What are monitoring and documentation?
Monitoring, documentation, and fact-finding are two closely interlinked activities:
- Monitoring is the close observation of a given situation in a country over a long period of time, to see whether human rights standards are met. It involves the repeated collection of information, and a sampling of representative data.
- Documentation is the process of systmatically recording these observations, so as to detect patterns and trends.
In our work advising human rights NGOs, we have come accross three frequent challenges:
- Methodology and design: NGOs have difficulty designing a sustainable monitoring project, choosing the right mix of approaches, methodologies and tools, that allows them to achieve their advocacy goals.
- Access to data: NGOs often have limited access to enough data to build a representative picture of the human rights situation, and need to find alternative methods such as focussing on deep qualitative data, leading to understanding causes and consequences, rather than a quantitative analysis.
- Information security: monitoring data is often sensitive and needs to be stored safely so as not put people (both those documented and documenting) at risk of harm from malevolent forces.
What are we doing?
Learn more, take action
- To start, read the two introductory HURIDOCS manuals: What is monitoring and What is documentation
- Consult the documents in our resource centre
- Read the Ukweli manuals to learn more about fact-finding methods.
- We also strongly recommend to read the online debate organised by our friends at New Tactics, called Documenting violations: choosing the right approach.
HURIDOCS has developed a series of tools which assist human rights organisations in doing professional and effective monitoring and documentation work, and in particular: