Essex Human Rights Summer School
Photo's from last years summer school are available via our
The Human Rights Centre will offer its five day summer school in
Human Rights Research Methods from 3 – 7 July 2017.
We have put together an exciting teaching team of some of the leading
Essex and external human rights academics and practitioners, all with
extensive experience of researching and working on human rights issues
in a wide range of contexts. The summer school is ideal for human rights
professionals working in NGOs, government and international
organisations; lawyers; academics and postgraduate students.
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We hope to see you at Essex in the summer!
“An improved approach to human rights”
from University of Essex on
2017 Human Rights Summer School programme
Human Rights Research Methods
We are delighted to announce the 2017 programme for the Human Rights Centre’s
pioneering summer school on Human Rights Research Methods. Since the launch of
the summer school in 2014, there has been growing recognition of the importance
of paying attention to methodology in human rights research, especially with the
increasing emphasis on evidence and on assessing and enhancing the impact of
human rights. While academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and
intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations carry out vast
amounts of research, very little attention has traditionally been paid to
methodology in human rights. However, the strength, persuasiveness and
legitimacy of research findings and, in turn, the ability of such findings to
influence policy and practice will be greatly enhanced by methodological rigor.
Run over 5 days, the Research Methods summer school provides the core methods
and skills needed to carry out human rights research whether for academic
scholarship, bids for large research projects or reports for NGOs, governments
and international organisations. Participants will learn how to design research
projects and carry them out both in a headquarters environment or while working
in the field. They will learn about the range of tools and methodologies for
human rights research (whether academic or practical) and when, why and how to
employ particular research methods in specific research contexts. The summer
school not only focuses on documenting human rights violations using qualitative
and quantitative research methods but it also addresses questions of how to
measure the impact and effectiveness of policies and practices based on human
rights. It is an essential course for postgraduate students, academics, lawyers
and human rights professionals working in NGOs, government and international
organisations. Participants in previous years have expressed strong satisfaction
with the content and the delivery of the programme and the demand for places has
"These are exactly the types of skills needed by researchers in NGOs
and in the UN and other international organisations. Knowing the
Human Rights Centre, I am confident that it will deliver a
summer school that is not only strong in academic content but
very relevant and applicable to practical contexts."
Ian Martin, former Secretary General of Amnesty
International and head of UN human rights missions and peace
operations in Rwanda, East Timor, Nepal and Libya
Taught by an international faculty of experts in the field, the sessions will
focus on research design, methodology and impact and will examine relevant
examples and case-studies. The programme also includes dedicated sessions on
particular projects to develop the themes of research design, methodology and
impact in greater depth. As an interactive summer school, it will afford
participants many opportunities to apply the theory they have learned, including
through dedicated sessions in which participants will be given a problem ahead
of the session and asked to prepare the research questions, methodology and
impact strategy. Participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on
existing research plans in one-on-one clinics throughout the school.
In taking this course, participants will:
- acquire a strong understanding of the key methods used in human rights
research and the way in which they can be used on their own or in combination
- learn to design research projects with a strong methodology, including for
grant applications and to have optimal impact on policy and practice;
- attain a strong understanding of how to ensure that the research meets
ethical standards including in NGOs without ethics committees;
- gain a strong appreciation of qualitative interviewing techniques including
issues involved with interviewing victims and affected communities and carrying
out research on sensitive human rights topics;
- learn how to interpret data gained through interviews;
- become ‘literate’ in carrying out quantitative research and collecting,
processing and using data;
- understand how to do research in different countries and researching in
closed and challenging societies;
- learn how to design and carry out comparative country research; and
- understand how to measure the impact of policies and practices based on
The summer school will be taught by a combination of Essex and external human
rights academics and practitioners. The team includes:
Judith Bueno de Mesquita, School of Law & Deputy Director,
Human Rights Centre Clinic.
Başak Çalı, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and
Director of the Center for Global Public Law at Koç University,
- Dr Cosette Creamer, Benjamin E. Lippincott Chair in
Political Economy & Assistant Professor of Political Science, Department
of Political Science and School of Law, University of Minnesota.
- Barbora Cernusakova, Researcher at Amnesty
International and University of Manchester
- Nicholas Fasel - TBC, Chief Statistician, Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - OHCHR
- Dr Carla Ferstman,Director, REDRESS.
- Dr Anita
Gohdes, Assistant Professor of International Relations,
Center for Comparative and International Studies, University of Zurich &
Human Rights Data Analysis Group.
Professor Paul Hunt,Human Rights Centre and School of Law,
University of Essex and former Senior Human Rights Advisor to the World
Health Organization Assistant Director-General; UN Special Rapporteur on
the Right to Health and Rapporteur of the UN Committee on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights
Dr Patrick Lown,EssexLab, Department of Government,
University of Essex.
- Esther Major, Consultant for WHO & former
Researcher/Adviser at Amnesty International
Professor Lorna McGregor, School of Law, Director Human
Rights Centre & Co-Director, Human Rights, Big Data and Technology
Project. Member, Equality and Human Rights Commission.
- Jo Pettit, Lead Researcher, Freedom from Torture.
Dr Róisín Ryan-Flood, Department of Sociology, University
Dr Clara Sandoval, Acting Director, Human Rights Centre,
Director, Essex Transitional Justice Network, and Senior Lecturer,
School of Law, University of Essex.
Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Human Rights Centre & School of Law,
University of Essex. UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion or
- Dr Gary Williams, Research Development Manager,
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Essex.
- Qualitative Data Analysis
- Interviewing Survivors of Human Rights Violations
- Single and Comparative Case Studies
- The Use of Focus Groups
- Conducting In-Country Research
- Human Rights Indicators
- The Role of Databases
- Socio-Economic and Administrative Statistics
- Counting Rights Violations
- Measuring the Impact of the Right to Health
- Documenting Harm and Claiming Reparations in Countries Undergoing Transition
- Choosing between Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
- One-on-One Clinics
Fees and booking
Fees and booking
The fees for this years summer school is as follows:
- University of Essex students, staff and alumni: £775 (£697.50 with early bird discount)
- External participants: £900 (£810.00 with early bird discount)
Early bird discount (10%) will be available until Sunday, 21 May 2017
Please book your place via the online booking facility.
Please note that accomadation is not included in this fee. Please see below for more information.
Any problems, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colchester Campus accommodation for our Summer School will need to be booked separately at a fee of £50 per night, bed & breakfast.
To book accommodation, please go to https://kx.essex.ac.uk/BnB/ and type in the promotional code HRC2017 to ensure you receive the discounted rate applicable to Human Rights Summer School participants.
Please Note Conditions of Booking: If you can no longer attend and need
to cancel your place, please do so as soon as possible, so that it can be
offered to someone else.
Attendees who cancel a previously booked place on the Essex Human Rights
Summer School after 21 May 2017 will be liable for 100% of
the course fees.
The Human Rights Centre reserves the right to withdraw sessions due to
staff absence or low enrolment numbers.
How to get here and campus access
The Essex Human Rights Summer School takes place at our University's
Colchester campus. Colchester is an hour away from London by train. See our
information pages for further details of how to get here and
our campus accessible travel guide.
For more information about the Essex Human Rights Summer School, please email
There may be a University photographer present at our events, please let us
know if you would not like to appear in any pictures by making yourself known at
the beginning of the event. Any general crowd photos may be used for marketing