integrating human rights into development planning. National governments are seeking to integrate human rights in poverty reduction strategies and increasing numbers of community based organisations are advocating for their basic human rights.

A human rights framework offers distinctive strengths and specific tools for development work. A human rights framework makes the human individual the owner of human rights and puts the human person at the centre of the development process. People are not viewed as passive subjects, but are able to participate in, actively contribute to and enjoy development. Basic human needs to live life in dignity (adequate housing, adequate levels of nutrition, access to education, access to healthcare, to livelihoods and employment opportunities) are no longer seen as demands for charity but as basic human rights to which everyone is entitled. This fundamental shift from charity/service delivery to human rights moves the poorest in our societies from a position of vulnerability to a position of strength, and therefore from a position of powerlessness to a position where they are empowered.

ANNUAL GLOBAL LINKING & LEARNING PROGRAMME: For the eighth consecutive year, Dignity is proud to invite applications to the Annual Global Linking and Learning Programme. This programme will build on the successes of the previous learning programmes on Human Rights-Based Development and on Economic Social and Cultural Rights organised by Dignity International with a range of national, regional and international partners. One key feature of the programme will be a field visit to expose participants to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel for themselves the struggles of people living in poverty or facing discrimination (traveller communities; asylum seekers/migrant workers). Human rights struggles are not theoretical or paper struggles but real struggles of real people affecting real lives. The field visits will be organised by the European Anti Poverty Network.

PROGRAMME CONTENTS: The Programme will take participants on a ten day intensive – enjoyable – learning journey that will equip the participants with knowledge of the key elements of human rights based development, and enhance skills for its practical application. Participants will see the unity between human rights and development and become more committed to the work ahead to achieve the unified human rights and development vision of human dignity for all.

After the programme, participants will:

1. Understand and apply the key elements of human rights-based development. More specifically, participants will be able to:

  • link specific development issues to international human rights;
  • understand the nature of human rights obligations of state and non state actors and be able to apply the knowledge gained to enhance human rights advocacy;
  • understand the importance of accountability, transparency and the right to information in human rights and be able to use accountability and redress mechanisms at different levels;
  • understand the fundamental principle of non-discrimination and how human rights can help tackle deep rooted structures of discrimination that perpetuate humiliation and poverty;
  • understand and appreciate participation as a human right and that realisation of human rights requires participation;
  • additionally, participants will be able to develop new ideas and skills to encourage meaningful participation of struggling communities in development work;
  • understand how human rights empower – steps that can be taken to encourage grassroots empowerment.

2. Understand and critically reflect on the deeply entrenched global processes of impoverishment as well as reflect and challenge present modes of campaigning.

3. Understand the difference between human rights and non human rights strategies and improve on/transform existing development strategies into human rights strategies.

4. Understand and apply human rights based development into the different stages of the programming cycle.

5. Put all the learning into practice through intensive group work on a real case study.

6. Develop strong solidarity with the communities visited as well as solidarity and friendship at a global level with other participants of the programme.

7. Increase commitment to human rights in professional work and in personal lives.


  • Development actors from grassroots, national and international development NGOs that are beginning to integrate human rights in development work are encouraged to apply. Applicants should be in key positions within their organisations and with solid experience and responsibility in a range of areas, including programming, community organizing, advocacy and campaigning. Priority will be given to potential multipliers. All applicants must be committed to attend the full duration of the programme and be able to work and communicate in English.
  • 20-25 participants who meet the above criteria will be chosen to participate. Programme organisers will take into account gender, and geographical balance as well as representation from diverse social backgrounds, diverse disciplines and covering a range development issues (education, food sovereignty, HIV/AIDS, etc). Dignity also reserves the right to invite some participants to the programme.


  • Dignity’s learning programmes are designed as a process of mutual learning, with the participants’ experience and realities as the starting point of the learning process. Active participation and in-depth reflection – individually, in groups and in plenary are the keys to the success of the programme.
  • The process is based on informal education and learner-centred methodologies. Therefore, the programme will be a mutual learning situation where participants can compare their approaches and concerns in a safe, intercultural context. The use of experiential methods and case studies strengthens the practical side of the programme.

FACILITATING TEAM: The facilitating team for this programme is composed of experienced facilitators with development and human rights experience at grassroots and international levels, and who possess the necessary and creative skills to facilitate an enjoyable learning process. It should be expected that the team will reflect gender balance and the cultural, political and geographical diversity.

PROGRAMME DATES & VENUE: The programme is a residential one. Selected participants are expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Monday 30 November 2009 and depart on Friday 11 December 2009.

WORKING LANGUAGE: The programme will be conducted in English.


  • All selected participants are requested to cover their own travel, board, lodging and other incidental expenses.
  • Participation Costs: The organisers will charge a participation fee of 1500 Euros. This amount will be paid to the organisers at the start of the programme. This amount will cover programme materials, hotel accommodation for 11 days, all meals and coffee breaks during the programme dates and programme related local transport in the Netherlands. The amount does not cover incidental expenses (phone, laundry etc).
  • Scholarships: Please note that no one will be excluded for financial reasons and that limited scholarships will be available for those with no alternative financial means to participate especially those from the developing countries or from grassroots development organisations.

Types of scholarships:

  • Category A: Participation Cost Waiver (to waive the participation cost of 1500 Euros)
  • Category B: Full scholarship – Participation Cost waiver + 80% of the cheapest available economy class plane ticket.


  • Please complete the application form and send it to Dignity International with a valid signature and a stamp from your organisation, community or group in support of your application. Twenty-five participants will be selected on the basis of the profile and the overall criteria outline above. Candidates will be informed about their application by the end of September. The organisers will, then, immediately start arrangements with the selected candidates.
  • Application Deadline: Monday, 31 August 2009.
  • Download the application Form from this website.

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