A Human Rights Approach to Localising The MDGs Through Gender-Equitable Local Development

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Ron McGill


Until now, the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD) programme has not been presented within an explicit human rights framework. This is strange given that the human rights based approach to development (HRBAD) aims to ensure that all human beings can live their lives fully and with dignity. HRBAD is fundamentally about the healthy and full development of individuals and communities. In addition, one of human rights’ central concerns is that people have equal access to the benefits of society. Initiatives to realize human rights therefore give priority to the most marginalized - the poorest - in a society. It is those individuals who have most difficulty in securing the basics that are essential to living their lives with dignity. Women in all communities are disproportionately represented among the poor. Thus, human rights have gender equity as a central focus. Put another way, we are dealing with the feminization of poverty. We are dealing with the concept of equal access (to development). In short, we are dealing with those who need (and deserve) greater priority in access to infrastructure and supporting services in order to reach a point of equality.

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How to Cite
McGill, R. (1). A Human Rights Approach to Localising The MDGs Through Gender-Equitable Local Development. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, (4), 77-100. https://doi.org/10.5130/cjlg.v0i4.1357
Author Biography

Ron McGill, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

Ron McGill is the performance budget adviser to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. He was formerly a senior technical adviser in the United Nations Capital Development Fund in New York (8 years). Previously, he worked on residential assignments in Tanzania (government reform; 3 years) and Malawi (city management; 5 years). He started his career in British local government, in town planning and urban poverty (14 years). He published ‘Institutional Development’ in 1996 (an edited version of his Strathclyde PhD) and ‘Achieving Results’ a decade later (through his action research in UNCDF). He has 17 other articles to credit. Future interests centre on transformational leadership through process consulting (see e.g. Civil service reform in Tanzania: organisation and efficiency through process consulting. International Journal of Public Sector Management (1999), Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 410-419) and the establishment of a European centre to achieve that ambition.