Chapter 21: Towards a definition of effectiveness in HRIA
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This chapter discusses the meaning of effectiveness in the context of human rights impact assessment (HRIA) and examines how it interacts with business decision-making. Derived from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and in line with research literature on impact assessment the chapter proposes three dimensions of effectiveness: (1) the dimension of understanding of ‘specific impacts on specific people’; (2) the dimension of management: addressing impacts with adequate financial resources at the appropriate level within the business; and (3) the dimension of response that leads to measurable change in a ‘legitimate’, ‘transparent’ and ‘rights-compatible’ way, confirmed by rights-holders through feedback. Given this definition the chapter concludes that efficiency as a criterion for business decision-making may put effectiveness at risk at the level of all dimensions. However, efficiency as a concept may also be useful to evaluate if more could have been done to reach effectiveness.

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