Strategic Plan 2010-2012
I Introduction and Methodology
NCHR Strategic Action Plan for the years 2010-2012 the second in the lifetime of NCHR. The first was developed 2005-2008 and included a lot of activities that covered all areas of interest for NCHR relevant to its law, vision, mission and objectives. Indeed, NCHR carried out several activities yet they were not formally evaluated. The informal evaluation of the plan that took place through the deliberations among unit heads and NCHR staff identifies the following remarks.
- Since some of the planned activities were covered and others were not, plan implementation ranges between fair to good.
- Implementation ranges from full to partial, further some unplanned activities were carried out as well.
- The implementation of some axes was weak, most importantly, that of economic, social and cultural rights.
- The plan did not include a clear implementation mechanism that defines a priority-based time frame.
- Some parts of the previous plan can be a base for a new plan, yet some modifications are required to meet the developments and changes that have been taking place since 2008.
These are very important remarks that need to be considered in the development of the current plan in order to avoid the shortcomings of the previous plan.
A strategic plan should be based on the objectives NCHR seeks to achieve, its vision and mission and a thorough definition of activities that realize objectives, mission and vision. It should also clearly determine good performance indicators within a reasonable time frame. This plan, in fact, is founded on the aforementioned pillars; thus, will be evaluated by the end of the time frame in the light of abidance by such pillars, in particular objectives’ realization vis-a-vis performance indicators.
2- Plan Development Methodology:
The current Strategic Action Plan has been designed as a set of principles and strategic objectives that includes prioritized activities and strikes a balance between activities of protection, promotion and violation prevention, it is all based on the following principles:
- Determining main opportunities and challenges through conducting needs analysis within a participatory consultative approach.
- Evaluating NCHR ability to respond to challenges and overcome obstacles.
- Defining priority strategic objectives in the plan term.
- Identifying activities on the basis of objectives and defined elements common among units.
- Defining NCHR implementing departments and their external partners.
- Developing a realistic executive action plan and implementation time frames.
- Defining the cost of some activities that can be transferred by donors as projects.
- Developing mechanisms and appropriate processes to measure strategic plan implementation.
- Undertaking corrective measures where needed.
All the aforementioned took place in the brainstorming sessions that included the Commissioner General, unit heads and technical staff members over a month during which there has been an agreement on the components of the strategic and executive action plans. In fact, several analyses were undertaken such as force field analysis and SWOT analysis in order to establish NCHR status hence determine objectives achievable within the plan time frame, and determine activities and performance indicators. Such analyses contributed to identifying the current action plan priorities and subject it to content validity (i.e. plan coverage for NCHR objectives) and inter-judge fidelity (i.e. feed back by implementers of previous plan and interested parties from the board of trustees and NCHR Secretariat).
There are sets of powers and forces some promoting progress and development and others impeding it. It is the duty of the board of trustees and the Secretariat to optimally utilize sources and supportive forces and maximize their impacts on one hand, and to control suppressive forces and minimize their impacts so it will not hinder NCHR functions and mission realization.
According to NCHR literature, the following are strong points and forces supporting NCHR:
- A permanent law that clarifies objectives responsibilities, duties and powers.
- Clear support from board of trustees and continuous endeavor to develop NCHR functions.
- Diversified activities and reservoir experience in several areas (e.g. complaints, prisons, training).
- Relatively appropriate physical work environment and premises under constructions to facilitate NCHR work.
- International, regional and national credibility in addition to good growing local and foreign relations.
- Adequate financial support for NCHR projects by regional and international organizations interested in human rights.
- Fair availability of needed logistics.
- Committed motivated Secretariat.
- Modern Administrative organizations, clear adequate function identification and power allocation, and reasonable distribution of work among units.
- Good instructions proportionate to human resources in addition to the new adequate pay scale.
As for points of weakness or factors impeding progress:
- Weak institutionalized work in addition to ineffective coordination and planning for activities.
- Insufficient legal studies on human rights and inadequate awareness about the use of relevant international mechanisms and instruments.
- Monitoring human right violations exclusively on the basis of complaints filed with NCHR, while other initiatives to detect violations lag behind.
