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Validity

The implementation of indigenous peoples’ human rights is best monitored by indigenous communities themselves. It is thereby critical for indigenous peoples to generate data that reflects the level of implementation, gaps and realization of their rights from their perspective and experience.

Community-based human rights monitoring may unveil situations that governments are uncomfortable with. Our methodology is based on the fact that those providing the data are legitimate members of the indigenous communities, who answer the questionnaires collectively as part of a collaborative process.

Communities have given their free, prior and informed consent to be part of the data collection process and undertake the work themselves. Data includes as many perspectives as possible from the community.

To what extent does the data adequately reflect the situation in the community?

The Indigenous Navigator Initiative is proud to offer a robust design which complies with the highest and most recent standards for human rights indicators. Our methodology follows the standards for human rights indicators used by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). By doing this, we ensure coherence across the framework to provide data directly relevant for human rights monitoring.

What is more important: all tools and approaches have been field tested with diverse indigenous communities and adjusted to improve clarity and increase guidance on the correct use of the tools. The feedback from the communities has helped us eliminate ambiguous language and developed a Guidance per question for facilitators.

Moreover, our questionnaires offer the possibility of adding evidence, linking to secondary sources, and provide additional information. We believe that the more evidence attached, the stronger the validity of the data. This sustains and justifies the data, allowing others to independently verify the assessments made.

Choosing the right indicators

The Indigenous Navigator Framework makes use of common statistical principles of choosing facts-based (objective indicators) over judgement-based (subjective indicators).

Nonetheless, we consider that the perceptions of the community members are of obvious relevance to assess the implementation of their rights. To assess their views on this, we have formulated straightforward questions that minimize misinterpretations.

These are the four types of indicators we use to generate data:

  • Fact-based quantitative indicator: This would be for example a question lie How many children in your community have received full immunization as recommended by national vaccination schedules?
  • Judgement-based quantitative indicator:This type of indicator would for example measure the community’s perception of poverty by asking for example How many men in your community do you consider poor?
  • Fact-based qualitative indicator: A possible question could be How accessible are primary school facilities for the children of your community? It is still fact-based because the distance can be actually verified, and qualitative because it adds information about the characteristics of schooling accessibility.
  • Judgement-based qualitative indicator: Can your people perform their traditional occupations without restrictions? This is a fully qualitative indicator because it focuses on the perceptions the community has about a particular issue.

Supported by the European Union

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The Indigenous Navigator provides a set of tools for indigenous peoples to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation of their rights.