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This brief introduces a human rights approach to social work research and evaluation, compares it to traditional research approaches, and explains how to apply it in real world social work research. The author draws from a human rights framework that incorporates dignity and respect for all persons, the universality and interrelatedness of rights (political, civil, social, economic, and cultural), nondiscrimination, participation, accountability, and transparency.
To advance a human rights approach, it introduces a rights-based model that accentuates the use of mixed methods and participatory research and evaluation. This brief aims to increase competencies in how to apply a rights based approach to research decision-making process from the formulation of research questions, research and practice design, and participatory action strategies that advance human rights. It is a call to action for social workers to forge a rights-based research agenda that fosters empowerment.