- Lack of manuals and procedures that are based on international experiences particularly those related to complaints and remedies.
- Shortage in qualified human resources which creates a need for training some staff members (e.g. subjects include English, and relevant legal procedures) ;this is besides the unavailability of a code of conduct.
- The lack of sufficient information systems, a data base, and an evaluation system for staff and activities.
- Weak promotion and advocacy to gain the support of decision makers and legislatures.
- The fact that NCHR operating budget is exclusively funded by the government and is therefore influenced by the Prime Minister’s and Finance Minister’s stand.
In addition to the points of strengths and weaknesses there are opportunities for NCHR to exploit. Such opportunities include:
The credibility NCHR has established on the local level among official and non official bodies represented in civil society organizations and Non-governmental organizations, the thing that gives NCHR the possibility in taking the initiative to advocate for human rights in the Jordanian community.
- The international credibility acquired by NCHR that is evident from the international accreditation and the full membership granted to NCHR at the Asia Pacific forum and the International Coordination Commission. This shall enhance the position of NCHR on the regional and the international levels and pushes for accrediting it as a regional center for Human right training.
- The credibility NCHR has established in donors’ community , among UN Human Right agencies and friendly countries the thing that helps improve its work and supports its budget particularly in the area of projects.
- Telecommunication development in the Jordanian community the thing that will require developing other options to interact with the beneficiaries of services.
- Sincere will among CSOs and Human right activists in the kingdom, this shall help establish branches at governorates.
On the other hand NCHR has to deal with a number of challenges that need to be overcome in order to improve NCHR role in protecting and promoting human rights. This includes,
- The incomplete compatibility with Paris Principles for National Institutions of Human Rights vis-à-vis law, adequate financial independence and the processes of appointing members on the board of trustees.
- Diversified sources of NCHR income particularly those related to financing the budget which fully relies on the governmental support which eventually could be impacted by unforeseen factors outside the control of the board of trustees.
- The inability of NCHR to geographically extend its services all over the kingdom in addition to the unavailability of an effective mechanism to interact with the public all over the kingdom.
- Inadequate cooperation on the part of liaison officers at some formal institutions besides ineffective communication technique with legislatures.
- Inconsistent cooperation with CSOs and unstable competitive coordinative cooperative and networking relations with them.
- Regional and international extension of NCHR role is pending the availability of extra financial allocations; particularly, in relation to NCHR prospective role as the chair of International Coordinating Commission for the years 2011-2012.
3- Justifications and Main Considerations:
NCHR undertakes several responsibilities and functions that are stated under its law number (51) for the year 2006. This is considered a main factor to promote NCHR credibility and affectivity. It also helps deal with many human right issues. The more functions and responsibilities there are the more financial and human resource requirements will have to be met. Therefore, it is essential to develop a mid-term strategic plan identifying priorities and prioritizing activities so they will be proportionate to available financial and human resources.
For any strategic plan to succeed and realize its objectives, a set of main considerations need to be taken into account. NCHR strategic plan must consider human resources and funds allocated under the balance sheet before it carries out too many activities that eventually serve NCHR roles in promoting and protecting human rights, in addition to preventing violations.
The process of developing NCHR administrative organization that has recently taken place (the organizational structure, administrative organization instructions and job descriptions) provides NCHR with an environment even more adequate to carry out functions. NCHR staff training is a critical consideration to improve services extended by NCHR. Thus, NCHR staff needs to be equipped with necessary skills to help them perform their duties; and they themselves, need to be respectful of human rights so they can effectively carry out functions assigned to them.
Expectations from NCHR are quite high, and requirements outweigh available resources. Hence, it is essential to focus on specific activities so sought outcomes will actually be realized. Clearly therefore, achieving objectives is contingent on good planning. It is also advisable to confer with all stakeholders like CSOs, governmental organizations and institutions about the plan, its components and objectives. After all, NCHR can be the natural umbrella for all stakeholders. And thus, this strategy and the executive action plan will be communicated to all natural local, regional and international stakeholders.
On the governmental side, it is essential to collaborate and consult with all ministries and departments concerned with human rights such as the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Labour Social and Political Development, Health, Education, PSD, in addition to other juristic stakeholders of NCHR.
