Fact Sheet #4c) Resources for Human Rights Maturity Model Planning

Level 1

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 4: Organization has adequate capacity and resources to address Level 1 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 4c): Resources committed for Human Rights Maturity Model planning.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

Specific budget line(s) related to the required staff, training and communication.

Indicator Description

Once an organization commits to the idea of using the Human Rights Maturity Model (the Model), it is expected that it allocates the resources needed to proceed with the self-assessment of its overall human rights portrait and to implement the Model. These resources are not only the human, financial and information technology resources, but should factor in the competencies/expertise required to foster a culture of human rights.

At Level 1, an organization explores how they will implement the Model. To do so, it invests resources to accomplish four goals: the creation of a steering team; the initial self-assessment and gap analysis; the development of an action plan; and the monitoring of implementation and continuous improvement. The Model is flexible in terms of how and when an organization will complete these steps. Some organizations complete them all, using a multidisciplinary steering team, while others pace their journey according to business pressures and existing resources.

For example, an organization may initially mandate a resource to research the HRMM, to assess its benefits, to identify opportunities and challenges, and to provide options for implementation. The information obtained through this exercise can then be discussed with senior leadership to agree on which resources can be dedicated to the initial assessment, taking into account the organization’s operational context and priorities.

Suggested Approach

How the four goals to explore and implement the Model will be achieved depends on the size of the organization, the resources available and the results of the self-assessment. Here are some considerations while assessing required resources:

  • Allot resources to initiate the process: Organizations should at a minimum ensure that resources are allotted to proceed with the initial steps of the process: the self-assessment.
  • Support staff involved in the process: Management should actively support staff who will be assigned to the exercise. Staff should have the means to carry out tasks related to the Model, participate in committees or attend orientation sessions as required.  
  • Be strategic with funds: There is no preferred way to self-assess or to implement the Model. Not everything in a level needs to be acted upon during a given year. The Model is flexible enough to respect each organization’s own rhythm. You can decide which part of the Model you want to concentrate on, based on business pressures and your overall human rights portrait. The idea is to improve or to enhance existing practices. This being said, the Level 1 organization should ensure that at least financial and material resources to carry out the communications and consultation, as well as senior leadership training, is available.  
  • Acknowledge that it takes time for the journey: Time is a resource that is often overlooked. A true human rights culture cannot happen overnight. Human rights initiatives are often assigned in addition to current tasks without a proper assessment of required time to achieve results. Adopting the Model will not resolve all human rights challenges in a year. It will take time to move from one level to the next.  

Promising Practices

  • Using existing teams: Planning can be assigned to a new task force or an existing committee. One organization chose to mandate its five existing employment equity committees (visible minorities; aboriginal people; person with disabilities; women and gay, lesbians and transgendered) to proceed with the Model self-assessment.
  • Sharing the self-assessment work: Some organizations have chosen to self-assess by elements and assign the tasks between various domains of activity such as human resources and labour relations; employment equity, union-management committees, etc.
  • Aligning the Model with existing strategic tools: One organization was already using a change management approach for all of its business activities. Realizing that the Model was aligned with its vision for change and organizational values, the organization mandated its change management champion and committee members to review the self-assessment prepared by its Employment Equity Manager. An action plan was prepared integrating both tools.
  • Respecting your organizational culture: Each organization is unique. The way it does business, makes decision and interacts with employees and clients takes different forms. One organization that is using a learning lens in everything it does, mandated both its Director of Human Resources and Director of Learning and Continuous Improvement to look at the Model and to build a steering team conducive to a self-assessment respectful of the learning lens.

Useful Tools and Links

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Date modified: