Enhancing the Functional Protection of Human Rights in Ethiopia

Grantee: International Development Law Organization

The project aimed to develop the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into a functional institution able to protect and enforce human rights in line with Ethiopian laws and international norms and standards. As the EHRC was a relatively young institution, the grantee did not only focus on the development of human rights protection skills, but prioritized in the project’s initial phase also the development of operational management capacity.

The grantee could have adjusted the initial project plan to avoid overlap with activities already implemented under the Democratic Institutions Programme managed by UNDP. The relevance of the project was further limited by the grantee’s weak risk assessment and mitigation. The original design failed to appreciate the risks surrounding the project, most importantly the international grantee took permission to set up an office in Addis for granted which it then did not obtain. The project also appeared unprepared to address the challenging political environment in which the EHRC operated.