II The Strategic Plan
The main objective of developing a strategic plan should be to develop a program that is in line with the circumstances prevailing at the kingdom, and that responds to the most urgent issues and needs. Clearly, this is associated with the role the government plays in specific areas relevant to the problems and needs (like, inter alia, criminal justice and human rights education in the mandatory and secondary education, compatibility between national legislation and international standards for human rights). A plan to develop human rights needs to be prepared considering stories of success and failures. Challenges to the reformation process need to be pinpointed and considered; it should be considered a prerequisite for a strategic action plan. Parallel to this, international conventions and the obligations ensued on the Jordanian government need to be well studied.
In the light of that, NCHR develops the current strategic plan for the coming three years. It is developed parallel to studying activities’ costs so they will be effectively executed, in coordination and cooperation with civil society organizations and the concerned public institutions and departments.
1- The Main functions in the plan:
A three year strategic plan cannot assume all duties required from a human right organization such as NCHR, therefore the current plan will focus on the current three main functions:
a. Protecting human rights through monitoring and dealing with complaints, by way of focusing on the following sub functions:
- Monitoring and supervising human rights situation in the Kingdom, including specific issues of special concern.
- Monitoring governmental observance of NCHR advice and recommendations hence developing an effective regular monitoring system for state departments’ compliance.
- Issuing an annual report on human right situation in the Kingdom.
- Issuing specialized reports on specific human rights issues, such as CRC report.
- Improving Complaint and Detection Unit performance in dealing with complaints submitted to NCHR according to standards set forth in complaint processing manual.
- Solving issues as required through correcting situations by concerned governmental authorities or by applying judicial measures; in particular in relation to systematic violations of human rights that could be detected in the course of work, reconciliation or mediation.
b. Promoting and enhancing human rights through awareness raising programs, communications, education ,training, research, and advice and consultation provision for the government.
In regards to communication and awareness raising the following functions will be given special attention:
- Disseminating human rights education on the widest possible scale.
- Promoting and disseminating best practices in the field of human rights.
- Promoting internal complaint mechanisms at public institutions and among civil servants.
In regards to education and training and human rights research, the following functions will be concentrated on:
- Integrating human rights education in formal and non formal education, including university education.
- Developing and maintaining human rights materials.
- Intensifying awareness raising and educational campaigns.
- Conducting research and studies on human rights.
In regards to providing advice and consultancy to the government , the following functions will be concentrated on:
- Revising legislation, and policies, in addition to current and proposed practices.
- Developing draft laws and drafts proposed amendments in order to make national legislation consistent with international standards.
- Providing advice and training on enforcing international conventions.
- Providing consultancy on preparing international reports and reports submitted for treaty bodies.
c. Enhancing planning and developing the main institutional functions of NCHR in areas like human resource policy drafting, on one hand, and improving NCHR relations with key stakeholders at civil society, public departments and International Human Right Centers’ Network , on the other.
In regards to drafting and developing human resource policy, the following functions will be focused on,
- Building NCHR staff knowledge, capacities and skills and developing performance through comprehensive planning.
- Developing manuals and guidelines and coordinating operational and strategic planning.
- Developing staff code of conduct.
- Improving NCHR services extended to citizens and residents on Jordanian territories.
- Ensuring and coordinating access to foreign funding.
In regards to NCHR relations with stakeholders, focus will be on the following functions:
- Establishing a network for civil society organizations to coordinate its activities and identify partners for joint projects.
- Establishing liaison mechanisms with concerned public departments to enhance work on executive and legislative levels.
- Forming national monitoring taskforces to detect and monitor specific areas considered as national priorities.
3- Vision, mission and key values of the Strategic Plan:
Although any strategic plan is derived from the institution’s vision and mission, a plan has its own vision and mission. Therefore, the vision and mission of the current strategic plan pursues, and is based on those of NCHR. The current plan’s vision is “to respect and promote individual rights of both citizens and residents in Jordan”.
The mission of plan, though, is “to protect and promote human rights through developing NCHR institutional structure, build staff capacity, and network with relevant official and non official institutions”.
In its pursuit to realize the vision and mission, this plan is based on the following values:
- Excelling in performance.
