Mervat Rishmawi - Human Rights Consultant: Research, Training and Policy Analysis

 My work 
Mervat Rishmawi, MENA human rights consultant, MENA strategic planning, MENA needs assessment and training on human rights law and mechanisms in MENA I mostly collaborate with human rights activists and organisations working on and in the MENA region.   

1. Human rights research 

I carry out analyses and draft research papers and manuals pertaining to international human rights and humanitarian law. 

I am very passionate about making human rights concepts and developments usable in our daily lives through developing manuals, training material, engaging in training, and carrying out other forms of research.  

Please see list of publications for details

- Manual on the 2030 Development Agenda for practitioners: a resource manual and 3 pamphlets for trade unions, civil society, and parliaments, to be published by ANND

- A study for ESCWA  on Resilience of National Women Machineries during conflict, occupation and transition in the Arab Region. 

For details of past publications, please see Publications 

    2. Training and lecturing  

    I provide training on human rights law and standards, and the use of UN human rights mechanisms, to practitioners, judges, lawyers, government officials, and human rights activists at various locations in the region. This is often through cooperating closely with organisations in the region, for example the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Amnesty International, Association for the Prevention of Torture, in addition to training courses organised by the UN, among many others.

    I am very passionate about making international law, especially human rights law, a tool of change that is relevant to daily life. I believe in the power of simplifying  concepts and developments of international human rights law to make them user-friendly, useful and relevant. I enjoy drafting training material and resource manuals, as well as conducting training and participating in debates and discussions - especially those aiming at developing the capacities of the human rights movement in MENA. 

    Recent work

    - I am engaged in a project by Amnesty International / Netherlands where I provide training to community partners in East Jerusalem/ Palestine on content and advocacy tools related to economic, social and cultural rights. 

    - I am preparing teaching, for the third year, a distance learning course on “Engagement in Human Rights”, as part of an M.A degree in Governance and Human Rights, Leuphana Professional School, Luneburg University, Germany. 

    3. Evaluation, needs assessment, strategy development 
    I evaluate projects and programmes as well as national and regional organisations in the MENA region.   

    (Please note that the vast majority of the reports of these evaluation tasks are internal to the concerned organisations)

    • Senior Consultant for an Impact Assessment Evaluation of the Human Rights and Good Governance Secretariat in the oPt, contracted by MDF Training & Consultancy BV (Netherlands).  
    • Senior Expert for the evaluation of selected NGO projects funded in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through the Human Rights Fund of the Government of the Netherlands. This is part of a policy-oriented evaluation in four countries contracted through Human European Consultancy, the Netherlands.
    • Evaluating the Arab Human Rights Fund (AHRF), a regional organisation based in Beirut, Lebanon.
    • Evaluating the International Advocacy Program of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a regional organisation based in Egypt (for the EU funding - midterm evaluation and final impact assessment).
    • Carrying out an appraisal of human rights and good governance organisations for Mu’assasat, a multi-donor Secretariat set up by Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, and the predecessor of the current secretariat: the NGO Development Center (NDC).
    • Co-authoring a stock-taking report on the Right to Education Project’s work on the right to education indicators. 

     Needs assessment and strategy development 
    (Please note that the vast majority of the reports of these needs assessment and strategy development tasks are internal to the concerned organisations)

    • Developing the strategy for the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat in Palestine, final product available on .
    • Lead Consultant on a project examining issues facing the sustainability of human rights and development organisations in the Middle East and North Africa, for Oxfam Novib, Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation.
    • Developing strategy and leading needs assessment and a consultation on a strategy towards strengthening the engagement of NGOs with the League of Arab States, sponsored by the Open Society Foundations, working on this with major international, regional and national human rights NGOs in the MENA region. 
    • Carrying out a needs assessment for the development of the capacity building strategy for the work of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 
    • Producing a report for the Board of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) on EMHRF's strategic orientations to strengthen the work of EMHRF for 2013-2016 and the necessary means to put this in place.
    • Consultation, field research and producing a report commissioned by Cordaid (a Netherlands-based development organisation) to identify priorities for a four-year strategy for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
    • Producing an internal briefing for Oxfam-Novib on Provision of Justice in Egypt, as part of a larger project which involves five countries around the world (consultancy implemented through MDF Training and Consultancy, Netherlands).
    • Authoring “An overview of Civil Society in the Arab World”, Praxis Paper No. 20, INTRAC, Oxford, UK (assessing the situation and needs of capacity-building programmes for civil society organisations in the Middle East and North Africa). 

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