Over the course of the 1990s governments, policy makers, NGOs and practitioners concerned with poverty alleviation increasingly sought to integrate rights into their practice in a broad range of contexts and countries. The term 'rights based development' was coined to describe these efforts. Development agencies such as the UN and the World Bank, along with many NGOs and governments, have sought to promote a common understanding of what rights-based priorities entailed for their work. However there is still limited understanding of how such approaches are being worked out in practice and how they are understood in different socio-cultural contexts. This book examines the ways that rights-based strategies have been understood in development practice in Latin America. It is based on research carried out with NGOs working with women and indigenous people in Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua and Bolivia, the latter three being among the poorest countries in the region. Rights-based development work has involved combining ideas of citizenship, democracy, participation and empowerment in novel ways.
Doing the Rights Thing will contribute to the creation of a fuller understanding of this new approach to development and reveal the potential that it offers in ongoing efforts to secure more equitable as well as more effective and inclusionary development outcomes.