- Transparency in all activities.
- Treating and interacting with stakeholders professionally.
- Neutralism, equality, freedom from discrimination, confidentiality, and objectivity upon processing complaints.
- Ensuring protection for citizens and residents.
- Working as a team and ensuring institutional harmony.
- Learning from experiences and building on them.
- High quality outputs.
- Discipline, loyalty and merit-based work.
- Effective unbiased management on all levels.
4- Plan Structure:
The structure of 2010- 2012 strategic plan follows the typical plan format, it is organized as follows:
- Key strategic objectives that were identified as six objectives.
- Sub-objectives under every strategic objective, they were defined as 21 objectives.
- Activities designed to realize sub-objectives.
- Performance indicators.
- Activity implementation time frame divided into 4 quarters a year.
- The unit within NCHR in charge of implementing activities and following up their outputs.
Plan components in addition to all strategic objectives, sub-objectives, activities, outputs, timeframe were all agreed on in an interactive participatory manner among unit heads and some interested staff members with the presence of the Commissioner General, all components were fully agreed on.
4- Plan strategic Objectives and Sub-objectives:
Six objectives were defined in the current strategic plan, in addition to 21 sub-objectives, as follows:
- The first strategic objective: promoting human right protection mechanisms
The sub-objectives under this strategic objective are as follows:
1.1 Protecting human rights that are guaranteed under national legislation, and international conventions and standards.
1.2 Promoting preventive measures to eliminate human right violations and prevent them from happening.
1.3 Addressing human right violations and repairing them.
2. The second strategic objective: enhancing the enjoyment of civil and political rights.
The sub-objectives of this strategic objective are as follows:
2.1 Expanding the parties involved in decision making and implementation.
2.2 Verifying the extent to which individuals enjoy civil and political rights,
2.3 Promote the enjoyment of vulnerable groups (women, the elderly, children, people with disabilities, inmates at CRCs) of their civil and political rights.
2.4 Assisting the legislative and judicial authorities in enhancing their role in monitoring human rights.
3. The third strategic objective: Enhancing the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.
The sub-objectives are as follows:
3.1 Enabling individuals to enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights.
3.2 Verifying the extent of individuals’ enjoyment of economic social and cultural rights.
3.3 Verifying the extent to which the executive authority takes measures to guarantee the individuals’ enjoyment of their economic social and cultural rights.
4. The fourth strategic objective: improving human right legislation
The sub-objectives are as follows:
4.1 Making national legislation compatible with international standards.
4.2 Promoting the ratification and accession into international and regional instruments.
4.3 Monitoring the state observance for international obligations.
5. The fifth strategic objective: disseminating human right culture And the sub-objectives are:
5.1 Raising awareness about the significance of enjoying civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
5.2 Integrating human right into the formal educational system.
5.3 Developing and issuing human right educational materials.
5.4 Building the capacities of civil servants and other employees in the field of human rights.
6. The sixth strategic objective: Building NCHR institutional capacity and establishing partnerships.
The sub-objectives are as follows,
6.1 Building NCHR legal, financial, technical and human capacities.
6.2 Developing NCHR working mechanisms so they will meet the needs of targeted groups.
6.3 Regular and effective communication with governmental and non-governmental organizations in addition to relevant regional and international organizations.
6.4 Ensuring that NCHR maintains its national, regional and local status as per Paris Principles.
6- Monitoring and Evaluation:
The Board of trustees, the commissioner general, commissioner of legislation and unit heads, each according to their specialty follow up the implementation of the planned activities. The follow up is comprised of two functions. The first is to monitor the implementation process, its effectiveness, and efficiency, known as process evaluation. The second is the evaluation of plan outputs and outcomes, product evaluation. There will be benchmarked evaluations after the lapse of every six months, and a final evaluation after the lapse of the plan term, phased evaluations will be used as feedback to constantly and dynamically modify the plan. The final evaluation will serve as useful feedback for any prospective strategic plans.
c. Action Plan
The following matrix represents the executive action plan that includes all components of the strategic plan along with the party in charge of implementing, the time needed and the estimated cost of some activities that will be financed through funded projects.