Operationalizing a Rights-Based Approach to Health Service Delivery

Project Team: Siri Gloppen, Alicia Yamin, Allan Maleche, Malcolm Langford, Camila Gianella, Roberto Iunes, Leonardo Cubillio, Maria-Luisa Escobar

Timeframe: 12/01/2013 - 12/31/2016

Abstract: The research project a Rights-Based Approach to Health Service Delivery (RBA – health delivery) aims to develop a participatory methodology for operationalizing a rights-based approach to health service delivery.

Background and purpose:

This research project is a joint effort by CMI, The World Bank and Harvard University to develop a participatory methodology for operationalizing a rights-based approach to health service delivery. This means integrating human rights norms and principles in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of health-related policies and programs. A human rights approach to health is critical to address growing global health inequalities. We, therefore, evaluate this project to be of great importance.

A participatory methodology for operationalizing a rights-based approach to health service delivery has several aspects. It includes more precisely addressing human dignity, attention to the needs and rights of vulnerable groups, and an emphasis on ensuring that health systems are made accessible to all. Also, the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination is central, including discrimination on the basis of sex and gender roles. Integrating human rights into development further also means empowering poor people, ensuring their participation in decision-making processes that concern them and incorporating accountability and transparency mechanisms that they can access.

Project focus:

Building on previous and ongoing work, the RBA – health delivery project aims to facilitate co-creation by stakeholders in partner countries in the operationalization of RBA-health delivery tools, and to ensure that in doing so they have access to and actively engage with the best possible knowledge base. This includes findings from the project itself -internal research on impacts of such tools as that are being developed, thus enabling continuous improvements by bridging research and policy. The project also aims to develop a methodology for assessing impacts of RBAs in health services delivery operationalization.


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    Camila Gianella, Siri Gloppen, by Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado (2017)
    in The Lancet vol. 390 no. 10112 pp. 2545-2546
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    Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 16 no. 9) 4 p.
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