Human Rights Monitoring and Evaluation

Scenes at the Budumburum Refugee Camp, where HRAC interns went on a monitoring trip.

The HRAC’s monitoring and evaluation strategies explore ways of working for change by monitoring government policies and implementation and evaluating the government’s compliance with its international obligations. It aims to ensure informed decision-making and support substantive implementation of policies that address human rights violations at all levels. The strategies also aim to foster a conversation among institutions on policies and how well those policies work. The HRAC monitors human rights abuses at all levels (national, regional and district) and ensures that where they occur, the responsible institutions are made accountable.

Types of Monitoring

1.   Media Monitoring

Ghana has a vibrant media landscape which reports on varied aspects of the country’s developmental processes. The HRAC monitors human rights trends and media reports, especially the print media, on a daily basis. It compiles and documents these reports according to themes. Monitoring of the media provides leads on human rights trends and also serves as reference points for research purposes. For instance, the HRAC is able to gauge whether domestic violence declined or increased in a particular period within a year through newspaper monitoring. It provides the means for further analyses and adduces reasons for societal trends.

Through monitoring the media, HRAC also discovers issues and stories which we believe need more attention and investigation. This was the case for the issue of forced evictions, which HRAC took on early in 2012. Our press statement is HERE. Finally, our media monitoring is included as a part of HRAC’s Annual Report, published in December, that highlights the state of human rights in Ghana as well as the work of HRAC.

To follow human rights in Ghana in the media, regularly visit the HRAC website, which is continually updated with the human rights stories of the day. You can also like us in facebook ( or sign up to receive our monthly newsletter (see right), which summarises some of the top human rights stories of the month, and keeps you updated with all of HRAC’s activities!

HRAC staff and interns visit the Juvenile Court on a monitoring trip

The HRAC assesses state institutions, including the Ghana Police Service and Judiciary, on the extent to which they effectively apply the law to protect and promote human rights in Ghana. This election year (2012), we have also monitored the conduct of the Electoral Commission as they use biometric data to register voters. For the first time in 2012, this included Biometric Prison Registration. Read our report HERE.

3.   Court Monitoring  

The HRAC has a court monitoring desk that monitors public interest-related cases the Courts.

Monitoring trip to the Juvenile Court

A typical example is a case in which a pastor Jesus One Touch is standing trial for allegedly defiling his 10 year old daughter (read more HERE). It is hoped that this activity will subsequently be extended to include other courts, prisons and police cells in other regions to monitor their compliance with human rights standards.

5.   Reviewing Institutional Reports

The essence of reviewing reports is to assess how national institutions apply human rights standards. It also creates avenues for examining their strengths, weaknesses and challenges, and how they can be supported to work effectively.